Ericka Brown, Stenberg grad, now works as a Registered Pharmacy Technician at a hospital in her home community.

A mom’s guide to going back to college

Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma offered flexible learning option

From pushing a career to the back burner to giving up precious “me-time”, being a mom demands extraordinary multi-tasking. Ericka Brown, a mom-of-two and Registered Pharmacy Technician, has mastered this constant juggling act.

This former veterinary technician had happily quit her job to care for her daughters. As the years progressed, Ericka felt something was missing. She wanted to jump back into the professional world but going back to her old job was no longer appealing. “I wanted to get into human medicine. I reconnected with an old friend who worked as a Pharmacy Technician at BC Cancer and her job sounded very similar to what I did as a vet tech.”

A light bulb went off in Ericka’s head and she started researching into how she could become a Pharmacy Technician

Back to college

Ericka’s friend had recommended Stenberg College’s Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma program. Stenberg’s program allows students to learn theory online and complete practicum placements in their home community. This fit in Ericka’s busy lifestyle. “Attending a regular program wasn’t feasible as I had two little kids. They are in many extracurricular activities, and we don’t want to pull them out of those. Stenberg’s 10-month, accredited Pharmacy Technician program gave me a lot more flexibility,” Ericka shared.

Juggling her studies and being a mom, pushed Ericka to come up with innovative study tactics. “I was studying whenever and wherever I could. I had flashcards in my car, so I could review while waiting to pick up my daughters. I had medication names recorded on my phone. I’d listen to them on speaker while driving and sometimes, my kids would start repeating the names,” Ericka laughed.

Ericka excelled as a student. She enjoyed the theory, but it wasn’t until she started the in-person labs that Ericka had her “I love this!” moment. “It was during our compounding labs that I realized I was on the right track.”

Finding Passion

Ericka graduated from the program with a 98 per cent grade point average and is now working as a Registered Pharmacy Technician in the chemotherapy ward at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Her success as a Pharmacy Technician is driven by her passion for making a difference in people’s lives. “This is very personal to me. I have lost two aunts to cancer and watched a third battle it twice.”

“I know that I’m not the type of person who can work bedside as a nurse.” By becoming a Pharmacy Technician, Ericka would still be able to help “without being in the same room as the patient.”

Feeling inspired? Visit Stenberg’s website to learn more about their Pharmacy Technician Distance Diploma program.

CareersPost-secondary Education

Just Posted

Chilliwack is still one of B.C.’s COVID hot-spots, according to the latest weekly numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Chilliwack records 140 COVID cases over seven-day period

Chilliwack’s case count per 100,000 people is among the highest in the province

Light boxes installed recently near Five Corners, seen here on Jan. 18, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Mystery of the large light boxes in downtown Chilliwack revealed

Some suggested ‘warming stations’ for the homeless; others guessed ‘public art’ installations

Bernard elementary in Chilliwack saved for several years to be able to have the First Nations inspired mural hand painted on the side of their school. Artists Disco and Mavik were busy on Jan. 17, 2020 finishing the work. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack’s newest school mural speaks to ‘optimism, hope and courage’

Bernard elementary latest school in Chilliwack to include mural art on its exterior

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read