Karen L. Hamm, CPhT
Certified Pharmacy Technician Supervisor, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, Danville, KY
Karen L. Hamm, CPhT, works at the Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville, KY and is the kind of supervisor every technician hopes for. Having been brought into the field by a former high school teacher, Karen soon found that she enjoyed not only the rewards, but also the challenges, associated with working in the healthcare field.
In her position as a Certified Pharmacy Technician Supervisor, Karen helps administer the pharmacy's tech-check-tech program, participates in continuous quality improvement activities, and assists with the implementation and training of staff on new technology upgrades. Recognizing the need to train technicians on Chapter 797 guidelines and safe handling of hazardous medications, she has worked with a pharmacist to develop and implement an educational series for the pharmacy's technicians.
Of this four-part training series, only the first two sessions are mandatory. However, if technicians choose to complete the full series and are successful, they receive an in-house certification that allows them to compound chemotherapy preparations. "This is one measure that is applied to our Clinical Achievement Pathway, a program designed to help technicians develop professionally and provide them with a monetary reward," explains Karen. "We take pride in developing our technical staff to their full potential."
Karen has also found great value in giving back to the profession. She has not only served as a Pharmacy Program Instructor at the National College of Business and Technology, but has also been highly involved in the Kentucky Society of Health-System Pharmacists (KSHP). Through KSHP, Karen has written articles for the organization's newsletter, given presentations, and was recognized as the KSHP Technician of the Year in 2007.
"The patient is always the top priority. Timely provision of medications is an integral part of patient care and ensuring we achieve this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role," Karen readily admits. "However, it is also personally rewarding to oversee the education and training of new pharmacy technicians and share their successes."