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  • Amelia Sides

A Pharmacy Technician’s Manifesto

One thing that drives me nuts is when I tell people I am a pharmacy technician and they get that “Oh, you count pills for a living” attitude.

Yes I do count pills. But I work in a hospital pharmacy. I make the emergency IV drips that keep your loved ones alive when they come to the hospital for surgery, with cardiac arrest, broken bones, pregnancy, or a multitude of other problems. I make narcotic drips for the patients so they can be pain free. I make paralytics for those on ventilators and life support. I make Total Parental Nutrition (TPNs) for those unable to eat, so they get their nutrition by IV. I make IVs for babies less than a pound to adults that are obese. I answer questions on the phone and help Doctor’s and Nurse’s with any problems they may have. I stock the hospital so the nurses have access to the medications they need. I fix printers, fax machines, computers, and medication dispensing machines so the pharmacy can run smoothly. I make oral suspensions by hand. I double check all the concentrations and dosages of the drugs I make. (after all we are all human) and the pharmacists double check me.

We try to make sure the Doctor’s and Nurse’s that take care of you or your relatives do not overdose you or give you the wrong medication. We are the ones who keep your sleep deprived residents and doctors from accidentally killing you. We help nurses who have worked double shifts not be able to access any of the medications you should not get. I am one of the worker patients never see. You may see my initials on a bag of fluids or IV medication hanging next to a bed, but you will never meet me. We travel the hospital in scrubs and lab coats blending in with Doctors and nurses. An unseen force working together with pharmacists,doctors, and nurses to get the medications to the patients who need them.

So yes I am a Pharmacy Technician. I go home at night mentally and physically exhausted knowing people are getting better and leaving the hospital in a small unseen way because of me. For those who Smile and think how nice it must be to have such an easy job, I smile back and laugh, thinking that they have no idea.

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