Indya Wilson, MBA, CPhT, a pharmacy education support specialist at Novant Health Pharmacy Administration, discusses her role in the pharmacy and the benefits of alternative career paths for pharmacy technicians.
In an interview with Pharmacy Times, Indya Wilson, MBA, CPhT, a pharmacy education support specialist at Novant Health Pharmacy Administration, discusses her role in the pharmacy and the benefits of alternative career paths for pharmacy technicians.
Q: Can you start by explaining your position and role in the pharmacy?
Indya Wilson: My position here at Novant Health, I'm the pharmacy education support specialist. This position is a system-wide role, so it has effects throughout all the pharmacies.
Q: What are some of your day-to-day tasks?
Indya Wilson: Well, part of my role is helping with training materials, and answering questions. Like, for example, this morning, I had a question about onboarding procedures. They wanted to know why they couldn't find their new team member and enroll them in a course. I was able to take a look, and I saw that their manager title wasn't aligned with the new hire; it was a different manager with that new hire, and that made sense to them.
If I'm not working on a training material, [I am] either answering questions or preparing for the next orientation class. I do 2 orientation classes once monthly, and once quarterly, so those take a lot of preparation. Usually, I'm working independently on those projects.
Q: What kind of qualifications and trainings were involved for your role?
Indya Wilson: My role required that I have at least a bachelor's degree as well as being proficient in Microsoft Office products, and at least 2 years’ experience in the health care settings. When I onboarded, I was able to receive additional training and SharePoint Online and other tools that we use here at Novant Health.
Q: Why are alternative and specialty career paths for pharmacy technicians important for them and pharmacists?
Indya Wilson: I think that they're important because we're using our experience to help build the different needs of the health care system in general. It's important because as the pharmacy has additional responsibilities, allowing pharmacy technicians to work in the specialty areas, allows the pharmacists to do additional work outside of the pharmacy with more patient care.
It also helps to alleviate some of the pressures on leadership. Like I said, I'm in a training role. The leaders don't have to develop training products; they can just go to the SharePoint site and pull down what they need.
Q: How has the changing landscape of pharmacy impacted the various roles of pharmacy technicians?
Indya Wilson: I would say the changing landscape is what led to the creation of the advanced practicing pharmacy technicians. The whole scope of pharmacy practice is expanding, so both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have additional responsibilities. When we're able to practice at the top of our certification, we help support the pharmacists that also can practice at the top of their credentials as well.
Q: What advice would you offer to pharmacy technicians who want to look into alternative career paths?
Indya Wilson: I would say once you get started, just ask questions, and learn more about the roles that are around you. I've been in health care since I was 14 years old. As I went from different positions, I saw what I wanted and what I didn't want. I think that the best way to become a health care professional is to be around and work around health care professionals.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Indya Wilson: Yes, I spent a significant part of my career as a pharmacy specialist in the army. When I returned to health care outside of the military, I was pleasantly surprised by how far the careers of pharmacy technicians had come. Like before I went into the army, I was a pharmacy tech. Then when I came back, there were all these positions and titles and responsibilities that weren't there before. So not only are we able to practice at the top of our certification, but we have we can earn these additional credentials that help support a very rewarding career.