Pharmacy tech job gives undergrad real-world patient care experience

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October 15, 2021

Allison Bovaird
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College of Pharmacy Student Spotlight: Allison Bovaird, BSPS Class of 2022

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is shining a spotlight on students throughout the year. Meet Allison Bovaird, a third-year Bachelor of Science of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) student from Hudson, Ohio, enrolled in the Early Assurance Program (EAP).

Bovaird’s experience working as a pharmacy technician alongside her academic and student involvement is creating the foundation for a successful career in pharmacy.

Why did you decide to pursue the BSPS program?

My older brother was college searching and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school. He sat through a few presentations and one of them was on pharmacy. My dad and brother were telling me about it and said it would be a perfect fit for me because I loved chemistry and wanted to do something with that. After a little bit of my own research, I knew this was what I wanted to do and in my senior year of high school, I applied to the combined-degree program through EAP at Ohio State.

I’m now in my third and final year of the BSPS program and I will enter Ohio State’s PharmD program next year to become a pharmacist.

Can you tell me a little about your pharmacy technician job?

I started at CVS once students were sent home for spring break in 2020. My plan was to be a pharmacy tech originally that summer but I thought since I’m already home, why not do it now? It was a good opportunity to learn something new and use my current knowledge to help during the beginning of the pandemic. I liked the experience and got to interact with a lot of patients. It was a little slower at first, but that helped me to focus on my training and learn from the pharmacists.

After working there for a year and a half, I wanted to branch out and find another pharmacy opportunity. My friend, who worked at Mount Carmel Health System, encouraged me to apply at the hospital and once a position opened, I applied, interviewed and was offered the inpatient pharmacy tech job. This opportunity is specifically for students like me who are in our last year of undergrad and are about to enter pharmacy school.

I’ve noticed inpatient pharmacy care is more time-sensitive than the CVS tech experience. Patients in the hospital need medication immediately, whereas community pharmacy patients have a window to pick up their medications. In inpatient pharmacy, we are constantly working to improve the patient’s health and we can see the direct impact of our work.

I am thinking about potentially doing a hospital pharmacy residency after I graduate because I’ve had such a positive experience in that setting.

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I feel that getting involved was one of the best things I could have done for myself. It’s even helped me find my current internship at Mount Carmel.

Allison Bovaird
Allison Bovaird

Are you involved with any academic or student activities?

I am a teaching assistant for Pharmacy Survey (PHR 1100). It’s nice because I get to be a connection point for freshman who are new to Ohio State and answer their questions about the campus, what classes to take and teach them about their options in pharmacy.

I am also the director of philanthropy for a sorority, Chi Omega. We have a gala soon that will raise money for Make-A-Wish. I appreciate this experience because it gives me another way to help people outside of the pharmacy profession.

Last year, I volunteered at the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio through Outreach Rx and loved it!

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Get involved, meet new people and make connections! I’ve met some of my closest friends from being involved both within and outside the college – and have gotten a job out of it!

It’s interesting to see that the pharmacists I work with now know the pharmacists I used to work with. It goes to show how small but close our profession is. It makes me excited to know that some of the names I see now through my classes, clubs and organizations may pop up again when I become a pharmacist.