Tech Trek Navigator: Michele Kernodle, CPhT-Adv

Michele knew she wanted to work in the medical field since she was a teenager. She now supervises pharmacy technicians in three University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus Health locations and loves what she does.

Tell us about your career goals.

As a teenager, my parents couldn't put me through college. Yet my goal was to work in the medical field. My ultimate calling is caring for others. Once I had a working permit, I set out to find jobs I was able to pursue. They needed to be within walking distance from home and fit in with my school schedule. Kerr Drug had cashier and tech openings, and I knew from the moment of the in-person interview that pharmacy was my niche. I absolutely love what I do. I began working at UNC 17 years ago, and each day continues to lead me to more growth. As my director often says, never stop learning. I plan to continue growing my knowledge and keep advancing.

How have PTCB’s certificates helped you?

I work with pharmacy technicians in our three campus locations. I love to see the pride in work throughout our organization of multidisciplinary members, as it not only shows the growth but the opportunities in our practice. Earning our PTCB certificates is funded personally, not through our jobs, which displays that our pharmacy technicians are ambitious, eager, and want to keep exploring forward. For myself, the certificates represent incredible knowledge and it’s encouraging to know our roles have advanced so much over the last two decades.

What advice would you give pharmacy technicians as they explore their unique career paths?

Of course, as a pharmacy technician, your setting plays a huge role. Whether working in an ambulatory, clinical, or retail environment, find your "Why?" If you need to explore more than one setting, do it. Once you find your "Why," you become the best version of yourself. Earning PTCB certificates opens your horizons to tasks you may never have heard of, or shines a light on subjects you want to know more about but don’t use in your specific job. Always take challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Positive thinking keeps the next opportunity on the horizon.

Tell us about a time you helped a patient.

Since I work in a University setting, our patients are often receiving healthcare for the first time alone. I find joy daily in being able to teach our students. I had a young man who needed assistance figuring out insurance and I helped him, including sending a prior authorization for the specific medication. I went out to the waiting area to explain what that meant, and he asked if I could explain it to his parents if he called them, and I did. I diligently stayed on top of follow-up after sending the prior authorization. Upon approval, I reached out to confirm the prescription was ready. A couple of days later, his mom reached out to express her appreciation for me walking them through the process. To me, that was the greatest reward.

What is your favorite prescription to fill or compound?

We no longer make this but if I had to pick one, it would have been “Blue Goo” which was AquaGel and Dexamethasone powder. We used to make it for our physical therapy department. The ability to play mad scientist every now and then is fun. I’ll always be a child at heart.



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