Military men are indeed making some buzz in the field of allied health care, specifically, the pharmacy technician field. In recent news, an army specialist named Timothy Burnell received the Larry C. Nesmith Enlisted Technician award last December for “going above and beyond” his obligations as a pharmacy technician. The departmental award is given annually to deserving military men and women, who, like Burnell has gone the extra mile in fulfilling his duties. According to the Fort Hood Herald News, Burnell was recognized for the following exemplary accomplishments:
- He served as the technician for the only narcotics pharmacy vault during his unit’s deployment to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan during the period of June 2012 to March 2013
- Burnell created a new and efficient inventory system for on-hand prescription meds that resulted to 100 percent accountability;
- He also clocked in over 200 hours of volunteer work during his deployment to support pharmacy technicians from the Heathe N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital, the most advanced and biggest Role 3 hospital at the Bagram Air Field
- Burnell also established a medication recycling program that encourages units to turn in unused medications to be reused for the army’s Pharmaceutical Returns Management Program. The financial outcome of the program was close to $1 million.
Burnell’s army family, the 582nd Medical Logistics Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, is surely proud of what he has made of his career. Equally impressed was Burnell’s supervising pharmacist, Capt. Normal Tuala who lauded Burnell for his strong “work ethic, professionalism, and dedication.” “For me, it didn’t feel like I was doing anything special. I was just there doing my job and doing what I was supposed to do,” Burnell told the Fort Hood Herald News. “However, it was a special feeling to know that I was recognized above and beyond all the other pharmacy technicians in the Army.” The modest Burnell may make it appear that his job was insignificant, but it wasn’t an easy undertaking. Can you imagine managing the only pharmacy vault in the area yourself, or supporting a number of pharmacy technicians at another facility while doing so? Heathe N. Craig is also a huge and hospital (a 50-bed military hospital), and for sure requests for prescription processing come along often. Burnell isn’t the first army person to catch the spotlight in recent months. Late last year, US Air Force master sergeant Jessica Hughes received the title for 2013 PTCB CPhT of the Year from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Surely is a great time to be in the military and allied healthcare field both at the same time.