The inaugural ASHP Pharmacy Technician Forum Executive Committee (PTFEC) is in full swing of its first term, and it’s an honor to be part of this rewarding journey!
Comprised of four committee members: Glen Gard, Margarita Fedorova, Tiffany Kofroth, and Tara McNulty, and myself as Chair; the Forum’s mission is to serve as a collective voice for pharmacy technicians by supporting their advancement, professionalization, and engagement within ASHP. And, its vision is to advance pharmacy technicians as healthcare practitioners, integral to achieving optimal patient care outcomes.
The PTFEC has developed four strategic goals and formed four advisory groups and an Educational Steering Committee (AGs). To ensure that a large group of technicians are represented and have a voice in creating and working on initiatives, each group is comprised solely of ASHP pharmacy technician members and has been assigned specific charges as they directly relate to the ASHP Strategic Plan. These groups are:
- Membership Outreach and eCommunications Advisory Group: Identify and highlight ASHP tools and resources that benefit ASHP pharmacy technician members, and identify opportunities to promote the integral role pharmacy technicians play as members of the health care team through various communications channels.
- Patient Care Quality Advisory Group: Advise and affect positive change on quality measures and other standards affecting the role of pharmacy technicians in the medication use process.
- Practice Advancement and Advocacy Advisory Group: Develop and promote communications to increase discussion and engagement, as well as educate ASHP pharmacy technicians on relevant and current advocacy efforts related to the professionalization and practice advancement of the pharmacy technician workforce.
- Professional and Career Ladder Development Advisory Group: Provide education and training materials for practicing pharmacy technicians and student pharmacy technicians.
- Educational Steering Committee: Develop broad, high-level educational programming from the Forum for ASHP pharmacy technicians.
AGs are a great opportunity for technicians to get involved in ASHP and with the Pharmacy Technician Forum. These groups greatly help to advance the pharmacy profession and support elevating the status of pharmacy technicians as healthcare practitioners. Each year there is an application and selection process for appointment to an AG. For the 2019-2020 term, the window is currently open through May 1st for applications to be reviewed and considered for an ASHP Pharmacy Technician Forum Advisory Group or Committee. Being a member of ASHP, and being an engaged participant in group efforts, is great way to connect with other pharmacy professionals, provide feedback on technician issues, increase your professionalism, and develop your leadership skills in the pharmacy community.
As for the PTFEC, it has been a whirl wind of events in getting the new Forum up to speed and integrated into a wide variety of events and processes within ASHP. The PTFEC conducts monthly calls and has met in-person at both the 2018 Summer Meetings and the Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition. Since the Forum’s establishment in April 2018, PTFEC has been a part of ASHP’s advocacy and policymaking processes, which are relevant to technicians. As chair of the PTFEC, I attended the Regional Delegates Conference last April 2018 and shared my opinions from a technician’s point of view. At the ASHP Leadership Conference in Dallas in September 2018, I was also privileged to facilitate a Pharmacy Technician workshop titled, “Technician Initiatives and Development: Moving beyond New Roles to Leadership.” And at this year’s Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Anaheim this past December, the PTFEC conducted the Forum’s first “Pharmacy Technician Networking Session,” which was a success and well-attended. This is just the start of many great things to come.
So, you may be wondering: What is the best way to stay abreast of engagement opportunities and new issues affecting pharmacy technicians, or how do you gain access to a wide variety of educational offerings, and be part of discussions that are happening between technicians and pharmacists? Here are my suggestions:
- Visit ASHP’s website, which provides many great resources.
- Sign in and get connected to the Pharmacy Technicians via ASHP’s Pharmacy Technician Connect community to share and get updates on what is happening in the technician arena.
- As an ASHP pharmacy technician member, access over 40 hours of free live and pre-recorded technician-designated CE at PharmacytechCE.org.
- And lastly, check your emails regularly from ASHP for more information.
These are exciting times for pharmacy technicians, and I look forward to working more with my fellow technicians, pharmacists, ASHP, and my state affiliate pharmacy organization in the evolution of the pharmacy technician profession.