Association of Pharmacy
Technicians UK (APTUK)
The Professional Leadership Body for Pharmacy Technicians

What’s in a name?

Liz Fidler discusses the importance of pharmacy technicians being referred to by their protected title

My last article focused on the lack of recognition regarding levels of skills and knowledge that pharmacy technicians can contribute to the pharmacy team and patient care transferring from one sector to another. This month I want to share my thoughts on why it’s important for the use of the protected title of ‘pharmacy technician’ to be acknowledged, respected and used – what an amazing Christmas gift that would be…

In 2011, when mandatory registration was implemented by the General Pharmaceutical Council, I was under the impression that the pharmacy profession would embrace and understand how important the protected title would be. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and there is much work to do.

Educating, not alienating

As the president of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, the professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians, I feel it is my responsibility to raise this issue, with an aim to educate and not alienate. I am sure that many of the legacy names used by employers for those that transitioned and demonstrated the standards to join the register as a pharmacy technician have just not been modernised. However, now is the time.

Professional protectionism is something that I am sure we have all experienced at some point. I’ve heard pharmacist colleagues challenge being called a chemist, for example. There is nothing wrong with that, after all, gaining entry onto a professional register requires a commitment to demonstrating professional values and standards, achieving a required level of education and an ongoing commitment to developing and enhancing skills. It’s something to be proud of.

Recently I have become aware of various titles in the profession for pharmacy technicians and I question why these are being used. So I would urge you to ask the question yourselves and request that your professional status is properly recognised.

Consistency is key

Consistently referring to pharmacy technicians using their registered title will help patients, employers and future registrants begin to understand the value and reward that joining such a profession can bring. It may even help demystify the distinctions between roles. If we all understood our roles and contributions a bit better, I am sure a greater professional role satisfaction would be achieved.

So, fellow pharmacy technicians, you have earnt the right to ensure your name badges reflect your well earnt professional title.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2020.

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