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ICHP Leadership Spotlight
Meet Vera Kalin, CPhT
What is your leadership position within ICHP?
Technician Representative for NISHP. I represent Illinois hospital technicians. I relay issues that are discussed in our ICHP and NISHP meetings with my fellow technicians. I also give feedback on the type of topics technicians would be interested in hearing about.
Describe your practice site?
I have been at Rush since 1989. For many years I was the primary IV room technician. I trained new technicians and pharmacy students. I still enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience. Now I work in a variety of different roles and different clinics, but I still enjoy the IV area.
How did you select pharmacy as a career?
I feel pharmacy selected me. The hospital I was working at as an LPN was phasing out LPNs. My supervisor suggested working in the pharmacy as a pharmacy technician. I had never even heard of such a thing. I decided to give it a try. After a year, the hospital I was working at closed and I moved on to another hospital, where I continued to work as a technician. I was, and still am, amazed by all the behind-the-scenes work and knowledge involved. I feel I hit the technician lotto. I joined the world of pharmacy and never looked back.
What did you learn at an ICHP event that you implemented in to your practice?
There is a lot of information out there. The majority of it is about new drugs that will soon be available, such as the COVID-19 vaccines. We started talking about the vaccines when they were in their early stages. It is so exciting and I felt privileged to be so informed. I am so fortunate. I often share the new information I learn at ICHP with my coworkers.
What makes ICHP great?
All the knowledge that such seasoned pharmacists bring to the table. Had I not joined ICHP, I would have missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the best.
What initially motivated you to get involved in ICHP?
I finally took the plunge and actually signed up and joined ICHP when a former co-worker and technician brought me the registration form and said “just sign”. It was that easy. She was also a NISHP Technician Representative at the time.
Is there an individual you admire or a mentor that has influenced your career?
I would say it is the students. When I started at Rush I was younger than the students. I hung out with them and they showed me a lot and discussed many aspects of things that they were learning. Students were the ones who told me about ICHP and always encouraged me to join. I am so grateful I took their advice. I also enjoy seeing and catching up with so many amazing, former co-workers who I used to work with at Rush. They are now doing even more incredible work within ICHP. It is such an honor to have worked with them and to continue to work with them through ICHP.
What advice would you give to student pharmacists?
Please share your knowledge and your love of pharmacy with technicians.
What's an interesting fact about you?
I speak several languages. I enjoy speaking them, especially at our live meetings. I am fluent in Ukraine and speak a few others.
What 3 adjectives would people use to describe you?
Is that singing?
Can’t stop dancing.