Your Name: Lucy Preene
Your Employer / Trust: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT (STH)
What apprenticeship are you studying and what does the study involve?
Pharmacy Technician Level 3 –
I complete a day and a half study each week covering biology, chemistry and pharmacy practice. I write assignments for the academic work as well as complete rotational placements with associated competencies in hospital pharmacy departments across several sites at STH – General Dispensary, Stores and Procurement, Homecare, and I am currently on placement shadowing Medicines Management Technicians. I also have planned rotations in Aseptics, Cancer Services as well as returning to Dispensaries.
Being a rotational position, my workplace mentor changes every time I move locations. Having a mentor at each place was very beneficial as I was able to gain an understanding of how the place works and was able to set goals with them about what I wished to get out of each rotation and was supported by them to achieve these.
Why did you want to do the apprenticeship?
I liked the idea of working whilst studying for a career, and so I applied to science-based apprenticeships, and this job role appealed to me most.
I am one of 9 Sheffield student technicians in my college cohort, with 22 in other cohorts. This allows for a supportive learning environment in each placement, helping each other and providing mutual support and guidance for assignments.
What is your current role?
Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician
How did you get into your current role?
I left sixth form to go to university, and soon realised the style of learning didn’t suit me. I came across NHS apprenticeships and this role suited both my interest in science and my desire to start a career in a subject I was interested in. I researched the role carefully for my application. Before interview I answered a calculation test to gauge my math skills relating to dispensing medications and wrote a small essay relating to a question given by the Trust regarding the role. I submitted this before my interview.
What has been your proudest achievement on your apprenticeship to date?
My responsibilities have increased vastly since I started the apprenticeship, starting off shadowing members of staff to being trained and classed as competent. I am now able to work independently in all the placements I have had, as well as train other new starters.
I have also developed my interpersonal skills due to working in a team environment, as well as a small amount of mentorship when training other members of staff. I am now more independent as a learner, and more confident when answering queries and dealing with other member of staff as well as patients and the public.
What do you want to do once you complete your apprenticeship?
I am half way through my 2 year apprenticeship now, and like the dispensary work where I can finish my accuracy checking technician competencies. Then I hope to move to a Medicines Management Technician role, perhaps specialising in surgery or critical care wards as I think these are really interesting.
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?
It is a great opportunity to develop work-based skills in a supportive environment. In my role I can contribute to patient care, and the NHS provides many development opportunities to advance learning and skills.