The Great Leap to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Guylaine Gagnon was 46 years old when she returned to school. After questioning herself for a long time about which profession she wanted to practise, she set her sights on being a pharmacy technician. It is a decision she has never regretted.

Mrs. Gagnon, after having dedicated yourself to your children for several years, you returned to the labour market in 2006. Why did you choose to become a pharmacy technician?

Actually, I didn’t know which profession to turn to. At the time, my oldest daughter was studying at university to become a pharmacist. I did not know anything about pharmacy, but the pharmaceutical field seemed interesting. So I enquired about the studies that lead to the pharmacy technician profession and the job prospects in the sector. And I made the great leap.

What did you find interesting in being a pharmacy technician?

I liked the possibility of working part time. My youngest daughter was still in elementary school at the time. So I did not want to have a full time job. The pharmacy technician profession offered some flexibility.

I loved my studies. But until the end of my internships in the workplace, I still didn’t know if I would like it in a pharmacy. In fact, the labour market is quite different from the school environment. We work there under the supervision of a pharmacist and are not necessarily on the same wavelength as our co-workers. I was not disappointed, however. 

Did you encounter any obstacles when you decided to go back to school?

In my case, it was a choice and not an obligation. So I did not have any financial worries while I was studying.

When I enrolled in the pharmacy technician program, I was far from realizing how much study and work it would be. I had to invest a lot of energy into studying. I spent my evenings and weekends consolidating the concepts learned and memorizing the names of all the medicines. For me, it was the studying that was the most demanding part of the journey, since I could not afford to be late. I nonetheless loved the experience and discovered that I had a passion for the pharmaceutical field.

What is your assessment of your new career now?

The world of the pharmacy technician is booming and the sector is changing very quickly. But I love my work. I have no regrets about my choice of profession!

In the course of their work and under the supervision of the pharmacist on duty, the pharmacy technician enters prescriptions in the computer, packages and counts drugs, prepares sterile and non-sterile magistral preparations, and adjusts the settings of medical devices and accessories. The duration and content of training as a pharmacy technician varies from province to province.

Skills sought in a pharmacy technician

  • Enjoys working with the public
  • Is meticulous and has a certain manual dexterity
  • Is responsible and organized
  • Knows how to work in a team
  • Is respectful and empathetic
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