Medical equipment and supplies

Catherine Dawes: Registered Pharmacy Technician

October 22, 2018

22 October, 2018



| By: Par:

Ornge Media

The public may know little about the pharmacy at Ornge – or that we even have one – but it is an important part of Ornge operations. Catherine Dawes has been the in-house pharmacy technician for three years. She keeps meticulous stock of her inventory and takes care of administrative, pharmaceutical and other operational responsibilities that keep Ornge’s paramedics and their transports prepared. She fills and ships order of drugs to all the base locations across the province. She tracks drug recalls and discounted or expired products and creates memos that keep the Base Managers up to speed. She sources new, cost-effective suppliers and keeps strict controls in place around the narcotics kept on site. 

In sum, she’s a busy woman. 

But she made the time to talk to Ornge Media about her job and what makes it so unique. 

Why did you chose Ornge?  
I was on my LinkedIn profile doing some updating one evening when I came across a posting for a position for a Pharmacy Technician at Ornge. The pharmacy technician profession had only recently become a regulated health profession and I had just acquired my Registered Pharmacy Technician (RPhT) status. Coming across the ad was purely accidental and I was intrigued by the possibility of working here.  I knew working for this company would be a privilege, and that there are many people who dream of this opportunity. The whole hiring process with Ornge was an unforgettable one, including my first interview which was over the phone at an Indiana truck stop.

How does your previous work experience influence your time here? 
After having worked for 14 years at a private career college in Brantford, in a supervisory and pharmacy instructor role, my people skills were well in tune and pharmacy legislation was my forte.

What do you love most about your job? 
There are so many aspects that I love about this job.  The opportunities are endless.  I have a lot of interaction with the bases and the incredible people who are positioned there.  The meetings, field trips to suppliers and special projects are only a few of the things I enjoy most.  The learning curve is never ending and the leadership is second to none.

What do you find most challenging about your job? 
The challenging part about this job is time management.  Many things are happening at once and keeping up with changes are always on-going.  The challenging parts are invigorating to say the least. You never have to worry about attrition because the adrenalin and reward of the outcome always keep you going.

Who inspires you here in the workplace? 
The most inspirational person at Ornge is consequently the person who hired me, my manager, Jonathan Alexander.  His dedication and determination is unyielding and his knowledge never ceases to amaze me.  I’m still learning many new things every day and it just gets more exciting.

Can you tell me about a memorable day you had here and why it stuck with you? 
Every day sticks with me because each day brings something new. Involvement in meetings and participating in decisions has been an enriching experience.  Having the opportunity to interact with so many departments has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of the staff.  It becomes very memorable when connections are made and a correlation forms between what I do and how it effects different departments throughout the company. Recently my manager arranged a ride along with our Greater Toronto Area land base and that would have to be my most memorable day.  Our paramedics and pilots are the frontline workers and backbone of this organization and they make me very proud to be here. 

What do you do on your off time to create work/life balance? 
When it’s time to decompress, I head for a campground with my family and enjoy the outdoors with a campfire and a group of close friends.

If you weren't a pharmacy technician, what would you be? 
The field of pharmacy is where I am meant to be and truly feel fulfilled as a pharmacy technician but if that profession didn’t exist I would be a paramedic. 


At Ornge, our staff work every day around the clock to ensure the patients of Ontario receive the best care available. Learn more about the people behind #teamornge.


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