I’d love to quote The Doobie Brothers and say, “Jesus is just alright with me,” but that wouldn’t be honest. Jesus Cabrera is much more than alright. He infuses our pharmacy with positive energy, an intangible for which any workplace should be grateful. His contributions extend beyond his big smile and the fact that he’s the guy who steps up to organize a ridiculously great potluck lunch. Jesus is deeply focused on the wellbeing of the patients who rely on him as their dedicated pharmacy tech. He approaches his job with a sense of pride and felt validated when Covid-19 officially turned him into an essential worker. We appreciate him and hope you appreciate his “Getting Personal” interview.
Of the seven core values we share at PersonalRX, do you have a favorite?
Each is important, but compassion wins. It never waivers here – not just for me – but companywide. The techs, the pharmacists, through Covid-19 and tough times, the whole team is driven by compassion for our patients. Personally, I have adult patients who I treat like my parents. And I have patients who are children, and I treat them the way I’d want someone to treat my kids.
Are you working on any new projects?
What’s new for all of us are the RX2 Admin workflows that replace the movement of buckets and labels. The transition was easier than anticipated. The new system is clearly an improvement.
How long have you been at PersonalRX?
I Just completed my first year here. I started September 2019, just after Labor Day.
What were your pharmacy roles like before coming here?
I’ve worked in pharmacy for 23 years. As a tech in retail for 15 years, and as a supervisor for a long term care, specialty pharmacy. I’ve seen all sides of pharmacy. In long term care, the tech role was mostly data entry of prescriptions, with no patient consultation at all. I’m better suited for retail; I really enjoy patient interaction. And here, patient interaction is the most important part of my job. It really is personal like the company name promises.
What personal touch do you bring to your work?
For me, it’s the patient conversations. If we start off with the business at hand, we end with, “How are you doing?” Patients share, so I want them to know that I’m human too. I’m always busy and there are times when I’m tempted to finish a call faster. Then I remind myself that for certain patients, I may provide the only human contact they have today. You can tell when someone really appreciates that part of our service, and it’s when we live our company values.
Outside of work, how has COVID-19 changed your life in 2020?
I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old. In some ways, the worst part of Covid was when I couldn’t take them to the park. There was also the time when I learned that daycare was closing for a while. Knowing that I have patients who rely on me, it was going to be tough juggling responsibilities. I was saved when a new daycare opened for essential workers. I was proud to go to work, to be essential. And my patients really need me. Yes, someone else could serve them if I was unable to, but I have special relationships. I like knowing that I’m taking care of what they need and that I have everything under control. Our pharmacy is not like others. We drive the refill process and make sure that patients get what they need without having to think about it.
How do you describe your job to friends or family?
My mom asked me recently if patients ever come to our facility. I explained that it’s a really nice office setting. It’s a pharmacy, but it’s an office job. Which is great.
What’s challenging about your job?
There are times when I sense that a patient asks us not to fill a prescription because of cost. When I can’t find a solution to help them, that’s about as tough as it gets.
What’s special about PersonalRX?
For one thing, this is the first pharmacy I’ve been a part of where every single employee cares so deeply about the job and their patients. That’s rare. Secondly, no other pharmacy provides what we provide. Personalized care. Your own personal tech who calls to be sure that you have what you need. Then there’s the packaging choices we offer and the fact that the fancy purple inside of our shipper box makes the patient feel like they’re getting a luxury service.
What do you admire most about your co-workers?
Everyone works hard. Technicians really work hard. You have to own your set of patients and you’re accountable to them. We all embrace this sense of accountability. I also hold a ton of respect for our pharmacists. Each is on par with the best doctors. Each does their job with laser focus, confidence and calmness, which sets the tone on the pharmacy floor.
What are you known for around the pharmacy?
I don’t know. Maybe for being a dad. Everyone knows that I’m a family first type of person and that I love my kids like crazy.
When you work in a pharmacy, do friends and family ask for advice about meds?
My mom does all the time. I know her medications well because when I worked at a local retail pharmacy, she would come in and make sure that I took care of her. She’s always asking about side effects and contraindications.
Anything newsworthy about life outside the pharmacy?
My fiancé and I are getting married May 28th, 2021. It’s going to be in the Poconos, outside. Regardless of what’s happening with Covid, we will be getting married on that date, at that location. I’m ready for a ring on my finger and can’t wait any longer.