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Katherine Siddle - Pharmacy Technician (Integrated), Level 3

Katherine is currently working as a Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician at CUH.

She says that she has always been interested in developing her Pharmacy knowledge since starting at the Trust’s Central Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Assistant in 2018.

Katherine didn’t realise how much there was to learn about the other aspects of Pharmacy and she especially wanted to learn about Aseptics (where injectable drugs are prepared in a sterile environment) and to have the opportunity to directly help patients.

Katherine Siddle in dark green pharmacy uniform

What does a typical day look like in your role?

I work on rotation within the various areas of Pharmacy, such as Inpatient and Clinical Trials Dispensary, Aseptic Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Medicines Information and Central Pharmacy Stores and Distribution. I have to complete all of the in-house accreditations and training within these areas

I have been involved in dispensing medicines, optimising patient’s medicines, making chemotherapy and the purchasing of medicines.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I enjoy the variety of my role. Every day is different and it is so rewarding to contribute to patient care from Pharmacy perspective.

What sorts of things do you do for the off-the-job learning aspect of your apprenticeship and does this involve attending college, or is it all completed at work?

As part of my apprenticeship, I have a set of e-learning modules where I learn about medical conditions and the medicines used to treat them. I am also set tasks by the education training provider which include case studies, role play scenarios, report writing and attending virtual classrooms.

My learning is all completed at work and I am allocated a study day every week to complete my tasks and e-learning. A lot of my learning is also carried out in my rotations.

What are your future intentions?

I have accepted a job as a Rotational Pharmacy Technician for when I qualify in June 2024.

I will continue to rotate around the Pharmacy areas as I have enjoyed all of my rotations whilst I have been in training.

What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?

Believe in yourself! It is hard work but if you are persistent and organised then you will succeed.

Also, have confidence in yourself. I am now more confident in myself within my role and this has led to better outcomes for patients and the service.

The main theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is 'skills for life'. What are the most important skills for life that you have developed in your role?

Communication skills and problem solving have been key skills I have developed as part of my training. I feel these skills are important regardless of what job or apprenticeship you are working towards.