A Day in the Life of a Senior Pharmacy Technician During COVID-19

"I have been a Certified Senior Technician for 19 years. I have never experienced anything like this pandemic."

April 14, 2020

“Hello! I am a Senior Pharmacy Technician for a major retail pharmacy chain. I have been a Certified Senior Technician for 19 years. I have never experienced anything like this pandemic.

I have helped patients in need by adding normally unapproved items sold in our store to be sold through the drive-through along with their prescriptions, so compromised patients don't need to come in the store. I have informed and set up seniors and those with travel restrictions for FedEx prescription delivery. My fears regarding COVID-19 are that I will unknowingly bring the virus home to any of my three children - one being disabled with cerebral palsy.

My day usually starts with putting on a mask and gloves and then wiping down and sanitizing commonly used devices in and around the pharmacy. It's important we stay as organized as possible and try not to cross contaminate work stations. Since more people want to avoid coming into the store and choose to use the drive-through service, there is a lot of added work grabbing non-pharmacy related items outside of the pharmacy area. Many people are ungrateful, rude, and inconsiderate of other patients that may be waiting. I have found that this pandemic has brought out the best and worst of my community.

My store location did not receive protective health gear from our company until the last week of April. We were pretty much left to use our own resources to keep ourselves safe since this pandemic started. Now we have removable plastic shields on the registers, gloves, hand sanitizer, and masks. Struggles and challenges I'm facing as a tech are helping patients get medications that are on backorder due to shortages or difficulty with shipments due to government blocks or delays. Also, staff shortages since people are afraid to come to work.

Advice I would give to other pharmacy technicians at this time we are living in is to keep doing the best job you have always done for your patients. PROTECT YOURSELF! We are exposed to sick people daily who may or may not be carriers of COVID-19. Treat everyone as if they do have it and stay safe. Remain compassionate and support your co-workers through this difficult time if they need it. Stay safe everyone!”

-TJ Mullins, CPhT

Senior Pharmacy Technician, Walgreens Pharmacy, Middletown, CT