Alla Avetisyan, Pharm.D.

Western Health University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy
North Hollywood, California

LDI’s recognition, value and sense of fulfillment are the qualities that prompted me to join this organization as a fourth-year pharmacy student. At first, I was intimidated to join and it seemed unreal for me to be in a leading position as a soon-to-be pharmacist. Despite having leadership roles in my previous positions as director of American Geriatric Society Student Chapter at WesternU, a pharmacy technician instructor and a program supervisor at Galaxy Medical College, I still felt the need to be better prepared as a leader. My intentions for joining LDI were to develop tactics and skills necessary for a new pharmacy practitioner, but what I have gained from my experiences with LDI is more than what I had expected. I am graduating from the program as a pharmacist and my experiences with LDI not only helped me make the transition from student to professional easier, but provided me with the tools that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Self-reflection sessions, daily journaling, clarification of my own values and constructive feedback from others are examples of the tools that gave me topics to think about and further shape my leadership and professional skills, and helped me grow as an individual.

The most exciting journey for me to embark on, while a member of LDI, was meeting individuals with different backgrounds, expertise and experiences within the same profession. Most of these individuals already fill leadership positions in their jobs, yet they desire to continually grow professionally. It was not until our first meeting that I realized how fortunate I was to be in a circle of great professionals and compassionate individuals, who dedicate their lives to the profession of pharmacy and aim to make it better by improving themselves and by inspiring others.

The great leader Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Through the enforcement of individual projects, LDI provides the opportunity and the chance to be the change you have always wanted to see. My individual project entitled “Pharmacy Technicians on Training” was prompted from personal experience, and is a topic I wanted to further research. Being a pharmacy technician first, then an intern, now a pharmacist, I have witnessed many challenges that the world of pharmacy faces. One challenge that I experienced myself, and see many people struggling with, is the lack of on-job training. Pharmacy technicians do not get any formal, on the job training and are expected to learn independently by observing and asking questions.

The goal of my project is to have a well-developed, universal pharmacy technician program in technical career schools, which will provide adequate training when technicians are hired for jobs. Formal training programs have been developed to better train technicians to assist the pharmacist, however, there are no uniform standards for technician education prior to employment.

I am invested in this cause because I believe that by properly training pharmacy technicians, pharmacists will have more opportunities to be involved in clinical aspects of the pharmacy and improve patient care. In order to be able to develop this program, I took the time to survey participants and gather data to have a better idea on what to focus on. My survey participants consisted of currently employed pharmacy technicians and currently employed pharmacists; upon surveying the participants I was able to compare data and come to a conclusion about “Pharmacy Technicians on Training.”