April Legrow - CAPhO16 Summary Report

My CAPhO Conference experience 2016

april legrowI was a very happy person when I found out that I had received a CAPhO travel grant for this year’s event. I had participated in the 2015 conference held in my home town enjoyed it so much, it prompted me to apply for this year’s grant. It was a very educational experience that was also highlighted with meeting new people, sharing ideas and exploring the beauty of the Falls.
My personal goals in attending were to find out more about how other technicians across the country integrate their roles and responsibilities after becoming a regulated technician into their Oncology practice. I wanted to know how, if anything, it changed them.  Yvonne Dresen gave an excellent presentation on the Road to Regulation. She discussed non-traditional roles and future roles of Pharmacy Technicians such as Clinical Support Technician, Warfarin Dosing and Medication Reconciliation. As a group we talked about how becoming a regulated technician can expand our role by allowing us to practice to our full extent of knowledge, ensuring the safety and integrity of the drug distribution system and how we can help lead development of and participate in medication safety and quality improvement.  During a hot topic cluster discussion, we as a group had a chance to hear from other technicians about their own personal experiences in becoming regulated and what they are doing differently now such as supervisor roles and preforming tech check tech on chemotherapy mixtures. It was refreshing to hear firsthand how the role is evolving. 
Becoming a regulated technician, however, is challenging. The presentation by Colleen Thurber about adult learning covered most of these challenges. She discussed how to be self-directed and open to learning, not only during the regulation process but also, for continuing education as a licenced professional.
Something else, I found very interesting was learning about motivational communication. In this session I learned that how we communicate can affect the outcome of our patient’s adherence to treatment. It is very useful to know the core communication skills that will have a better impact on what the patient hears and understands. Knowing how to recognize when you are being effective and when you are caught in a communication trap is very helpful to ensure the safety and knowledge that your patient understands the treatment benefits and risks for the best possible outcome.
I was lucky enough to be present when my manager Rick Abbotts name was announced as the recipient of the CAPhO merit award. Knowing what an exceptional person he is in this field, it was nice to see him receive it in person and congratulate him amongst his colleagues.
Aside from the educational experience, the backdrop to this year’s conference couldn’t have been better. Niagara Falls is both scenic and mysterious, it provided a wonderful time. The views, the entertainment, the food and of course, the wine was spectacular!
April Legrow