Technician Spotlight

Today’s Technician

Mary Anna Marshall is no stranger to the pharmacy technician profession. She has extensive experience in hospital, retail, long-term care, chemotherapy, compounding and education. Her acquaintance with 2 neighbors, licensed pharmacists, gave her the desire to become involved in this field. Now hers is an involvement that occupies a very large percentage of her life. Holding down not 1 or 2, but 3 positions, each in a different area of the profession, Mrs. Marshall teaches, directs, and is a marketing representative.

She began working at the age of 16 for Richmond Memorial Hospital as a pharmacy technician. After high school, in 1970, Mary Anna worked as a medication technician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, VA, where she was born and raised. After 2 years she was promoted and delegated the responsibility of supervising 43 other technicians.

Mary Anna has been married for 25 years to husband Donnie, owner of Marshall’s Prepared Foods. She took courses in business at Virginia Commonwealth University and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and ventured off in 1981 to work with her soul mate in his business.

In 1994, her mentor and respected employer, Daniel Herbert, R.Ph., hired her as a technician for Richmond Apothecaries, Inc where she did compounding for chemotherapy. It was then decided to further her education in pharmacy. She began self-study with the proper manuals to prepare for the PTCB certification examination. She succeeded in passing and became nationally certified in March of 1996.

In 1998, Mary Anna was hired by J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College to teach Basic Pharmacy Lab and she was also promoted to her current position as Marketing Representative for Richmond Apothecaries, Inc. Another promotion in 1999 named her Director of the Pharmacy Technician Training Program at J. Sargeant Reynolds. In addition to her Basic Pharmacy Lab class, Mrs. Marshall now teaches Interpersonal Communications and Clinical Course Studies to technician students.
Last year she opened the Virginia Institute for Pharmacy Technicians under Richmond Apothecaries, Inc. Here, existing technicians can prepare for national certification through a 12-week course. Incidentally, Mary Anna reminds, that come July 2003, technicians in Virginia have to be either state registered or nationally certified. Since opening the institute in 2000, Mary Anna has helped 60 technicians become nationally certified with many more yet to take the exam. The institute has a 99% pass rate for her students.

Besides her other duties, and being a mother of 2, Dawn and Travis, Mary Anna finds time to teach first aid classes. When asked what she sees in the future of technicians, she replied, “I see technicians taking over a lot more responsibility in pharmacy, allowing pharmacists more time to counsel patients and use their clinical training.”

Mrs. Marshall is proud to be this year’s recipient of the Virginia Pharmacist Association’s Pharmacy Technician Award. Like those who proceeded her and many more who will follow, Mary Anna Marshall’s achievements in the pharmacy technician profession display true professionalism and dedication and make her sparkle in this edition of “Technician Spotlight.”

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