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June 16, 2020
Even during pandemic stay-at-home orders, the hospital pharmacy never closes. Piedmont Technical College (PTC) Pharmacy Technology graduate Pharrell King has firsthand knowledge of this. He works full-time in the Inpatient Pharmacy Department at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood. And while King literally leaves his house each day to clock in for his shift at Self, he very much remains happily “at home.”
“Working at Self is amazing,” he said. “When I go there, it’s like I am visiting my family. It’s another home for me. I am very happy and very blessed.”
King’s workload has stayed constant throughout the quarantine months. The hospital pharmacy is a busy place every day because there are patients in the hospital every day.
“As pharmacy technicians, we have to review computer-generated reports at the beginning of the shift and go out and put more medication in the machines for nurses to administer,” he said.
The only noticeable change was the temporary closure of two elective surgery floors, which left King and others to handle some minor duties of furloughed employees.
King, 53, is a citizen of Canada, where he retired from a first career as a forensic nurse. Perhaps the most dramatic difference between Greenwood (and the U.S.) and Canada is the health care systems.
While at PTC and before coming to Self, King had the opportunity to train in both retail and hospital settings. Those experiences contributed to his choice of hospital pharmacy for this second career gig. He came to his job confident in his abilities and the training he received at PTC with PTC Pharmacy Technology Program Director Clay Sprouse.
“Clay always had great answers to our questions and gave quizzes almost every day,” King said. “He was constantly on top of our education.”
“I am extremely proud of Pharrell and his accomplishments. He is a valuable member of the Self Regional Pharmacy Team and will be for years to come,” Sprouse said. “His story, while unique in its own way, is like so many other success stories that comes from our program. I am proud to be a part of an organization that can make these stories become reality.”
Though he is comfortably “retired,” King decided to return to work in part because of where he now lives.
“Here, the cost of health care is high,” he explained. “I just wanted to have that security and peace of mind. I am carrying a Blue Cross Blue Shield card in my wallet, and that is very comforting. That is why I wanted to have a full-time job.”
Pharrell King, right, with PTC Pharmacy Tech Program Director Clay Sprouse
Pharrell King celebrates New Year's with co-workers