Here, an experience pharmacy technician instructor shares his story of
the path his career has taken, as well as some of the rewarding aspects
of being a pharmacy technician instructor.
by Dewayne Dorman, CPhT
I have worked in a variety of areas in pharmacy over past 20 years. I have always tried to keep a lookout for new opportunities to advance my career and support my family.
On one such occasion, a listing appeared for an adjunct instructor in a pharmacy technician program. I’d never thought about teaching before but my wife thought that I would be good at this role.
We joked about it being a hobby for me that paid for everyone else’s hobbies. It would bring in extra money and get me out of the usual home-to-office routine.I got offered my first adjunct instructor position in May 2008.
Teaching in the pharmacy technician program was a particular challenge for me in that my own training was on-the-job in a retail setting.
I was trained in areas of pharmacy operations, customer service, and inventory control. I didn’t have the clinical instruction that I was now giving to others. You pick up on some clinical aspects in your daily duties. In some cases, I was learning along with my students.
But having a solid background with pharmacy operations and managed care helps the students know how the real world of pharmacy works and how they can assist their pharmacists and customers.
My students really enjoy when we have the hands-on lessons. The labs introduce the student in preparing prescriptions. This covers simple counting or measuring of oral doses to IV preparation and simple compounding. The pharmacology sections of the course teach the clinical aspects of the various drug classes.
I feel that students can relate to this course more because everyone has taken or administered medication at some point in their life.
Their experiences spark an added interest for that particular chapter of the text. I have included field trips when the scheduling allowed.
One in particular provided me with insight into the use of new technology in today’s pharmacy. Scanned pharmacy orders may be viewed by technicians and entered into the system. This allows slower pharmacies to assist busier locations. The order is still filled at the location it was dropped off.
The most rewarding moment occurred one term as we discussed how drugs work by attaching to receptor sites. After reviewing that topic, a student commented that she had learned more in that one night than the whole term.
Dewayne started his career by working as a cashier, and then was promoted to pharmacy technician. He worked in retail for 9 years, and then became a network manager for a cooperative of independent pharmacies. His other experience in pharmacy included different areas such as hospital inpatient, prior authorizations, pharmacy auditing, pharmacy operations, and formulary management. He has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He is an adjunct instructor in the pharmacy technician program for a career college. Dewayne and his family live in Salt Lake City.