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Amanda Olauson, CPhT

by Laura Humphrey | Sep 08, 2016

Amanda Shae Olauson, CPhT
Certified Pharmacy Technician, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Jamestown, ND, and
President of the Northland Association of Pharmacy Technicians (NAPT)

In high school, Amanda Olauson, CPhT, was hired as a Sales Associate for Thrifty White in Valley City, ND, and realized quickly she wanted to learn all she could about pharmacy. She enrolled in training in June 2009 and became PTCB-Certified in October 2011. Today, as a Certified Pharmacy Technician at the Jamestown Thrifty White, she handles medication synchronization, prescription processing, and nursing home fills, and assists with complete medication reviews (CMRs), MTM cases, flu inoculation clinics, and more.

Outside the pharmacy, Amanda is fully engaged in her role as President of the Northland Association of Pharmacy Technicians (NAPT). She took office in April 2016 for a 1-year term. In North Dakota, pharmacy technicians automatically become members of NAPT when they register with the State Board of Pharmacy. “My constant purpose is to promote NAPT and spread the word to technicians that this is their association, and it exists to serve them. Since all North Dakota technicians are members, we have a strong voice and can do a lot to advance the technician profession."

Practicing pharmacy technicians are required to have an active PTCB Certification in North Dakota. “Even if North Dakota did not require it, I would be certified. I strongly believe the more educated you are, the better you can help ensure your patients receive the quality care they deserve,” Amanda says. “I’m a big advocate for becoming certified and believe every state should require national certification.”

One of her goals as NAPT President is to increase attendance at the NAPT Fall Conference, and attract CPhTs from states outside North Dakota while continuing to provide quality CE programming. Another important NAPT project under her leadership is creation of two videos, one focused on recruitment, and the other on the pharmacy technician profession. The recruitment video will encompass the work of CPhTs in all practice settings, including community, hospital, telepharmacy, and compounding. “In both videos, we aim to show we are not ‘just technicians’ but that our role is professional. We have a career, and not just a job.”  The videos feature candid technician interviews and will be narrated by Amanda and State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Mark Hardy. “This project is very exciting and we can’t wait to unveil our finished videos.”

Amanda will transition to NAPT Chairperson after her term as President ends. She says she hopes to serve on the State Board of Pharmacy Executive Board as technician representative in the future. She would also like to be a pharmacy inspector for her state board. “I also want to keep growing within my profession,” she says, “and become a store administrator, overseeing staff and maintaining schedules."

Amanda believes that one of the greatest challenges facing most technicians is the lack of standardization within the career, and she says she hopes to see this fully addressed someday. “My recommendation to other CPhTs is to never stop learning, always ask questions, and never assume. Commit to the profession, join your local association, and/or national associations and then get involved and share your voice.”

“My favorite day of the year is National Pharmacy Technician Day, “ she says. “I love expressing appreciation for the work technicians do!” Amanda is looking forward to October 18, 2016, the date for this year's celebration.

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Read about other outstanding CPhTs featured in Spotlight.