Elizabeth Hart has been working in Pharmacy for almost all of her working life. She began her career in Retail Pharmacy where she worked for 10 years before moving to Hospital Pharmacy in 2008 as an employee of John Hunter Hospital Pharmacy. Elizabeth currently job shares her Immunology and Infectious Diseases Technician role as well as working in a maternity relief position as the Senior Imprest Technician.
Elizabeth holds a Certificate 4 in both Hospital Pharmacy and Training and Assessment and an Associate Degree in Business Studies. She has a particular interest in technician training to promote accuracy and efficiency, and is keenly watching the development and expansion of the technician role generally within Australian hospitals.
At John Hunter Hospital, adult Immunology is combined with the Infectious Disease services to form the Immunology and Infectious Diseases (I&ID) department. Historically, this occurred with the advent of HIV. The Immunology and Infectious diseases specialist Technician position was established in 2002 to provide staffing as services being offered by this department were expanded.
The I&ID department covers a diverse and complex range of services, many of which are heavily dependent on drug therapies and therefore on Pharmacy services. These include: antimicrobial stewardship activities; high cost drugs; SAS and S100 drugs; HIV and Hepatitis C treatments; allergy and allergen testing and therapies; provision of home based antimicrobial infusion services, Infusion Lounge clinic infusion services and supply for inpatients.
The I&ID Technician role provides support for these various services and is a resource for the Pharmacy, and in particular the I&ID Pharmacist, with regard to these complex medication related activities. The role can be broken down into key areas:
– Immunology – ordering and dispensing of allergy testing reagents and allergen immunotherapies
– Immunology – involvement in manufacture of skin prick and intradermal and oral allergy test challenges
– Infectious Diseases – antimicrobial stewardship by way of involvement in the stewardship registration program
– Hospital in the home – ordering and dispensing of antibiotic filled elastomeric devices for ambulant inpatients of the virtual Out and About ward
– Inpatient ward – assisting with supply of imprest and non imprest medications
This diverse and complex workload requires a range of competencies and knowledge around speciality areas such as aseptic manufacturing, Special Access Scheme and importation, allergen dispensing and restricted antimicrobials. It also demands a high level of organisational and time management skills along with excellent communication to ensure all stakeholders are kept informed and all aspects of the role are effectively managed.