March 2021 – In this interview, Keri Lukert Krupp talks about the joys and day to day tasks of being a pharmacist in Austin, Texas during COVID-19.
Q: Tell me about your job as a pharmacist. Is it hard?
A: I love my job as a pharmacist! I work in the long term care setting, meaning I dispense medications to nursing homes across Texas. Some days are busier than others; it’s challenging but not “hard.”
Q: Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?
A: I’ve always loved science, chemistry, and talking to people, so a career path of a pharmacist seemed like the best fit for me. I haven’t regretted it since!
Q: What are your thoughts on being a pharmacist during the pandemic?
A: We have definitely had to change some of our processes and systems during the pandemic. Since our patient population is frail and elderly, we are not allowed in the nursing homes to deliver the meds. We’ve been creative on getting the drugs safely to the facilities without having any contact/exposure.
Q: Have you got your Covid vaccine yet? If so, please tell me your experience.
A: I have in December 2020! I was one of the first to receive the vaccine in Austin because I’m a health care worker. The first vaccination was like any flu vaccine I’ve received in my life (no symptoms), but the second vaccination made me pretty ill for a day. Even with some sickness after the first shot, I would still highly recommend all individuals get vaccinated when they are eligible.
Q: What’s it like owning your very own pharmacy?
A: It’s very rewarding when you build a team who has the same vision, drive and dedication to provide needed medications to our elderly population across the state. I have a fun crew of pharmacists and technicians that make going to work fun every single day. However, with ownership comes more responsibility.
Q: What has changed about the pharmacy sense the pandemic hit?
A: Our delivery methods (i.e. cleaning totes after every delivery, contactless delivery), our policy on cleaning/sanitizing work stations in the pharmacy, mandatory mask wearing in the pharmacy.
Q: Do you have Covid restrictions at the pharmacy? If so tell me why.
A: We require everyone to be at workstations 6 feet apart -Clean work stations before/after/during shift -We are required to wear Mandatory masks -Preventative COVID testing if any potential exposure outside of the pharmacy before returning to work
Q: Has the pandemic affected how you do things normally at the pharmacy?
A: It has, but all in all, we have been less affected than others. We protect ourselves, but can still perform all of our daily duties to get the medications out to the nursing homes easily.
Q: Do you ever work from home?
A: I can remotely log into the pharmacy system from home, but much of what pharmacists do require hands-on functions i.e. filling prescriptions, checking prescriptions, etc. I can only type prescriptions from home and perform my management duties.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are interested in a career as a pharmacist?
A: I would highly recommend choosing a profession (vs a major in college) as your career path. Choosing pharmacy for me has opened many doors and experiences that I could not have gotten anywhere else. Pharmacists love helping people, love maintaining a lifelong study of disease states/medications, and are the most trusted profession!