Why I Do What I Do
That is easy for me to answer; I do what I do because of the patients. Without the patients, healthcare would not exist, including the expanding role of pharmacy technicians. Over the last 20 years of working in the pharmacy, my role, including how it directly impacts patients, has changed significantly. Early on in my career as a retail and hospital pharmacy technician, the patient care aspect was very visible due to my daily interactions with patients, their families, nurses, and providers. My career has evolved and, in doing so, it has distanced me from the face-to-face interactions I have with patients. As I shifted into pharmacy support roles — as a pharmacy clinical systems analyst and then moved into project management — I have continued to keep the patient at the forefront of the work I am involved with. The work I lead is always centered on the various aspects of patient care, and that can be seen in a variety of work: financial, computer applications, regulatory, quality and efficiency, and consumerism.
I had a great experience in 2015–2016 working with ASHP alongside a group of pharmacy professionals across the nation on the DSCSA regulations and the impact to pharmacies. My involvement allowed me to present at a national level for the first time during the 2015 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. This work allowed me and others the opportunity to highlight the challenges the regulation brought to the pharmacies, seek solutions, and provide guidance as the discussions continued with the FDA.
I recently completed Six Sigma Green Belt training that had an emphasis on healthcare and I’m now the proud recipient of a Green Belt that decorates my office wall.
Most Memorable Experience as a Pharmacy Technician
Thinking back over the last 20 years in pharmacy, there are so many wonderful memories and experiences. I have early memories in the late 1990s where I assisted combining two older chain pharmacies into a new 24/7 pharmacy that had a drive-thru in my hometown. It was opportunities such as this one that slowly allowed me to gain knowledge on all aspects of pharmacy. I never shied away from opportunities to experience and learn new things and meet new people. It was this early involvement that really sparked my lifelong interest in all things pharmacy.
Why I Became Certified
While my current job is not one that pharmacy technicians traditionally have held, I believe it is an advantage that I hold the CPhT credential and have well-rounded pharmacy experience. Certified pharmacy technicians in advanced roles are a growing trend. I am lucky to work for an organization that understands the increasingly complex work that is being done by pharmacy technicians and the role we play in the health of our patients.
My Passion Outside of Work
My personal life keeps me busy raising three boys and playing taxi mom as we travel to practices, various extracurricular activities, hockey games, lacrosse games, and sleepovers. In our free time we enjoy hanging out with our two French Bulldogs, gardening, hiking, finding a place to enjoy local live music, and reading books in the hammock.
Latest Book Read
I find myself switching up the books I read and go between professional self-help books and personal choice fun books. I am currently reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. My husband and I have visited Savannah, GA, twice and love the area, the people, and the culture. Crucial Conversations is one of the last books I read that focused on professionalism and self-help. This book, like many, gave me tools to help me both in my professional and in my personal life.
Advice to Up-and-Coming Technicians
My advice to up-and-coming technicians is to continue to challenge yourself within your role while focusing on areas of growth for technicians. When given the opportunity to take on a new task, learn a new skill, or be part of a project, take on the challenge that will allow you to gain additional knowledge and skills that will continue to help your career. Pharmacy technicians are crucial to the ongoing growth of pharmacies and the expanded support they provide to pharmacists. The healthcare changes that have impacted pharmacy technicians in the past five years have opened up new doors that we should all embrace.