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Carrington College Blog

My Starting Point – Mayra Ruiz Gallegos – Saving Lives

September 19, 2014

Mayra Ruiz GallegosHello again Carrington flock! If you’ve not read by previous posts, use this link to follow my journey so far through the Pharmacy Technology program at the Mesa campus. I’m nearly at the end of my externship now and somebody asked me recently what’s the most valuable thing I’ve learned over these six weeks?

The Most Valuable Thing I’ve Learned

I told him that it was something one of the pharmacists told me on my first or second day. He said that even when it’s hectic or when something goes wrong, always remember that what I’m doing might be helping to save someone’s life, or helping to keep someone alive. The five minutes I’m taking to fill a prescription is a very important part of someone’s health care. He told me to never forget why I started the program and why I chose this career.

That was very motivating for me to hear, for all of us actually as there are quite a few externs and part-time staff at the site. It reinforced the fact that I always need to be very careful with medication, to double check everything, and to make sure that I’m 100% accurate all the time, no exceptions.

70 Hour Weeks Are Tough

Honestly, as the externship comes to a close I’m surprised I’m even still alive – just kidding! I’ve been doing 70 hour weeks, 40 hours at work plus 30 hours extern, for the last six weeks so I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought I was, being able to do so many hours.

The first week was hard for me; I was always grouchy and tired I was like – “Oh my gosh, I can’t do this; it’s too many hours and I don’t have time to do anything else.” My life was literally all work and school! I’m at my job from 6.30am till 3pm, then at my externship site from 3.30pm to 9pm. I came home, went to sleep and then got up to do it all over again. It’s been hard, but my friends and my family were always there to  remind me that it’s just a short term sacrifice for something really good.

Keep an open mind and try to have a positive mindset every day. Once you leave the classroom and get out into the real world, and that’s what I think the externship is, it’s very difficult, especially if you have a job or a family. It would be easy to get discouraged, but try not to…try to keep going. Always remember you’re almost there, especially if you got this far! My friends would tell me “You’re so close to completing your goal! Just hang in there a little bit longer!”

You Can Do This!

I have to say, looking back, that I felt very prepared coming into the externship; Carrington did a great job. They do give you everything you need to be able to move forward. I’ve never had a feeling of “I don’t know this” or “I can’t do this.”

Of course, it’s a little different for me because I worked in a pharmacy before I enrolled. But I do believe that for students who have never been in a real pharmacy setting, or seen a pharmacist at work, the externship is incredibly helpful and an invaluable experience. It’s great for your resume to be able to say you’ve done so many hours in a pharmacy and you have experience of how a real pharmacy setting works.

That’s it for now – I need to get some sleep! Check back in again soon!