Pharmacy Check-in: Meet Fanny Fiddler
Fanny Fiddler, RPT (she/her)
Pharmacy Technician, Dunlop Pharmacy, Barrie, ON
Fanny Fiddler is a registered Pharmacy Technician who has over 7 years of experience working in community pharmacy. Fanny is a part of Batchewana First Nation. Inspired by her great grandmother, Fanny Nolan, a lone survivor of residential schools, Fanny found her passion early on for advocating for Indigenous rights. She has also advocated for rights for incarcerated individuals in both Canada and the USA. As a pharmacy technician, Fanny hopes to help inspire more Indigenous youth to start a career as a pharmacy technician. She also hopes to help pharmacy colleges, pharmacy schools and pharmacy workplaces provide more support and resources for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Q&A with Fanny
We caught up with Fanny Fiddler during Indigenous History Month to talk about how pharmacy technicians can advocate for their Indigenous patients and support safe, culturally sensitive spaces in their communities.
What is the #1 thing pharmacy professionals can do to create a safe and inclusive space for Indigenous patients?
Incorporate recognition for Indigenous land. Pharmacy technicians can also help contribute to creating an environment in the pharmacy where others can respect, learn and communicate with Indigenous patients.
Why is culturally sensitive health care important, especially in a pharmacy setting?
Pharmacies generally have diverse patient populations. It is extremely important that pharmacy technicians have awareness of other beliefs, cultural practices and values. This knowledge helps with patient centred care and ultimately leads to better patient safety.
How can pharmacy professionals play a greater role as advocates for inclusive and culturally sensitive health care, especially for the Indigenous community?
Pharmacy technicians can be advocates by committing to understanding beliefs and traditions in Indigenous culture. They can learn about Indigenous culture, as well as interact and learn from Indigenous patients.
What’s the biggest mistake health-care providers make in caring for Indigenous patients and how can they do better?
Stereotyping. Unfortunately, this is more common than one would think. Some health-care providers make assumptions about Indigenous patients before they even have a chance to understand that patient and all of their medical background. Providers should never assume something about a patient that they think is “stereotypical” of Indigenous person.
What is the most rewarding part of your pharmacy practice?
Where I currently work, the most rewarding part is feeling appreciated by my patients. It is a very good feeling when I can help or make things easier for a patient. It is important to me that I contribute to a helpful and safe environment for our patients.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your practice, or about anything else that is important to you?
My pharmacy is attached to an addiction clinic. I have seen people in all walks of life utilize these services. It is important to me that I help contribute to destigmatizing about the patients who utilize these clinics. Patients should never feel shame or embarrassment for getting help.