Pharmacy Technician, San Antonio - San PedroJean Marie
“I work as a PCA, which is a physician’s care assistant; kind of like a CNA. My first job was working with special need adults, and I worked from the age of 16 to about 18 or 19. I worked with them until the place closed. From there, I started working at the psychiatric hospital for children ages 3 to 18, for about two or three years. I’ve been in and out because I used to work for Sam’s Club. I was there for eight years but I lost my job when my mom got sick. I had to miss a lot of work so they ended up letting me go.
My mom was taking diabetes medication and one of the side effects was to the liver. I didn’t know that until the doctor informed me about what caused her to have the issues with her liver. From that time, we had to give her insulin and we couldn’t give it to her in her stomach. It had to be in her legs or arms. So, I thought to myself, ‘This is what I have to do.’
I put my life on hold to take care of her. She told me I didn’t have to, but I was going to anyway. When I was little, she took care of me. So it was my turn to take care of her. She passed away, and for a few years I helped my dad out. I told him that I was at a dead-end job and that I didn’t see myself going anywhere so I decided to come back to school and build my dream of becoming a pharmacy technician. My sister pushed me, told me I had to do something since I was 38 years old.
“When I was little, she took care of me. So it was my turn to take care of her.”
I live with my sister, her four kids and her husband, and they’re like, ‘Come on, you’re going to do it. You just have to have garnas.’ Garnas means, like, the desire. You have to have that to push forward. Even at work, most of my friends there are all nurses, and they always ask me how school is going.
We have stuff to do in school and online, so it works out nice for me. I come Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then I work Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend. I start my work as soon as I get home from school and whatever I can’t finish I do it when I get home from work the next night.
“At first, I was scared and timid, but now I am more confident.”
At first, I was scared and timid, but now I am more confident. If someone who was nervous to start school, I would tell them to go. Even if they’re older. Look at me, I chose to come. You have to be focused. You have to really want it in order to do it. You’re either going to do it or not. You know, the effort the teachers are putting into you, you have to put into class. They’re willing to help you. They’re willing to stay after class. They prepare us and set us up for success.
Now I am here, and I am getting ready to go on my externship, and I am just so excited. My goal is to get a job as a pharmacy technician; be able to help people. I am so proud of myself and thankful for everybody that has supported me in my personal life and here at school.
My dad is very proud of me. He starts crying, and I tell him not to. He’s like, ‘You’re the only one out of all of my kids that has furthered their education. Your other sisters and your brother, I’m proud of them, too. They have families and stuff, but they never had the desire to further their education to grow or open their wings.’
I think my mom would be proud. That’s what my dad tells me. ‘You know your mom is proud of you.’ I tell him that I know. It would just be different if she was here.”