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Natalie Horlin says being a pharmacy technician is more than ‘counting pills’


natalie horlinGrad Highlight: Natalie Horlin, Pharmacy Technician, Class of 2016

“I currently work as a Pharmacy Technician Applicant at the CHEO — Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario as well as at Kanata Pharmasave, a local community pharmacy here in Ottawa. As a pharmacy technician, it is our responsibility to do the technical aspects of the pharmacy job. This means I help with interpreting and inputting prescriptions, preparing and dispensing medications, ordering and receiving medications, and providing device demonstrations. Another job that I am responsible for is taking a medication reconciliation of a patient, meaning it is my responsibility to find all medication a patient is taking once being admitted into the hospital. Being a pharmacy technician is much more than just counting pills!

I think Fleming’s education helped me obtain my job, as they provided me with the proper education I needed. Knowing that Fleming’s Pharmacy Technician program is an accredited program through CCAP (Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs) was also a big factor. This means that CCAP views Fleming as a school that meets national standards for entry into pharmacy technician practice, which assured my employers that I received the proper education needed to become a pharmacy technician.

Before attending Fleming, I graduated in 2014 from Trent University with a Bachelor of Science Honors in Biology, and loved every moment of my four years at Trent. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field of some sort, but knew I could not be a nurse like my mom; so after working in a local pharmacy in my hometown of Kanata, I knew it was the right fit for me. After being in Peterborough for four years because of Trent, it just seemed fitting to stay in Peterborough for another two years to complete the Pharmacy Technician program. I had also heard great things about the program and the college, and felt comforted in the fact that I knew the city. Overall I had a great experience with Fleming, the staff at Fleming is great and so is the environment of the school, and I was able to meet lots of people and develop new friendships because of Fleming.

I was fortunate to complete both of my placements at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in both their community and in-patient pharmacies. Being able to work in a pediatric hospital allowed me to enhance my knowledge of the importance of patient-specific dosing, I also found the experience very rewarding knowing that I was able to help these children who are sick in a behind-the-scenes way. Although technicians are not front-line care workers, we still do play an important role in patient health care.”