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    I am Navy Medicine – and Pharmacy Technician – HM3 Ilandra O’Doherty

    I am Navy Medicine – and Pharmacy Technician – HM3 Ilandra O’Doherty

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Steckler | 201019-N-RG482-0030 BREMERTON, Wash. (Oct. 19, 2020) Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Steckler 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    The first thing you notice about Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ilandra O’Doherty is the welcoming smile. It’s the smile of someone who is not only good at what she does, but genuinely enjoys it.

    O’Doherty, a certified pharmacy technician currently serving at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton, has a natural professionalism that’s hard to teach. Her enjoyment and competency manifests in an overall passion for patient care and safety.

    “Being a pharmacy technician requires immense attention to detail to avoid errors,” said the San Antonio native and 2013 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School . “We are often the last place a patient visits before they return home. Positive customer service experience is paramount to ensuring our patients leave feeling confident in our hospital and the services rendered to them.”

    With Oct. 18-24, 2020 designated as National Pharmacy Week, pharmacists and technicians are acknowledged for their invaluable contributions to patient care assigned to hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other health care settings. It’s a week that O’Doherty, as the assistant leading petty officer (ALPO) of the NMRTC Bremerton outpatient pharmacy, has been preparing for some time.

    “We usually like to have a good time here,” she said, referring to the outpatient pharmacy. “This week, especially, we wanted to try to kick the morale up a notch. We started with Hawaiian Day on Monday, and are doing several themed days throughout the week, but the one most people are looking forward to is ‘Home, Sweet Home’ day where everyone can dress like where they’re from. We have a pretty diverse staff, so it’ll be fun to see the different outfits.”

    Her naval career started a little earlier than most. Typically, Sailors go to boot camp until after their 18th birthday, but O’Doherty got a bit of a head start.

    “I joined the Navy right after high school at 17,” said O’Doherty. “I wanted to be a part something bigger than myself. I have always had a passion for the medical field and wanted to explore it more after graduation, which is how I wound up as a Navy hospital corpsman.”

    O’Doherty said she’s also found a passion for training new pharmacy technicians, a responsibility that has become all the more important since being assigned as the ALPO.

    “I have the privilege of being part of pharmacy leadership because I had the ability to help Sailors with their day to day challenges, and can request recognition for Sailors when they go above and beyond,” she said. “I also overall help the Pharmacy Department as concerns arise.”

    In her more than seven years of active-duty experience, O’Doherty said that the coolest experience she has had lines up closely with where she grew the most as a member of Navy Medicine.

    “The coolest experience I have had was working in Jacksonville in the inpatient pharmacy,” she said, referring to her time at NMRTC Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida. “I had the ability to help patients in the intensive care unit and learned so much working closely with doctors and nurses. I also attended and assisted in code blue emergency responses - cardiac or respiratory arrest - and learned the importance of coming together as a team to complete a mission to help save a person’s life. It’s such a rewarding experience to see a patient walk out of intensive care that we have been treating for weeks move to the medium care unit and eventually become healthy again.”

    Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, hospitals, possibly more than any other industry, have had to find ways to not only provide access to those in need, but innovate and explore new ways of safely serving patients. Such a scenario has been especially true for NMRTC Bremerton and its pharmacies serving approximately more than 80,000 eligible beneficiaries, including more than 58,000 in the greater Kitsap County area alone.

    O’Doherty helped create the pharmacy’s standard operating procedures and overall guidelines for its current curbside delivery process for high-risk patients during the ongoing pandemic to keep both patients and staff as safe as possible. Other such changes implemented to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in pharmacy spaces in installing sneeze guards, redesigning wait areas following social distancing protocol, and modifying the workload shift for the Pharmacy Drive-Thru Refill Annex.

    “I’ve made sure that staff are trained to properly screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms and counsel them on their medications over the phone to avoid lengthy interaction at the patient’s vehicle,” she said. “They also are screened outside, so essentially patients are screened twice before the medications are delivered. If there are any errors in this workflow, I alert the appropriate leadership to quickly rectify them. The pharmacy works as a team to stop the spread of COVID-19 by remaining vigilant and taking proper precautions such as wearing masks and routinely washing hands. Like everyone, we do our part to contribute for the betterment of everyone.”

    O’Doherty said that as a pharmacy technician, she has one main objective.

    “My goal is to help someone do one positive thing each and every day I come into work. I want to make a positive impact for someone.”



    Date Taken: 10.23.2020
    Date Posted: 10.24.2020 10:55
    Story ID: 381690
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

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