At 20, Albuquerque Grad Vydelia Morgan Literally Goes the Distance to Complete Her Pharmacy Technology Program
Vydelia Morgan is a young woman who knows exactly what she wants—and is well on her way to making it happen.
Vydelia, 20, who grew up on the Navajo Native American reservation, is the first person in her family to attend college. For half her life, she has dreamed of following in her aunt’s footsteps and becoming a registered pharmacist.
Her first step toward that goal—becoming a certified pharmacy technician—will become a reality later this month, when she completes her externship and graduates from Carrington’s Pharmacy Technology program. Since becoming a student on the Albuquerque campus, Vydelia has earned six academic achievement awards and has served as a student mentor, encouraging incoming students to follow in her footsteps.
“I’ve wanted to be a pharmacist since I was 10 years old,” says Vydelia. “I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Casey, who worked as a pharmacist in a hospital. She would often tell me about her day and all the things she did at work. I found it all so fascinating. She inspired me to think about pursuing pharmacy as a career, and now it’s happening!”
It’s quite literally been a long journey for Vydelia, who commuted two days a week from Gallup to Albuquerque—280 miles round trip—to complete her program. We talked with Vydelia about the value of setting goals, her desire to be a role model for her younger siblings, and what she’s learned about herself while pursuing her education at Carrington.
How did you first learn about Carrington?
I have a couple of friends from high school who graduated from Carrington’s Medical Assisting program at the Albuquerque campus. They both had a really positive experience, so I decided to check it out and learn more about the available programs. When I found out that Carrington offers a Pharmacy Technology program, it felt like a great first step toward the career I want.
What about the Pharmacy Tech program interested you?
It gives me an opportunity to work in the pharmacy field before I begin my studies to become a registered pharmacist. I’m not a super-outgoing person, so it’s a fairly quiet, focused environment. You’re dealing with customers when they drop off and pick up prescriptions, but much of the work is solitary, which I kind of like. There’s currently a shortage of pharmacy technicians, so I really like the fact that there are lots of job opportunities in the field. I feel like I’ll always be able to find a job.
What do you like most about the program?
The program is very straightforward. I feel like the time I spent in class was productive, and I really liked that everything was very hands-on. My program instructor, Jessica Reinhardt, was wonderful. She was really there for me. She cared and was interested in helping her students succeed. I also learned a lot about working as a team during the program, which I know from my externship is something that will come in very handy when I’m working in a pharmacy setting.
What would you say you’ve learned about yourself during the process of completing your program at Carrington?
I’ve learned that I can do anything if I set my mind to it and really commit. Even if people tell you something is going to be difficult to accomplish, anything is possible if you work hard to make it happen. I once considered signing up for the Medical Assisting program, but I didn’t because I’m afraid of needles. But now that I’ve finished my Pharm Tech program, I’m actually thinking about doing the MA program just to gain the additional experience and develop additional skills that will always be in demand.
You recently completed your externship at a pharmacy. What’s a typical day like for a Pharmacy Technician?
It’s a busy, fast-paced environment, but it’s also one that requires a lot of attention to detail. You always have to make sure you have all of the correct patient information. Avoiding errors is critical, especially when you’re inputting patient information and filling prescriptions. In a pharmacy setting, most prescriptions are pills and liquids. I’d like to eventually work in a hospital setting where the pharmacy does medical compounding to create customized medications.
What do your parents think about what you’ve accomplished?
They’re really proud of me, and that feels good. My father works in construction and my mother is a transportation driver. Sometimes my mom would drive me to Albuquerque for school so that I could study on my way there and back. My parents have worked hard to give their kids the kinds of opportunities they didn’t have. I’m one of six children, and I feel like I owe it to my parents to be a positive role to my younger siblings and show them that hard work pays off, that can make their dreams come true if they apply themselves and stay focused.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m interested in gaining some real-life experience as a pharmacy technician for a year or two, and then returning to college and studying to become a registered pharmacist. I’d like to stay in the area where I grew up so that I can help provide services that are needed in my Navajo community.
What advice would you give someone who might be thinking about enrolling in a Carrington program?
I would tell them that in order to succeed, you have to want it and be willing to work for it. I commuted to and from school three to four hours, round trip, to get my education. It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it. I think it’s important to always keep your goal in mind—and to stay focused on achieving it!