I qualified as a pharmacy technician in 2008 and decided to leave my permanent post in Somerset to locum and gain some experience of working in a few different settings.
This was a really valuable experience and whilst I wasn’t able to become an accredited checker or advance my qualifications further, as my peers were doing at this time, I was allowed the freedom to decide where I wanted to be.
I settled in the North West and after a couple of short-term roles in general hospitals, was offered a permanent job as a clinical technician in a mental health Trust.
It was in this role that my passion and enthusiasm around mental health grew. I enjoyed the clinical aspect of the role, which meant that I spent little time in the dispensary and much of my time talking to patients about their medication.
I completed the psychopharmacology module of a Professional Practice BSc and developed the role further by co-facilitating medicines education sessions at the Trust’s Recovery College.
I became more interested in the field of mental health as time went on and I wanted to gain experience outside of a clinical environment. I left my role as a technician and started work in the charity sector.
The transition from a clinical to non-clinical setting was tough and there were times when I really missed the structure of a technician’s role.
I now work for Self Help, a mental health charity based in the North West. I manage some of their community-based services, which is entirely non-clinical.
Getting involved with community projects and initiatives has made me think about the role of the technician in the community and the ways in which it could be developed. We have a valuable set of knowledge and skills and it is important that the role continues to evolve.