My name is Sophia and I work in Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor as a pre-registration pharmacy technician.
I applied for this role as I had experience in a health care setting having previously worked for NHS Direct. The role attracted me as it was a great career opportunity, being able to earn as you learn, which was vital to me as a working mother of two young children. Every day is different, working alongside a multidisciplinary team to ensure the patient receives the best possible care.
What made you decide on the role?
I decided on this role as I had already completed a degree in Criminology previously and decide not to pursue a career relevant to this field of work. When working in NHS Direct, I became increasingly interested in helping others but did not want the hands-on patient contact that many healthcare roles include. If this sounds like you, this is the perfect role for you, so that you can still make a difference to a patients’ health.
What qualifications do you need?
You will need five GCSEs at C or above including English, Maths and Science. You do not require any experience within a pharmacy setting, however having some work experience within a pharmacy setting could be beneficial.
You will need to complete a 2-year course where you will earn while you learn. You will be required to work a set number of hours within the two years to gain hands on experience, as well as write up diary logs of what you have done and learnt. Furthermore each month you will have a different topic to learn about and answer questions at the end of each month.
After completing the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Services and a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science, you will apply to register as a Pharmacy Technician with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Where can you work?
You can work in a number of different places after registering, these include:
- hospital – acute and community
- community pharmacies
- GP surgeries
- pharmaceutical industry
- academia – research projects.
Are there opportunities to progress once qualified?
There are opportunities to train to become an accredited checking technician, as well as gaining medicines management qualifications. This training would help you to gain more responsibility for managing patients medications whilst they are on the hospital wards.
As well as this, through gaining more experience and completing further training, there is the possibility of becoming a manager. As a manager you would ensure the service runs smoothly and would be responsible for staff wellbeing.
Why would you recommend the role?
The role of a pharmacy technician is varied and rewarding, the possibilities are endless. Whilst completing the course you get an insight to different areas within the pharmacy department so you can choose what best suits you. For example, more hands on in the aseptic unit, preparing chemotherapy medication or more office based in medicines information, answering queries, and giving advice to patients and colleagues via email or phone.