Pharmacy Technician Program Director and Instructor, Milan Institute, Amarillo, TX
Heather Krehl has always been fascinated by pharmacokinetics and how the human body absorbs, distributes, and metabolizes medications. She began work as a pharmacy technician in February 1999 at Baptist St. Anthony’s (BSA) Hospital in Amarillo, TX while she was a student at West Texas A&M University.
“From the moment I entered the BSA hospital pharmacy, I felt like I was where I belonged,” she says. “I started at the bottom, dispensing medications and restocking Pyxis machines and was soon promoted to the IV room.” There she was trained in IV and total parenteral nutrition (TPN) admixture, working the ‘graveyard shift’ for five years. Heather became PTCB-certified in November 1999, and registered as a pharmacy technician in Texas in 2004. She completed her BS in Biology in 2006.
In 2007, she accepted the position of head pharmacy technician at Texas Oncology in Amarillo, where she later completed her chemotherapy admixture training while working side-by-side with nurses and physicians. She also had direct contact with patients, and conducted patient support groups. Heather helped implement new ‘797’ guidelines governing compounded sterile preparations in the IV rooms.
Today she is program director and instructor for the ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Technician Program at Milan Institute in Amarillo. She plans lessons and instructs her students in pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, algebra, customer service, and professionalism, and conducts hands-on training in non-sterile and sterile compounding, proper aseptic technique, and automated dispensing devices.
“The most rewarding part of my current position as an instructor is sharing the passion I have as a technician with my students,” says Heather. “I continue to learn the latest material about medication and technology in the field of pharmacy every day. There’s always something new, and that’s why I have enjoyed my career for more than 15 years.” Heather is deeply fulfilled by the experience of sharing knowledge with her students, and she says, “I enjoy learning from them too, and sometimes we learn together.”
Heather was a semi-finalist for PTCB-Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year in 2013. She was recognized as the BSA Employee of the Month and Pharmacy Technician of the Month. She is a member of the Texas Society of Hospital Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), National Pharmacy Technician Association, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and she served as ASHP program director of ASHP’s Amarillo Chapter.
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