Pharmacy Technician Spends her Days in an Unusual Setting
Posted: October 28, 2014 by Elizabeth Baker
When you think about a pharmacy technician career, you usually think of working in places like a drug store, hospital or private pharmacy. But not all Pima Medical Institute grads work in traditional places.
Jackie Cordero, a Pima Medical Institute-Las Vegas 2013 pharmacy technician
graduate, spends her days making sure inmates get the right medications.
Employed by NaphCare, Inc.—the contractor hired by Clark County to conduct medical treatment within the Clark County Detention Center facilities—Cordero works wherever she is needed.
“There is the main jail located near downtown Las Vegas as well as an overflow annex located in the northeast part of town. I float between each facility as needed, making sure the pharmaceutical requirements of the inmates are being met.
Being a pharmacy technician in a jail is quite a unique experience compared to most pharmacy techs," she said. "I start my day by going through several checkpoints and metal detectors just to get to the pharmacy. Throughout my day, I conduct inventories of all medications within the pharmacy as well as other locations throughout the facility."
The inventory, she said, includes not just prescription medications but also over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, and contraband items such as syringes.
"I provide nurses with required medications to distribute to their assigned cell blocks. When bulk mediations arrive, they must be broken down into smaller doses and stocked.”
Cordero enjoys her career, which she chose so that she could find employment in a variety of settings.
“As a pharmacy technician, I can work in a retail setting, a closed-door pharmacy preparing medications for long-term care centers, a compounding pharmacy where medications are made by hand, or a hospital providing chemotherapy, intravenous compounding, and other critical medications for patients.”
Cordero, who served in the Air Force before enrolling at Pima Medical Institute, says she gained a wealth of knowledge while studying. She learned about pharmacological fundaments, sterile IV compounding, pharmaceutical math calculations used to determine dosages, state and federal laws pertaining to the practice of pharmacy and how to manage pharmacy inventory.
“During my school, I had the privilege of having an amazing teacher, Lorinda Trinidad-Lohner. Additionally, I made a great group of friends during my time at PMI.”
When not working as a pharm tech, Cordero also serves in the Air Force Reserves.
To learn more about Pima Medical Institute’s pharmacy technician program, visit it online
. The program is offered at campuses in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington State and Nevada.