Hello, my name is Katie and I work as a senior pharmacy technician.
How did you get to where you are today? What made you decide to do what you do?
I trained in a busy community pharmacy located within a health centre, before spending a couple of years working for Bradford District Care Trust, then moving to Airedale.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I spend the majority of my time in a ward based medicines management role, primarily on AAU, but also covering the medical and surgical wards. My main focus is completing a medicine reconciliation within 24 hours of each patient’s admission. This is to ensure there are no unintentional omissions, changes to medications are intended and prescriptions are accurate and appropriate. I also ask if patients are happy with their medications at home and check on their compliance. We are able to offer advice and support for patients who are struggling with their medications and liaise with the frail elderly pathway team and community pharmacies to ensure support is maintained post-discharge.
Currently, we are beginning to work more closely with the specialist respiratory nurses. Medicines management technicians are being taught to assess inhaler technique, compliance and suitability of inhalers and use the inpatient gateway on SystmOne to refer patients to the respiratory team where further input is required.
I also spend some time in our dispensary, helping with the supply of medications to outpatients, inpatients and preparing leave and discharge medications. I am a qualified accuracy checking technician and am able to perform the final check before medication is given to the ward or patient.
I am quite passionate about the patient-facing work I do. I aim to support the ward to provide the best care we can for each patient. A recent example was when I completed a medicines reconciliation with a lady approaching end of life and potentially being discharged to a hospice. She told me about her partner who was an inpatient on another ward and asked if he could be brought to see her. I liaised with the staff nurses looking after each patient to try to organise this visit and fed the information back to the patient. She then asked if I could help her find the Royal Wedding on her tablet – I walked away with wedding bells ringing in my ears!
I love this small connection that we can make with our patients. If the opportunity presents itself, we should always do all we can to help them have a positive experience of being at Airedale.
This happened on a day when our workload was heavy compared to available staff and time. But we still smashed our KPI!
What do you enjoy about working at Airedale?
I love being part of this hospital. We meet people from all walks of life – staff, patients and their families, and I believe our lives are richer for it. Being a smaller trust, I find that it is easier to get to know colleagues from other teams and departments. And that familiarity makes it easier to approach people when further advice or support is needed from a particular speciality.
What do you do outside of work?
When I get home, I’m never still! I have a daughter who keeps me very busy and a large extended family who keep me busier! I am also trying to learn sign language, something I’ve been trying to do for a long time.
Earlier this year, I started the AGH Rocks Facebook page, so we spend some time painting rocks to hide around the grounds of the hospital. We are currently working on some for Remembrance Day…. Keep your eyes peeled and you might find one!