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Meet CPSU Pharmacy Delegate Glen Bayer
GLEN Bayer has a passion for ensuring people are looked after at work.
Previously working in the Air Force, Glen said the attitude there was ‘people first and safety first’. This is a mantra that’s stayed with him during his career and comes back to now as the CPSU Delegate for Pharmacy at the Southern Tasmanian Health Organisation.
It was this passion that saw him working as an unofficial Delegate long before the CPSU asked how he’d feel about doing the role officially.
“A lot of people aren’t happy to speak up about issues they’re facing, whereas I don’t have a problem doing this. It just so happened that staff were already talking to me about issues, so I was really doing a Delegate role anyway as that interface.
“The opportunity came up to become a Delegate early this year when my Organiser Nick (Duncombe) asked me how I’d feel about becoming the CPSU Delegate.
“I think that people like knowing there’s someone that they can go to and if they do need representation they can have a bit more confidence with someone supporting them. One of the things I especially keep an eye out for is making sure people look after themselves, including their mental health.”
Glen works in Medicines Information, which provides vital information to a range of areas in the Southern Tasmanian Health Organisation, and is soon to also assist services in the North and North-West. He’s the sole person in this unit, with about 85 people working in the wider Pharmacy unit.
“I take questions from health staff about their patients regarding their therapy, from our intern pharmacists asking for information to consultants asking about evidence for treatment, treatment alternatives or its availability. Answering these questions can range from looking in text books to a full literature review for an evidence base for X, Y or Z. So queries could take five minutes or it could take two to three days.”
Glen enjoys work, saying it’s about constantly learning. “For example, we don’t have any Clinical Pharmacists in our maternity or obstetrics area, or the high risk neo-natal clinic, so you learn a lot about these different areas. What you learn builds up over time and you become familiar with the questions you’ve previously answered.
“Another area that doesn’t have its own Pharmacist is Anaesthetics, which is one of the biggest areas of the hospital. They deal with all the pain medication, and one of the big things in that area is compatibility of intravenous medications, where there’s often little data on some combos that we use. So I’m often asked “can we run this and this together”, and these people don’t have time to find it out, whereas that’s my job.”
Glen also works with the library staff to maintain the currency of clinical resources in the department that forms their information portal.
Last week he took part in training with other union Delegates from a range of workplaces and roles.
“They had such a diverse group of people there. I work in Pharmacy in a hospital behind a computer and reading all day, which is a lot different to someone who’s working in an aged care or in disability services, where they don’t have many resources at all. So it really put things in perspective. Despite the difference, there was a huge degree of commonality across the board in that everyone’s facing the same issues: there are no staff; there’s no money; and there’s more and more work.
“The workshop was really good for reflecting on circumstances and it was a huge communication tool. There was a lot of really good discussion between the participants, and the diversity of the group provided a lot of different perspectives on what was going on.”
Glen lives in the peaceful Huon Valley with his wife and children and enjoys spending time with his family and having a go at water sports. He’s also a proud Essendon Bombers supporter.