Monday, 1 August 2016
There has been plenty of change at the school over the past 25 years but one constant has been dispensing lab technician, Lisa Reid.
Lisa recently celebrated her 25th anniversary at the school after starting out as a 19-year-old in 1991.
She had been working as a technician in a community pharmacy for three years prior to applying for the job, but admits she was still surprised to be successful in getting the job at the pharmacy school given her age.
Twenty-five years on, she is still enthusiastic about her job.
“I love it, it’s one of those jobs that is different enough that it’s interesting to go to work every day. “Working in a pharmacy can be very routine, where you do certain jobs every day and while there is still some of that, it’s much more flexible and it’s much more interesting.”
Lisa prepares the dispensing labs and tutors second and third year students as well as teaching English to international students.
Little has changed in the lab over the 25 years, she says, though the course has been updated and, while the school attempted to retain for as long as possible some of the traditional things like making suppositories and emulsions, they have gone by the way-side.
One thing that has changed however, is terminology and Lisa recalls one of the funnier moments in her career when a student, whose first language was not English, explained the advice he would give to a patient with haemorrhoids.
Stating that he would have to advise them to ensure they had “soft stools”, Lisa asked him what he meant. “When they are sitting down, that their chairs are soft and comfy,” the student replied.
While she admits there are frustrations with students at times, she enjoys her interactions with young people and in hindsight believes she should probably have stuck with her original plan of becoming a teacher.
Ultimately however, that is what she has ended up doing and as part of her role at the school she works with students from the Open Polytechnic, who are training to become technicians. Lisa works part-time at the school and for the first 17 years continued to work part-time as a technician in a community pharmacy, before another of her loves – photography – took over.
For the past few years Lisa has been a wedding photographer, a job she literally fell into after associate professor Rhiannon Braund asked her if she would take the photos at her wedding. Nervous at the prospect, Lisa’s initial response was “no”, but Dr Braund twisted her arm and she has never looked back, combining the job with her work at the school.
“It’s a really good mix, I have all the serious stuff at the Pharmacy School and something more creative and arty with my photography.”
And, having taught students for the past 25 years, she now finds she has plenty of clients with former pharmacy students keen to have Lisa be their official wedding photographer.
“That’s probably one of my highlights, I’ve taken photos of about six of my old pharmacy students and of course they have many of their old pharmacy friends there and it’s so nice to catch up with them.”
Article written by Liane Topham-Kindley for Pharmacy Today, August 2016
Photos by Rewa Pene