PATY – Oh, what a journey!

By Clare Stone, Queensland Pharmacy Assistant of the Year winner 2017

Wow did I just read that correctly? Did that really have my name on it? Yes, it did, and it reads “Dear Clare, CONGRATULATIONS you have been nominated for the 2017 Pharmacy Guild of Australia / Maxigesic Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award (PATY).” WOW, how awesome is that?!

In July this year, I was honoured to be nominated and be a part of PATY 2017. I was nominated twice, the first nomination came from my awesome Guild Trainer / Assessor Sharyn, who I started my Certificate IV with. The second nomination came a few days later  from Sheree, my equally awesome Guild Trainer / Assessor who I completed my Certificate IV with.

The nomination meant so much to me, as I am the type of person who is happy to quietly work away in the background and help as many people as I can. But to be acknowledged for the hard work that you do is really amazing, and it was the highlight of my year!

I had to answer four questions as a part of the nomination. I was a little daunted but as I started to answer the questions, my passion began to flow freely and the answers were easy to find. I was able to express what it was that I loved about Pharmacy and what I have achieved in my career. I carefully typed up the answers to the questions and excitedly hit the send button.

I then eagerly awaited the email in response to my nomination. I was hopeful that I would get into the top 20 because I love Pharmacy and I love what I do every day! I had great ideas for my store, and I wanted the opportunity to share that, and to celebrate how awesome and valuable pharmacy assistants are in Community Pharmacy! On the 23rd of June, I receive the response I was hoping for, I had made it through to the TOP 20 state finalists!! To get this far was such an honour to me and one that I treasure for many years to come.

The Queensland workshop day came around so quickly! I travelled to Brisbane and took my wonderful husband for support.  As I stood outside the Guild building I was so NERVOUS!! However, my nerves didn’t last long as I was greeted by our lovey facilitator Kathy with her beautiful smile and warm welcome – I instantly felt at home. Walking into the meeting room I was introduced to the 19 other wonderful finalists that were just like me: passionate, helpful and friendly pharmacy assistants. The room had such a positive vibe to it and we all instantly bonded about our passion and love of being a pharmacy assistant!

The workshop day was such an empowering and uplifting experience! I got to discuss, listen and share with all the other state finalists about their pharmacies, their experience and knowledge in the industry and gained some unique ideas to take back to my own store. The day was all about us, the amazing knowledge, care and passion we have as pharmacy assistants. Most importantly, I walked away from the workshop with 19 new friends!

The announcement of the State winner was so exciting and a great way to end the workshop day! We were treated to drinks and canapes and presented with a certificate acknowledging our achievement and participation.

Then came the all-important announcement – and the winner is!!!!!! CLARE STONE!!! I only remember looking at my husband and I immediately started to cry. It was me, I was the winner! I just felt so unbelievably honoured and proud that I was chosen to represent Queensland at the National finals in October.

My boss and work colleagues wasted no time in congratulating me on being announced as the winner and when I arrived back at work there were flowers and chocolates waiting for me! The little town of Calliope was over the moon that they had a PATY State winner in our little town. It really was the most humbling feeling ever!

I had four months to bask in the glory of being named Queensland state winner before it was time to travel back down to the Gold Coast for the National PATY final at PA Conference! As part of our prize, all state finalists were given three nights of accommodation at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast, and flights. It already felt like I had won, just being able to attend the PA Conference and enjoy a wonderful weekend away on the Gold Coast!

The national workshop was, of course, a nerve-racking experience, but certainly an experience I am grateful to have had. The support we received from the workshop facilitator, Kathy and PATY coordinator, Deb was fantastic and I felt prepared and excited for any challenges thrown my way! The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to grow and develop as a pharmacy assistant, but also for my own personal development. The PA conference is a wonderful opportunity to develop and increase your knowledge of the pharmacy industry, as well as my own personal growth. The speakers and the information presented over the weekend was incredibly valuable and I learnt so much!

I believe it’s so important for everyone in the industry to nominate a deserving pharmacy assistant, for Pharmacy Assistant of the Year! It will show them that they are unique and talented in what they do and how important they are to the team and the pharmacy. Also, why not nominate yourself! Don’t be shy or embarrassed to stand up and say “you know what, I am awesome, passionate and hardworking and proud to nominate myself.” After all, the whole experience is about you, what you do in pharmacy and how talented you are – so let everyone know, you may be the next Queensland winner!

I would really like every pharmacy assistant to experience the journey that I have been on. I have new found confidence, new ideas and am really proud to be a pharmacy assistant and to let people know that we are not “JUST” pharmacy assistants. We are well educated, passionate, caring, supporting, hardworking pharmacy assistants that are really important to the everyday running of a great Pharmacy.

Nominations for Pharmacy Assistant of the Year 2018 open 1 March 2018

1 thought on “PATY – Oh, what a journey!”

  1. Great words, Clare you were already a winner in our eyes on the judging day for state finalist and you have gone on to show what an amazing pharmacy assistant you are.and what an inspiration to others as well.?

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