Honoured for work with mental health patients

NATIONALLY RECOGNISED: Nicole Christophers and her colleagues from Gordons Pharmacy were at the national pharmacy technician awards last week in Auckland, where she was commended for her work with mental health patients in the Gisborne district. Mrs Christophers loves her job and being able to help people. Picture by Liam Clayton

Instead of reading novels at night, pharmacy technician Nicole Christophers reads medical books to unwind.

The Gordons Pharmacy dispensary manager received a special mention for dedication to her work at the national pharmacy awards in Auckland last week.

Mrs Christopher works with more than 150 mental health patients around the East Coast every day.

She makes sure they have taken their medication, prepares blister packs for their medicines, and liaises with the patients, their family/whanau, psychiatrists and mental health professionals as well.

Working in the mental health arena is a passion for Mrs Christophers, who says being able to “give them the time of day” is a real privilege — especially when so much of their life is lived under the stigma of mental unwellness.

“I love being able to help people and see people come from being in a ward to being able to have a job and get their life back.”

Mrs Christophers says it was not something she planned to do when she left school, and sort of “fell into” the role.

But it has become her passion and she absolutely loves her job. She is about to graduate as a pharmacy technician, something she studied part-time for over the last nine years, during which she and her husband had three children.

She still can’t believe all the study is over.

“It doesn’t seem real”.

Pharmacist Abby Cadwallader said the national recognition was well deserved.

Mrs Christophers quietly does her job every day and they were all very proud of her at Gordons Phramacy, she said.

Judges of the Pharmacy Today Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award said they were impressed, not only by how good Mrs Christophers was at her job, but also at the things she did to improve patient’s health.

“Your idea of ways to give your patients enough information about their medicines must be very much appreciated.”

Instead of reading novels at night, pharmacy technician Nicole Christophers reads medical books to unwind.

The Gordons Pharmacy dispensary manager received a special mention for dedication to her work at the national pharmacy awards in Auckland last week.

Mrs Christopher works with more than 150 mental health patients around the East Coast every day.

She makes sure they have taken their medication, prepares blister packs for their medicines, and liaises with the patients, their family/whanau, psychiatrists and mental health professionals as well.

Working in the mental health arena is a passion for Mrs Christophers, who says being able to “give them the time of day” is a real privilege — especially when so much of their life is lived under the stigma of mental unwellness.

“I love being able to help people and see people come from being in a ward to being able to have a job and get their life back.”

Mrs Christophers says it was not something she planned to do when she left school, and sort of “fell into” the role.

But it has become her passion and she absolutely loves her job. She is about to graduate as a pharmacy technician, something she studied part-time for over the last nine years, during which she and her husband had three children.

She still can’t believe all the study is over.

“It doesn’t seem real”.

Pharmacist Abby Cadwallader said the national recognition was well deserved.

Mrs Christophers quietly does her job every day and they were all very proud of her at Gordons Phramacy, she said.

Judges of the Pharmacy Today Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award said they were impressed, not only by how good Mrs Christophers was at her job, but also at the things she did to improve patient’s health.

“Your idea of ways to give your patients enough information about their medicines must be very much appreciated.”

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