In this section
Name - Leanne Crangle
Current department and job role - Senior Pharmacy Technician – Cancer Services in the Pharmacy Oncology Unit.
Department and job role whilst completing apprenticeship - York Hospital Pharmacy – Pre-registration Pharmacy Technician
Name and level of apprenticeship completed - BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science (QCF) and City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science
Date of completion - June 2017
How did you come to undertake an apprenticeship?
The job was advertised within the department and was already set up as an apprenticeship course. I had been working in the pharmacy department for 8 years when I had gone as far as I could within my current role as a senior pharmacy dispenser. I really wanted to train as a technician and this job was my way in to do this. Previous to applying for the post I had spoken to the Pharmacy training team about progressing and I asked what qualifications I needed to apply. On enquiring I found out I needed to re-sit some GCSE courses and the training department was able to fund my evening classes to obtain these. Two years later and I had all the qualifications I required and was able to apply for the post. Luckily for me I was one of the two successful candidates of that year (2015).
What were your tasks while you were undertaking your apprenticeship?
I had to rotate around the whole department within my two years on the course. This included working within the clinical trials team, working in our medicines management department where I was able to investigate queries with the senior technician and pharmacist. I worked in the dispensary; dispensing prescriptions for all the hospital inpatients. I worked within our procurement department ordering stock from suppliers, stock rotation, issuing ward stock etc. I worked with the medicines management technicians on the wards completing patient drug histories and ordering required items.
During these rotations I was responsible for training other staff members and team leading where possible to gain more experience. Also during the two years rotating around the department I was responsible for collecting evidence (written accounts signed off by competent trainers) of this work that was in my training criteria. I attended virtual classroom lessons once a week to be taught on many subjects related to the Diploma; we were linked up to Bradford College and were given set assignments to complete over the two year period.
How were you supported throughout your apprenticeship (by your manager, the training provider and any additional support you needed – maybe any impact this had on your home life if any)?
We are lucky to have a good Pharmacy based training department to help with any training queries and as they are all fellow students who are now qualified they were very supportive and could inform us of any tips, guidance or help as they had all completed the same course. I had protected study time which all the line managers were on board with; this allowed me to keep on top of my studies and evidence collating. I had regular catch ups with the apprenticeship team to ensure I was ok and not struggling, they were there should I require advice and support but were also there to give guidance and set goals to ensure my work was being done and I was achieving my goals. I knew when I applied for the course that I would need to dedicate a certain amount of my own time to complete the course. I learned to have better time management and worked out how to have a good work/life pattern.
I won’t say it was all easy as it took some hard work and dedication to gain my city and guilds and diploma, but I enjoyed the experience and felt proud of myself (at my age) to have gone ‘back to school’ and learned all that I have to enable me to now work as a senior technician with the pharmacy cancer services team.
What happened at the end of your apprenticeship?
Once I was qualified and my certificates came through I was then able to apply to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council. During this time I applied for the Rotational Pharmacy Technician post in my department and was successful. Whilst I had accepted the rotational post the Senior Pharmacy Technician – Cancer Services post came up and I applied for that, I really liked the sound of the job and if anything it was going to be a good experience trying an interview at a technician level. To my delight I was one of two successful applicants at interview and I couldn’t believe it. My hard work had paid off and I was being offered a job I had wanted for such a long time for.
What advice would you give someone in your position who is thinking about undertaking an apprenticeship?
I would say go for it, you are supported during the course and if you are eager to learn and develop new and interesting skills and are willing to work hard for what you want then apply for an apprenticeship. Completing an apprenticeship can eventually lead to that dream job, just look at my experience!
Any further thoughts you may like to add?
I’ve now been working in the NHS for 10 years and have loved every minute, I am proud of the work we all do here at York Hospital; I feel You’re never too old to learn! I’m 38 and now in a completely new career and loving it!