October 8, 2005
A Q&A session with John Sandoval, a pharmacy technician, who works at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas, CA. John has been in the pharmacy technology field for over 6 years.

Q: Describe your average daily routine. What types of tasks are you expected to complete as part of your job?

A: It depends on the shift I am assigned. I mostly answer phone calls, fill missing and new med requests, refill and deliver Pyxis medications and prepare and deliver IVs to designated floors. I also assist pharmacists in preparing medications, compounding meds, unit-dose medications and order entry.


Q: What do you like the most about being a pharmacy technician?

A: I have the fortunate opportunity to meet new people and become exposed to new medications that are just going into the market. I am interested in new medications and what they do.


Q: What do you dislike, if anything, about being a pharmacy technician?

A: I dislike the lack of personnel. We need more employees so that others can do what they need to do like taking days off and going to school.


Q: What is your work environment like?

A: My work environment is very stressful but it comes with the territory. We are dealing with patients’ medications and we need to be at our sharpest. One mistake can potentially kill a patient. Other than that, the department is like family. Everyone comes together to help each other out. I like it.


Q: What is your work schedule like?

A: I am usually on days from 7am – 4pm. I usually work 4 days per week and my days off are spent in school. I hardly use vacation time unless I really need it. There are some days I work at night and those shifts are from 2:30pm – midnight depending on what time you are scheduled.


Q: Where did you get the training necessary for your job?

A: I received a HS diploma from Grossmont Health Occupations Center in Pharmacy Technology (I,II, and III). The program took one year to complete, full-time. It was difficult but the professor was more than willing to help you succeed. I highly recommend the program because the professor has a bountiful amount of information and she teaches the class very well.


Q: Would you recommend your job as a pharmacy technician to another person?

A: It depends on who I am recommending it to. If the person wants to see what pharmacy is like, then yes. If the person is for money then definitely no. It really depends on the person and what they want to do.


Q: What is the next step in your career?

A: The next step was to go into pharmacy but that did not work. I am now moving into the nursing field.

Are you interested in becoming a pharmacy technician? Check out our list of schools in Florida offering programs in pharmacy technology.