A Pharmacy Technician in the Pandemic

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A Pharmacy Technician in the Pandemic

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My education, of course, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which put me in the position of completing high school at home in my room. I felt trapped in my own home, where I was not allowed to leave or see the outside world.

In the first month of the year 2021, I then decided to get a job as a pharmacy technician at CVS pharmacy. My parents were not keen on the idea of this job, however, it was an excuse for me to leave my home and interact with people outside of my phone’s screen. Being a pharmacy technician during the times of the pandemic was not ideal as I saw myself burn out within three months on the job. The staff hours were cut, COVID-19 testing via drive-thru lasted all day, customers increased their medications taken, angry customers wanted their medications, and COVID-19 vaccinations were introduced.

Working in a smaller pharmacy, I was forced to accustom to the workforce within the first few weeks. There was no room for slack or error. It would just be myself and another pharmacist on a shift. I would work in the evening from 2 pm to 8 pm, skipping my last few classes. We also tended to stay for an extra hour to catch up on the workload. My role in the pharmacy did make myself question seeing my future in medicine.

Months flew by, however, none of the workloads ever seemed to lessen. Every new day became a blur with all the repetition of that place. There was a constant demand for anti-depressants and sedatives at the pharmacy as it was clear that my patients were going through it as well. I turned a new eye where I realized that I never knew what my patients are going through, and I have turned a blind eye to their suffering. I was so focused on myself- wanting to see the outside world and stressing about my own work environment. But, I failed to realize that my patients' human interactions may solely just be myself standing in the drive-thru and talking on the phone.

From then on, I decided to change my attitude towards my workforce, where I focused on my patient care. Even though my patients could not see my smile because of the mask restriction, the uplifted attitude and energetic momentum I carried during our interactions humanized the pharmacy. There was no longer the dreaded feeling where a patient was picking up the prescriptions that were prescribed to them in hopes of getting better. Rather, I saw it as a human-to-human interaction where conversations in person seemed normal. I have built my relationship with my patients, and I looked forward to interacting with new patients and the stories they carry. It has been over a year since I have joined the pharmaceutical industry, and there is nothing I would have done differently. My patients are my everything for this new normal, where I hope to one day continue this future in medicine.

Citation

cqn1, “A Pharmacy Technician in the Pandemic,” Covid-19 Reflections at Rice, accessed June 12, 2024, https://covid-19-reflections.rice.edu/items/show/119.

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