My Starting Point – Mayra Ruiz Gallegos – Working In The Real World
A Family Owned Pharmacy
I’m three weeks into my externship and it’s just as I expected. This is a family-owned pharmacy and they don’t make me feel like an extern at all. I don’t know if that’s the case at other extern sites or whether I’m just lucky! They do try to make it a fun environment, but our priority is always the patients and the job at hand.
A lot of the stuff you learn in class is through bookwork; that’s very important and it’s all things we need to know, like rules and regulations and what we need to do to be successful. It’s very helpful, and our teacher was amazing, but when you get to the externship, it’s a very different type of training. It’s very hands-on all the time, and you start to learn new things with supervision.
Real World Education
You’ll learn more about what it really feels like to be a pharmacy technician during your six week externship than you will during six months of class. Even though there is a lot of lab work in the program, hands-on work that teaches you the mechanics of being a pharmacy technician, it doesn’t give you that real-world feel. You can’t simulate the feeling that you get in a real pharmacy setting, where you’re handling real drugs for real patients with real conditions.
There are some days where it’s very stressful; Mondays and Fridays especially are very busy – it can be very hectic as everybody is running around trying to get everything done. It can be a little tense. But when that happens I have to remind myself to just take my time and breathe, because I don’t want to mess anything up. You just have to remember to not take the stress home with you when you leave.
Dealing With Emergency Situations
Yesterday we had a situation where a prescription came in for a patient who was having seizures, so it needed to be turned around and sent out with the next driver. Basically those types of situations go to the front of the line; we have to get them taken care of and rushed out as soon as we can. So I got to experience how it feels to be in the pharmacy in kind of an emergency situation.
In a real pharmacy setting, the pharmacists and the technicians all have a lot on their plates. Sometimes as a technician, you have to learn to not take things personally. I already know that the way pharmacists may speak to me at times is just their way of trying to be as clear and efficient as possible, in what is a very busy environment. I’ve seen some people take it the wrong way, but I’ve learned not to. I just take what they say, and go do what they’ve asked me to do. It’s all about efficiency when there’s pressure.
The school gives you the process of what you have to do, and what’s expected of you, but no matter what the school does, you can’t simulate that feeling – it’s not the same atmosphere. Every day I just try to be positive. I know I’m not going to get everything right away, and I know every pharmacy is different.
I think I got lucky with this pharmacy; as I said in earlier blogs they’re very helpful, very friendly and very laid-back. I know not every pharmacy is going to be that way, so I’m mentally preparing myself to always be ready for change, open-minded to the fact that every pharmacy works differently, and to try and pick things up just as quickly as I can.
Thanks for checking back in. Next time I’ll tell you about my plans for what’s next on this journey!