Getting Personal is a blog series that shows off the best part of our company – our people. It’s hard to believe that Sonja has only been at PersonalRX a little more than a year. Her good natured spirit and professionalism have made her an indispensable member of our clinical team. Our quality assurance department regularly reports back to leadership about how the patients, caregivers and families served by Sonja love her. Earlier this year, she was promoted to Lead Pharmacy Technician. Here’s the interview..
Of the seven core values we share at PersonalRX, do you have a favorite?
The one that resonates most with me is compassion. I put my heart and soul into helping our patients. Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of patients die from COVID-19 – and each time it happens, it feels like a personal hit.
Last week a doctor broke the news to me about a patient’s passing. I called the patient’s wife and we cried together. I’ll often send a bereavement card when I learn that one of my patients has passed away.
Are you working on any new projects?
My newest work project is helping train our pharmacy tech staff on new workflow processes being released in RX2 Admin, the system we use to track and coordinate patient care. .
How long have you been at PersonalRX?
I just celebrated my one year anniversary at PersonalRX, July 15th. It’s been a busy year.
What personal touch do you bring to your work?
My patients will periodically find a hand-written note from me – usually from my Kermit the Frog pad. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, I included a sticky note in each medication package that was heading out to one of my patients.
I really like Valentine’s Day. You work with so many people, and everyone has their own religious holidays – but everybody should celebrate love. It never hurts to tell someone that you care. You gotta put your heart out there.
What’s different about being Lead Pharmacy Technician?
Being named Lead Technician was nice, but my role is pretty much the same as it is for the other members of our Refill Tech team. I was named Lead Technician in April, right as COVID-19 was ramping up – especially in New York and northern New Jersey. If there’s anything different about being a “lead,” it’s that Gillian or another member of leadership now come to me first to discuss anything that is going to create a change in process, policy or workflow for our technicians.
What’s challenging about the job you do?
Needless to say, COVID-19 has increased the stress level for all healthcare workers. As the mom of a six year-old child, I’ve taken into consideration that being an essential worker means that in addition to putting my own health at risk, I’m also increasing risk for my family – and that’s stress inducing.To help cope, I use a meditation app called Breathe. It really works to help settle me.
Because you work in a pharmacy, do friends and family ask for advice about medicine?
All the time! I begin by explaining that treatment and diagnosis of any health condition needs to be addressed by a doctor. But, from overhearing pharmacists advise people over and over, I actually have a pretty good handle on some stock answers that can be helpful.
What’s special about PersonalRX?
What I like best is that I feel like we all get along so well. At other pharmacies, technicians do so much multitasking that they have little time to interact with one another and with patients. Here, I’ve built really nice relationships with patients. There are some that I call toward the end of day because I know we may chit chat for a while.
Our patients absolutely appreciate the different style of pharmacy care we provide. Especially the caregivers and adult children who assist their parents. Because we consistently reach out to doctors and we keep them in the loop; it provides them with a sense of relief. They know that they’re not alone.
What are you known for around the pharmacy?
Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Disney characters and basically everything connected to Disney. If I had to choose a favorite, it’s Figment. I like Figment because he’s that little spark of creativity that makes things happen. And it’s that spark of creativity that makes me feel hopeful.