An Interview with a Pharmacy Technician

"Besides getting the opportunity to be involved in the care of patients, every single day I learn something new, which keeps me challenged."
- Kevin, pharmacy technician
Kevin is a UW Health pharmacy technician.
Kevin, pharmacy technicianQ: Please describe why pharmacy technicians are so important to UW Hospitals and Clinics.
A: The first thing to know is, pharmacy technicians do much more than "just count pills!" Depending on the area we work, we may interact directly with patients or be the person behind the scenes getting patients their prescribed medications quickly. We may prepare complex IV products, make oral suspensions, prepare topical creams from scratch, (or) work with radioactive material. We do this with great precision and attention to detail to ensure accuracy so our patients get just what was ordered.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a pharmacy technician at UW Hospitals and Clinics?
A: What I value most about my position is being able to give back to the community in some way. I like the thought that we are providing a product needed by others, when they need it, to help them get better.

Q: Describe your work team or work environment.
A: I work with a passionate group of people who like what they do. Our environment is fast-paced, with lots to do, and we come from all different walks of life. Our group is strong-minded but humble, and our common thread is our love of pharmacy and what we can do for our patients.

Q: Working in central pharmacy, how do you keep your passion alive when you don't often get to interact directly with patients?
A: I imagine the patient I'm preparing something for is a family member. What I do affects their care and they deserve someone who understands they are important and who works carefully to provide their medications quickly and safely.

Q: What's it like being such a valued member of a health care team?
A: I feel a lot of pride in what I do because others are counting on me to do what I do safely, but also quickly. The margin for error is incredibly small and I know my work demands attention and respect from others.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years with UW Hospitals and Clinics?
A: I'd like to be a technical coordinator in the future. Pharmacy is very rewarding to me and I'd like to pass my passion on to other pharmacy technicians. I'm proud to be a part of the groundbreaking studies performed here every day, and there's more to learn - which keeps me coming back for more!