February 12, 2020
Pre-registered Pharmacy technician. Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KGH).
Pietro Fraterrigo is a 52-year-old Apprentice who started working as a Band 2 Support Worker at the KGH Pharmacy three years ago. The opportunity of undertaking an apprenticeship course arose and Pietro started the 2-year Apprenticeship role in May 2019.
Pietro is completing a 2-year Apprenticeship Level 3 Diploma which permits him seven and a half hours a week to study (20% of work time), whilst the rest of the role is on the ground experience and job training.
The Apprenticeship programme has a total of 38 modules mainly consisting of factual knowledge. Pietro finds the study relatively easy, as Pharmacy was a new thing to him; he has been learning all the time covering many subjects, but it is a natural progression.
Pietro finds the work very interesting and has enjoyed learning about Pharmacy ever since he started the role when he did his previous Level 2 qualification in Pharmacy Science and Services, so this was a natural progression for him to do level 3 and become an Apprentice. You have to have a level 2 as a minimum when you work in a Pharmacy.
Before this role, Pietro had undertaking many varying jobs in a range of professions, including working for himself, working for the British Heart Foundation and also in retail sales.
On a day to day basis 60% of Pietro’s time is ward based, he assists the Pharmacist at ward level, gathering information, identifying new patients, identifying what their regular medication is, talking to patients, contacting doctors surgeries, checking patients own medication, find out what medication they have at home, so they can get the correction medication history for each patient on the ward, finding out what allergies they have etc. In addition, Pietro checks drug lockers to check on stock and identifying patients that are being discharge and ensuring they have the medication required. The ward that Pietro works on is an acute medical ward on the Rockingham Wing.
The remaining 40% of Pietro’s time is spent in the Hospital Pharmacy, dispensing medicines, working on reception and covering every areas of the dispensary. Pietro loves his role as he enjoys the sense that he is helping people and gets huge satisfaction out of helping elderly patients.
Pietro finds that the Apprenticeship programmes are great as you train and work to get the qualification that you want and then you can progress into that role, whereas in University you often study one subject and then do not get to work in that subject. Pietro thinks Apprentice programmes are ideal as you get the qualification to advance to get the job you have been trained for.
In terms of career opportunities there are no limits really in Pietro’s view – when he finishes his training and qualifies then he can go and register as a Band 4 Technician – and depending on what role he wants to do can work up to more senior roles, working permanently as a technician on wards – or working in the Pharmacy dispensary. Pietro believes the opportunities are huge as there are so many areas and avenues to pursue in the Hospital alone – depending on the path he wishes to develop. You can also delve into the Community side of Pharmacy if you wish.
Pietro would recommend working in the NHS if you are interested in people and learning about medicine. The course is great, and enjoyable the people are great – it is a lot of work, but very enjoyable and you see the benefits straight away
Pietro believes that KGH is a great hospital to work in, resources are stretched but camaraderie is high and there is a big team drive, working in a multi-disciplinary team environment enables everyone to embrace the journey KGH is on and the direction the ship is travelling.
Pietro has won the Patient Experience Award and was nominated for his award by his tutor Vanessa, who looks after all the training needs in the Pharmacy. The nomination was for excellence in patient care for his every day dealing with patients and identifying patients needs. It is a lovely recognition that all his work is seen and appreciated – it is a pat on the back, a thank you, we appreciate what you do – A WELL DONE AND THANK YOU for all his efforts. Pietro is looking forward to the awards on 7th February.