일요일, 5월 26, 2024
Home인터뷰인물 인터뷰 King Soopers Pharmacist Manager Janet Kim

[INTERVIEW] King Soopers Pharmacist Manager Janet Kim

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Q. First of all, thank you for your precious time to have an interview with Colorado Times. We appreciate everything you do for the community throughout the pandemic since pharmacists have become the quintessential front line medical experts that help patients. How long have you been working as a Pharmacist Manager?

[Janet Kim] My name is Janet Kim, and I am a pharmacist manager in the Denver Downtown Area for King Soopers. I was a pharmacist technician for 4 years, pharmacist intern for 4 years and a pharmacist for 1 year. I have been a manager for 3 months.

Currently, Colorado pharmacies are busy visiting patients who prefer drive-through over face-to-face counseling.(Photo by Rachel Y Cho)

Q. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, how have the workload and an environment of pharmacies changed over the past two years and how busy have you become?

[Janet Kim] Due to COVID-19, the dynamics and busyness in the pharmacy has changed tremendously. Most pharmacies started doing antibody testing, Rapid COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccines on top of the normal prescription tasks. Drive – thru pharmacies have always been popular but during the prime times of COVID-19, it has made a pharmacy even busier with everyone trying to do their business needs through a drive thru window to avoid contact. ALL pharmacies are lacking with help of pharmacy technicians and employees. With pharmacies being the most accessible healthcare facility to the community, a lot of employees have changed careers due to feeling like they would easily get COVID-19 from close contact to patients and due to increased workload after COVID-19.

Q. Colorado is currently experiencing a rapid surge in COVID-19 confirmed cases. Last Thursday on 11th, the governor announced that all adults over the age of 18 can now take a booster shot. What is your opinion about this?

[Janet Kim] I believe it is necessary for everyone to get a booster shot for their own protection. However, as a pharmacist and a healthcare practitioner in general, it is very tough because we are all getting an excessive amount of workload with less help. I strongly believe that the booster shot is recommended for everyone if they have gotten their series due to the alternative COVID variants. People fear about the side effects of the vaccine; however, I promise the symptoms from the vaccine are way less and better than getting COVID-19.

Q. What are the main age groups getting booster shots and can you get mix-and-match vaccinations?

[Janet Kim] Most Booster-Shots have been popular among older-adults (65+) and the age group around 20s-30s. Mix and matching of vaccines is possible if they complete their first 2 series or have gotten the Janssen Vaccine. For Pfizer and Moderna, there has to be a minimum 6-month (180 days) space from the 2nd dose to receive the booster per CDC guidelines. For Janssen vaccine, patients may receive a booster shot with Pfizer or Moderna after 60 days per CDC guidelines.

Q. Can you get vaccines and booster shots at pharmacies around your area? What is the proceeding procedure and requirements?

[Janet Kim] Patients are able to get all their vaccines including Tdap, Flu Shots, Shingrix, First Dose COVID Vaccines, and their booster shots. However, the process for all pharmacies tends to be different based on the population load and workload of pharmacies. ALMOST all pharmacies and chains tend to be appointment based for vaccines and less walk up.

For King Soopers, specific locations are dedicated Pfizer vaccine locations and specific locations are dedicated as Moderna Vaccine locations. We do this to avoid wrong vaccination errors. For King Soopers, it is recommended for patients to make a vaccine appointment at www.kingsoopers.com/vaccine or call 1-866-211-5320 to make an appointment. At the appointment, patients will need to bring in their current COVID vaccine cards with insurance to check in. Patients without insurance, the state will cover only COVID Vaccines.

Q. There are still many Coloradans who are hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccinations. What is your opinion or personal advice about this?

[Janet Kim] I recommend the vaccine for everyone for their health benefits. I have been vaccinated since the vaccine was first approved and have never had COVID. I believe it is a necessary thing to help yourself and the community. However, I do respect that Vaccine is a personal value. If people decide to not receive the vaccine, I recommend that they should follow all safety measures.

Q. Pfizer’s novel COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment is expected to be released in the market soon. What is your opinion about this treatment?

[Janet Kim] PAXLOVID™ is an investigational SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor antiviral therapy, specifically designed to be administered orally so that it can be prescribed at the first sign of infection or at first awareness of an exposure, potentially helping patients avoid severe illness which can lead to hospitalization and death. PF-07321332 is designed to block the activity of the SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease, an enzyme that the coronavirus needs to replicate.

Based on studies, it is not a prophylaxis or a cure for the COVID-19; however, they are seeing the treatment is decreasing hospitalization or death by 89%. If the medication does pass all the studies, I think it will be like the flu medications. It won’t cure right away but will decrease the sickness duration and symptoms. It is now inevitable that COVID-19 will be sticking around like the FLU.

Q. You are currently working as a Pharmacist Manager at King Soopers. There are many students in Colorado who want to pursue the same career path as you. Can you please give them some advice on how to prepare for their career path or academic path (major and university) and where did you study for your own career?

[Janet Kim] I graduated with my Undergraduate from CU Boulder with a Biochemistry Major and attended CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy at the CU Anschutz Medical School Campus.

The recommended route for students is to become a pharmacist technician first, graduate with a science degree background to meet the general class requirements for grad school and apply for pharmacy school. Most pharmacy schools prefer an undergraduate GPA minimum of 3.0.

Some students can apply to Grad school after only getting their general required classes done at a community college or University. However, this route generally is not recommended because the acceptance rate is low based on competitiveness.

During pharmacy school, it is important to work a lot as an intern whether it is for retail pharmacy or hospital to make sure your peers know about your skills and work ethics. The pharmacy world is very small, and everyone knows everyone. Word of mouth recommendation is very important. Please keep in mind that there are so many openings for pharmacy technicians throughout the pandemic. If you are over 18 and pass drug test and background check, King Soopers will provide training and classes for you to get certified.

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고려대학교 국제학 BA · 고려대학교 언론학 BA · 덴버대학교 국제안보학 MA

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