What Does a Career in the Veterinary Field Have to do with a Career as a Pharmacy Technician?

Interview with Paityn Beard; Veterinary Assistant and Receptionist; CPhT


Paityn is a 2021 graduate of KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School and The Excel Center who used her education and certification to pursue a career that is near and dear to her heart.


Katie: It’s so nice to see you again! Tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with The Excel Center and KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School.


Paityn: Well, I didn’t grow up in an ideal situation and because of that, I dropped out of high school when I was 18 in order to pursue full time employment. I had a year and a half left of schooling to complete. Fast forward three years later, I had a roommate who had graduated from The Excel Center and the school continued to pop up on face book. Covid had really just started, and my boyfriend and I decided that I should go for it. I jumped right in, going full time to earn my high school diploma. When I was getting closer to finishing, Mr. James brought up a pharmacy technician certification course and I was really interested in that. I actually started the program at KLR Pharmacy Technician Training School a day late and I was so overwhelmed at first. The course is very driven, and I had to push myself and set priorities in order to succeed. It helped to have a great support system, especially my boyfriend.


Katie: That’s so awesome - and I do remember you starting a day late, but you came in and got straight to work and never looked back. So, let’s talk about what you are doing now…because even though you took the course and passed the national exam and got your pharmacy technician license…you didn’t actually become a pharmacy technician, did you?


Paityn: [laughs]. I did not! So, I grew up around large animals, cattle, and racehorses and I’ve always loved animals. After doing some research, I realized that I could utilize my pharmacy technician license and skills to work in a field that I’ve always dreamed of.


Katie: I had no idea that pharmacy technicians could work in the veterinary field until we talked about this! That’s so neat! How did you start out?


Paityn: I actually started somewhere specific to pharmacy technicians. You had to have a pharmacy technician license to work in the pharmacy, but I quickly realized I wanted to work in a setting where I could have more hands-on experience with the animals as well. In August of 2021 I started working at Herrmann Veterinary Clinic in Noblesville. During my interview they had asked about my pharmacy technician certification and license, and I really think that helped me land the job! It was funny because I brought in my flash cards from class and showed them to my co-workers. They couldn’t believe how many flash cards I had, but it was really cool because honestly, animals use a lot of the same medications that humans do, so I could really apply what I learned to my everyday life at work!


Katie: Oh yes; flash cards - everyone’s favorite part of class! Haha. I’m so happy they came in handy and glad to hear you used them even after your national! Tell me about your day to day activities in your job. What do you do all day?


Paityn: For surgeries, I help sedate the animals and tube them, I clean the surgery utensils, assist in filling prescriptions in the pharmacy, schedule patients, and much more. It can look a little different each day depending on the patients and their conditions.


Katie: That’s so cool. How would you say that your pharmacy education has played a role in all of this?


Paityn: It actually comes in handy quite a bit, even though you might not think that! I’m always pulling up vaccines and I need to know some of the reactions that pets can have to these, and I’m always in the pharmacy assisting in dispensing medications, so my knowledge of different drugs and more so, my knowledge of sig codes comes in handy.


Katie: Can you give some examples of medications you use in your day-to-day for animals that you saw in class?


Paityn: Animals can use levothyroxine for thyroid issues. We use a lot of the same antibiotics like augmentin, amoxicillin, cephalexin, and metronidazole. For anxiety animals can be prescribed trazodone, tramadol, and gabapentin and gabapentin can also be used for pain in some animal patients. Benadryl can be used for itching and allergies.


Katie: Definitely all medications we discuss in class! It’s neat how they can be used for both animals and humans. How would you say that your certification in pharmacy has helped you to become better at your job today?


Paityn: Medicine is medicine. It’s a useful knowledge to have in any medical field. But definitely my sig codes - being able to read the prescriptions as well as the knowledge on the drugs - a lot of times it's nice when I’m working with an animal to be able to understand why they are being prescribed or are taking a certain medication. The prefix and suffix drug clues we learned in class are also helpful as well as knowing some of the medical terminology and the standard practices of sterile procedures.


Katie: I’m so glad to hear all of this and I am so proud of you, Paityn! Do you plan to further your education in the veterinary field? Any words of advice for students wanting to get into this field?


Paityn: I’m definitely considering going back to school to become a Veterinary Technician! Regardless of what career you want to go into - if you want it, go get it! If you want it badly enough you will stay up late, work hard, and refuse to give up! Noone else can do it for you!


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