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Practice makes perfect

September 20, 2023
Kimberly Spafford receives the 2023 Pharmacy Technician Achievement Award.

Ten years ago, Kimberly Spafford decided to pursue a career related to her interest in math and science and enrolled in an accredited pharmacy technician diploma program. She completed the program and then took some time to work in a pharmacy, travel, and grow.

Eventually, in 2019, Kimberly received an opportunity to return to the pharmacy after some time away. Shortly after settling back in, everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

“We were working 10-to-12-hour days and it was so hectic, but it also helped me realize that I was ready to commit to working in the pharmacy as my career,” said Kimberly.

After some consideration and encouragement from her sister and her pharmacy manager, Kimberly decided she was ready to take the leap, complete her exams, and become a pharmacy technician.

“I decided this was the path I wanted to take for my career; I already had the schooling, so I was qualified and ready to take the next steps,” she said.

Her first step was taking the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s qualifying exams, the successful completion of which is required to demonstrate competence at entry to practice for all pharmacy technicians.

Kimberly not only passed her exams—she achieved the highest marks across the province. That distinction earned her ACP’s 2023 Pharmacy Technician Achievement Award, which includes a prize of $1,000.

Kimberly said her real-world experience was an important learning opportunity and helped her feel prepared.

“My biggest piece of advice is to learn from your work experience,” she said. “You need to experience interactions with patients and coworkers to manage the real-world situations in the pharmacy.”

Kimberly looks forward to receiving her practice permit in a couple of weeks and continuing to grow and learn in her new role as a pharmacy technician. 

“I enjoy going to work! I find this role and working with my coworkers is so fun,” she said. “Being able to do what I’ve spent all this time working towards is rewarding, and I look forward to seeing how this profession continues to change and grow.”