Friday, January 12th is Pharmacist Appreciation Day. So we’d like to take these next few days to share several stories from our staff pharmacists and one from one of our customers. To all the pharmacists out there, a sincere thank you. We appreciate all you do!
My journey to becoming a pharmacist began at a pharmacist-owned independent pharmacy where I worked during high school. The pharmacy provided a small town with extensive gift section, fine crystal, fancy chocolates, and perfume. It was exciting when we got a computer and I was able to help the pharmacist reconcile personal charge accounts. Soon, the owner expanded her services to provide medication for the local nursing home, and my weekend duties included helping prepare the blister packs of medication. Helping pull outdated medication, I wondered about the difference between elixir, syrup, and suspension; cream, ointment, or salve. This curiosity sparked my interest, and I worked as a pharmacy technician until graduating pharmacy school at Washington State University (Go Cougs!).
During my time at WSU, one of my professors had a great impact on my learning and stands out as a personal inspiration to my journey as a pharmacist. I would like to take a moment to honor the legacy of my mentor and friend R. Keith Campbell. Anybody learning about diabetes knows Keith as a pioneer and icon in the field of diabetes education and research. Living with Type 1, he knew first-hand the challenges patients face and was first to utilize the insulin pump. Keith recently received the WSU College of Pharmacy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a true inspiration to many and will be greatly missed.
After graduation, I worked as a traveling pharmacist where I had the opportunity to meet and work with many remarkable pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings: hospital (inpatient, outpatient/discharge), long-term care, mail order, and retail. I also worked with public health and community clinics operating on sliding scale to provide medication and indigent care to those that would otherwise be untreated, and farm workers clinics printing labels and patient monographs in Spanish to improve patient education and compliance. I worked a number of years as a clinical pharmacist in pediatric home infusion.
Working as a pharmacist with Integra LTC Solutions, I have discovered a non-traditional role. Using my experience as a pharmacist, I am able to translate customer needs and requests to team members that troubleshoot and provide support. With pharmacy domain knowledge, I understand pharmacy workflow and process and provide training for new employees who have not worked in a pharmacy setting. Integra has a reputation for excellent customer service and working in Client Services allows me to be part of an amazing team.
Lastly, I’d like to extend a special thank you to the pharmacists continuing to work the front lines and all the team members that it takes to provide excellent patient care.
~ Becky Lewis, RPh, Integra LTC Solutions