SOMETIMES I reflect on the career path I chose and ponder on whether I would have done anything differently.
I have had a varied and interesting career as a pharmacy technician, experiencing many highs and actually very few lows.
My first paid job was working at a chemist cleaning shelves and filling up the glass tablet bottles, who would have thought that I would have ended up where I am today 27 years on as a Medicines Safety Officer at NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group and absolutely loving it.
In 1996 I was successful in getting a student pharmacy technician post at Leeds General Infirmary and worked hard to develop myself and show that technicians do have a place and a valuable role managing large busy dispensaries and ward based pharmacy support services. I was lucky enough to have experienced probably every possible role/function and felt that I was definitely made for a more clinical, rather than a technical role.
After 8 years working in a secondary care, the role of pharmacy technicians in primary care were really coming into their own and I was attracted to this diverse, autonomous way of working. I can honestly say, that I have never looked back and making that jump was a culture shock, but my goodness, I have learned so much and continue to do so.
Whilst working in primary care, I have run successful benzodiazepine reduction clinics, performed complex work in GP practices and delivered medication reviews in patient’s homes to optimise their medicines and understanding. I have managed a large team of pharmacy technicians to deliver practice based support to the 40 GP practices in NHS Wakefield which is invaluable to them, if I do say so myself. We have worked extremely hard over the past 11 years to achieve the trust and camaraderie especially when we have to have the more sensitive and challenging conversations about prescribing when there are multiple demands on time, funding and priorities!
I am passionate about what my current role has to offer, I was recently appointed the medicines safety officer within the medicines optimisation team. NHS Wakefield CCG is passionate about putting patient safety first, and this role shows the commitment. I want to be pro-active about medicines safety not re-active and I am ready for the challenge.
I actually started my full time career as a beauty therapist, but now I cannot be any further from the eyelash tints, non-surgical face lifts and eyebrow trims; instead I decided to go back to my pharmacy roots and proved that being a pharmacy technician can offer a beautiful career too.
Lyndsey Clayton is a medicines safety officer at NHS Wakefield CCG
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