Featured Student: Kisma Herman

Student Spotlight

Kisma Herman is an 18 year old Brooklyn resident who enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program while in high school. This year-long program prepares young adults to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam and gives students the opportunity to participate in an externship at a CVS Pharmacy. The initiative was born out of a collaboration between NYACH, Comprehensive Development Inc., CVS Pharmacy, and Lehman College and is made possible by The Heckscher Foundation for Children.

Kisma participated in the program while attending her first year of nursing school and working another job. She passed the Pharmacy Technician certification exam on her first try and now works part-time at a CVS near her home.

The below is an interview with Kisma conducted by NYACH:

Q: Why did you decide to enroll in this program?

A: I got into the program when I was attending City-As-School high school in lower Manhattan. I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field but I also wanted to have a trade. Being a Pharm Tech has fulfilled both of my goals- it’s in the medical field but it’s also is a trade that you can use as a career.

Q: What was a highlight of the program for you?

A: When I made my first Dextrose 5% in Water IV Bag! It was fun because we had to get all geared up and got to go under the hood and everyone took pictures in their lab coats when they finished. It was fun to learn to compound and achieve that skill.

Q: What does a day on the job as a Pharmacy Tech at CVS look like for you?

A: Well I come in and put on my lab coat. I usually start in the morning by organizing for the day. I call customers and ask them why they haven’t picked up their medicine, I ask if they still are taking the medication, if there are any problems, and if they would like to speak with a pharmacist. I also ring up customers each day. I try to do at least one drop off prescription which is my goal of the day because I am not very good at them and become proficient at reading [medical abbreviations and doctors’ sloppy handwriting]. I also want to spend more time doing production so I understand the medicines better. My pharmacists are great- they help keep the day going, they understand the hectic environment and can bring a smile on my face even after I have a bad customer experience.

Q: What impact did the program have on your life?

A: I feel like by being in this program I learned to better multi-task; I was doing the program, working another job, and was in college at the same time. I think I learned how to study properly. I also learned how to better communicate with others because I would study with my friends from the program and would have to become a social butterfly to find people to study with. I became a more independent person because I had to work and go to school and get all my necessities at the same time.

I think I have become more confident in wanting to pursue something in the medical field. Before the program I was like ‘Oh, hospitals I don’t know if I could handle a hospital,’ but now I am more confident in my capabilities as a person especially with things that are scary to me. Even though it may be more difficult I know [working in a hospital] is still something that’s obtainable and I can do. I feel like I can actually help someone without fear of approaching them and that I can make their medicine correctly.

Q: What are your plans for the future? 

A: I want to finish nursing school and then work as a nurse. Then after a few years I am going to go to school for my masters in social work. I know I want to work with youth and I know I want to work with youth with HIV/Aids status both medically and socially.


For more information on this program, please visit our Pharmacy Technician Initiative page.