Why I Do What I Do
The passion to do this is fueled by my family history, my career journey, and my life as a patient. My parents’ highest level of education was high school. My mother completed high school; however, my father dropped out at the age of 15. As a result, I had no guidance through high school, no guidance choosing a career, and no guidance in preparing for life in general after graduation. My career as a pharmacy technician started on a whim. In 2001, during a family gathering, I met a friend of a friend who worked as a district trainer for Walgreens. I sat next to her and we began a friendly conversation. The conversation ended with her asking me if I would consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Without hesitation, and with pure ignorance to the pharmacy profession, I said, “Sure.” Acknowledging the years I’ve spent as a pharmacy technician, and reflecting on my personal medical struggles, I understand firsthand how it feels to be a patient. Moreover, I understand the parents picking up prescriptions for a sick child. I remember sitting in the pharmacy waiting area for nearly an hour crying while waiting for my son’s prescriptions. He was 5-months old, newly diagnosed with asthma, and we’d spent countless hours in the ER. I use my stories — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the funny — to develop students with the customer service skills needed to go along with their technical skills as pharmacy technicians.
I’ve formulated a plan to use the currently available resources on our campus to improve student success. The Pharmacy Technician Program is offered through Continuing Education, which means TSI testing is not required. Some of our students struggle with Pharmaceutical Math; my goal is to minimize their struggles by linking them with resources. Our students will now take a math readiness course concurrently with the Intro to Pharmacy. This course will improve their math comprehension and will result in greater success with the Pharmaceutical Math course.
Most Memorable Experience as a Pharmacy Technician
During my second pregnancy, I worked as a Medication Reconciliation Technician in the ER Department. I was about 6 months pregnant and had almost doubled my pre-pregnancy body weight, which made walking difficult. One day we had a stroke patient who qualified for a Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA). Due to call-ins, we were short-staffed, which meant there was no one available to run the TPA to the ER from the pharmacy. With that knowledge, I made a painful decision to go to the pharmacy and back to the ER. TPAs have a high impact on a person’s quality of life after a stroke. About 2 weeks later, everyone who ordered, prepared, delivered, and administered medication received a thank-you card from the patient. She took the time to find out every name, exactly how they played a part in care, and wrote a personal note to each person. It could have been my hormones, but the card made me emotional and gave me a great feeling of being appreciated.
Why I Became Certified
My move to Texas from Chicago forced me to get certified. My store manager gave me a set of books and informed me that I had 60 days to take the exam. At that time the PTCE was given on paper and the results came by mail. I failed the exam by 3 points; however, 30 days later I took it again and passed!
My Passion Outside of Work
My passions outside of work are attending church and enjoying life! My husband (Reggie), my sons (Legend, 5, and Khyen, 3), and the rest of my family and friends are everything to me. One of my best friends is my sister (Danita). Our family gatherings and interactions are priceless. I love doing any and everything fun with them.
Latest Book Read
Professionally, the latest book I read was Pharmacy Practice for Technicians. Yes, I even do work during my leisure time! I do also enjoy reading my Bible and devotionals.
Advice to Up-and-Coming Technicians
Stay in-the-know of things by continuously educating yourself, not just to gain CEs. Remain teachable, flexible, and approachable. Allow your charter, conduct, and conversation to reflect the best you have to offer. My 3 Cs, along with treating patients how they want and need to be treated — not how you want to be treated — has made me a better person, a better leader, and a better teacher.