Ericka Brown, Stenberg grad, now works as a Registered Pharmacy Technician at a hospital in her home community.

A mom’s guide to going back to college

Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma offered flexible learning option

From pushing a career to the back burner to giving up precious “me-time”, being a mom demands extraordinary multi-tasking. Ericka Brown, a mom-of-two and Registered Pharmacy Technician, has mastered this constant juggling act.

This former veterinary technician had happily quit her job to care for her daughters. As the years progressed, Ericka felt something was missing. She wanted to jump back into the professional world but going back to her old job was no longer appealing. “I wanted to get into human medicine. I reconnected with an old friend who worked as a Pharmacy Technician at BC Cancer and her job sounded very similar to what I did as a vet tech.”

A light bulb went off in Ericka’s head and she started researching into how she could become a Pharmacy Technician

Back to college

Ericka’s friend had recommended Stenberg College’s Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma program. Stenberg’s program allows students to learn theory online and complete practicum placements in their home community. This fit in Ericka’s busy lifestyle. “Attending a regular program wasn’t feasible as I had two little kids. They are in many extracurricular activities, and we don’t want to pull them out of those. Stenberg’s 10-month, accredited Pharmacy Technician program gave me a lot more flexibility,” Ericka shared.

Juggling her studies and being a mom, pushed Ericka to come up with innovative study tactics. “I was studying whenever and wherever I could. I had flashcards in my car, so I could review while waiting to pick up my daughters. I had medication names recorded on my phone. I’d listen to them on speaker while driving and sometimes, my kids would start repeating the names,” Ericka laughed.

Ericka excelled as a student. She enjoyed the theory, but it wasn’t until she started the in-person labs that Ericka had her “I love this!” moment. “It was during our compounding labs that I realized I was on the right track.”

Finding Passion

Ericka graduated from the program with a 98 per cent grade point average and is now working as a Registered Pharmacy Technician in the chemotherapy ward at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Her success as a Pharmacy Technician is driven by her passion for making a difference in people’s lives. “This is very personal to me. I have lost two aunts to cancer and watched a third battle it twice.”

“I know that I’m not the type of person who can work bedside as a nurse.” By becoming a Pharmacy Technician, Ericka would still be able to help “without being in the same room as the patient.”

Feeling inspired? Visit Stenberg’s website to learn more about their Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma program.

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