Times of Desperation Call for Inspiration

"The best thing we can do at this time is be here for our patients and give them the best medical guidance in these circumstances."

October 18, 2020

“My pharmacy week is being celebrated at Health Park Medical Center, which is a part of Lee Health System in Fort Myers, FL, where I have worked since 2011. Our inpatient pharmacy celebrates pharmacy week by incorporating a fun-filled activity each day of the week including bingo, scavenger hunts, ice cream socials, food catered to the pharmacy and being educated on pharmacy related matters to improve our patient services throughout the Lee Health System. 

Being a pharmacy technician is an integral part in all health care services. We are specialized individuals that prepare and compound medications, order and inventory medications, and are the triage service for the pharmacy by helping differentiate tasks for pharmacy technicians and pharmacists to make workflow smoother. 

I am HONORED to be making medications for patients in dire need as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people from all walks of life realized we were all in dire need of supplies and information. These challenges bombarded pharmacies from many different angles and required every pharmacy technician to be extra patient, kind and understanding while working under extreme pressure. 

I work in both a retail setting and hospital setting and can certainly affirm that the retail setting was the most overwhelming at the beginning of the pandemic. Patients in the retail setting were ordering a surplus of medications because they were afraid they would not be able to come out of their homes. Medications were being prescribed at alarming rates to people that had possible COVID-19 symptoms. People had endless questions and concerns for the pharmacy about the virus itself. With patients reacting in this manner, many medications were not available in the pharmacies which left many patients confused and scared, including myself working as a frontline worker. 

The main concern for COVID-19 is the constant concern that you may catch the virus yourself or pass it on to another person or even a loved one. How we practice day to day is mostly unchanged, but with a few extra steps to ensure we are being extra safe to minimize the possible spread for COVID-19. Certain drugs that help with the virus are purchased quickly which leaves patients without medications to help with their symptoms. 

The best thing we can do at this time is be here for our patients and give them the best medical guidance in these circumstances. Even if all resources are being exhausted, we can help to make them feel better and look for other available options to help our patients. Understanding our patients concerns and showing we care can make the biggest impact of all.”

-Whitney Jo Hummel, CPhT, CSPT

Lee Health System and CVS Pharmacy, Fort Myers, FL