Tech Trek Navigator: Kathryn Plahn, CPhT, CSPT

Katie Plahn had been working in oncology for about 15 years overall, and a year and a half at her current organization, when the opportunity arose to become the organization’s hazardous drugs compliance coordinator. She is passionate about her role and committed to her own professional development which includes working towards her CPhT-Adv credential.

What do you like about regulatory compliance?

What I like most is getting to understand how to develop processes to meet the regulations and also to fit the workflow and make it easy for your staff to be compliant. I call it an elegant solution. I want compliance to be something we just do and don’t think about because the tools are right there in front of you and it’s just second nature to grab them. My favorite thing is when I can find little ways to shift things and it just clicks into place and everyone says, “that‘s how it should be.”

Do you see the regulatory compliance certificate as something you’d like to earn and if so, why?

Earning the regulatory compliance certificate will help me gauge my familiarity with the different standards that I’m responsible for making us compliant with, and it’s a good signal to the leadership in my organization that I am committed to this role and invested in it—that I am thinking about it and trying to improve at it all the time.

Can you tell us about your process to earn the CSPT?

I’d always been a sterile compounding person, then moved into hazardous compounding, but the foundation is the same thing. I’d been an IV room tech, and felt like that was an opportunity to demonstrate that I wasn’t just somebody who could perform a job but was somebody who could excel at a job, and show my commitment and how much I have invested in being a good compounder, not just a compounder. 

What advice do you have for pharmacy technicians interested in a regulatory compliance role? 

Make yourself available to your leadership, and let them know you are interested in learning, helping, and going the extra mile. In any area, it helps to start doing the job you want before it’s actually your job, to show that you are willing to step up when necessary. 



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