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Janica Thompson

Janica Thompson is a clinical customer service representative and is currently in the Revenue Cycle Management Academy.

I’ve always wanted to work for Johns Hopkins and began applying when I was in high school.

I’ve had a lot of family over the years work at Hopkins, including my mom, my aunt and cousins. My biggest role model is my brother, Edward McKay Jr., who’s worked here for over 20 years. He started in environmental services and worked his way up to becoming a surgical tech under Ben Carson.

Once The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened its Zayed building, my brother told me to apply because the building was new and the hospital would need workers. I applied for the environmental services position in February of 2012 and was hired in April.

I wanted my foot in the door and I thought this was the perfect place to start.

I worked for about four years in an office area. I enjoyed the relationships I built with everyone but I felt limited in that position.

With the encouragement and a great letter of recommendation from my manager, I got a new job as a unit associate (UA). My role was to ensure the unit runs smoothly. Dealing with equipment, helping nurses, pharmacy runs, having everything stocked, taking patients downstairs for discharge, etc.

Within my first two weeks of being a UA, I experienced a code blue, which is cardiac/respiratory arrest, in my unit. This was my first time really experiencing hospital culture.

Nurses would always tell me that I would be a good clinical customer service representative (CCSR) and that I should apply for that position. After serving as a UA for nine month, I obtained my current role: clinical customer service representative. I am the center for the whole unit. I sit at the front desk and deal with patients, doctors and nurses. I’m here to answer their questions and to assist them.

It was a natural transition from being a UA to a CCSR. Unit associates always covered the desk for CCSRs during their breaks, so I already knew the job a little bit.

I’ve been a clinical customer service representative since February of 2017, so next year will be two years for me.

I try to be that person that helps with anything. Nurses get busy and I try to keep things running smooth. It used to be challenging in the beginning because you have to juggle everything at once. You might have this person asking you to do something, you have a phone ringing, a patient is calling. I always push through it and prioritize.

I just got into the Revenue Cycle Management Academy. I have been interested, and my manager felt like I would be a good candidate for this program. It’s 12 weeks of training about how the hospital’s finances work.

With this, I’m leaning more toward finance, health care administration or business administration as a job in my future.

A lot of people feel like they are at a standstill in a position they don’t want to be in. Get out there and look into your resources. The possibilities at Hopkins are endless.

--As told to Sarah McCormick

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Gesley Fisher

Gesley Fisher, a senior pharmacy technician in pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, interned at the hospital through environmental services when he was in college.

I started my career in medicine being a CVS pharmacy technician. Fresh out of college, it was hard to find jobs. A friend who wanted to become a pharmacist was working at CVS. He gave me a recommendation to work in their pharmacy and they hired me. I did a three-to-six month training program that prepared me for the Maryland Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam (PTCB). Once I passed, I was a certified pharmacy technician through the state of Maryland.

Two and a half years later, I followed that same friend from CVS to The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He gave me a recommendation to work here as well. I wanted something new. I am one of 41 pharmacy technicians within the pediatric pharmacy.

When I got to Johns Hopkins I needed to be nationally certified to do IVs. Because of this, for my first few months I didn’t go in the “IV hood.” This is a sterile environment where IV fluids and injections are made. I was mostly doing the “PO section,” which is a signature code for “by mouth.” Outside the hood is where I made liquid medicine or oral solutions, such as tablets.

Once I passed the national PTCB , I was able to train and go in the IV room.

I picked up making IV medicine so well, I became a chemotherapy technician. I worked in the special handling hood and dealt with drugs that were hazardous. Since the beginning of October, I’m a senior technician in pediatrics. It’s still early on, but so far I have a few new responsibilities, such as training newcomers. I have the same responsibilities as I did in my positions before, but I am now more of a leader.

I’ve only been here for a year and a half and have been steadily going up the ladder in a very quick fashion.

I’m on a rotating shift and I work mostly day shifts, sometimes nights. Depending on the letter of the day, I will have different responsibilities. I might have to restock the entire pharmacy one day, make oral compounds the next, or make dilutions for the next batch of medicine going out to patients another day.

When I first arrive at work, depending on my shift, I will make one of the three batches of medicine that are delivered to pediatric patients throughout the day. Depending on the prescription, they have different colored labels. Once all batches and first doses are finished, they are sorted onto different carts and delivered to their assigned units within pediatrics.

I am handling so many things, so it’s important that I am accurate, that I am not giving a patient too much of a drug, that I’m delivering the right drugs to the right patients, and doing everything in a sterile environment. On average, about  3,000 doses of medicine are customized for specific patients and dispensed each day in pediatrics.

Seeing the impact my job has on pediatric patients is motivating. I’ve seen how people, like my co-workers, talk about how hard I work. Helping children when they are sick and knowing my job is to make them feel better is fulfilling.

As far as my education, I have an undergrad degree in biochemistry with a minor in forensic science. I’ve always had an interest in science. I like the concept of analyzing evidence to come to a conclusion. My ultimate goal is to become a forensic scientist. I plan on going back to grad school to work on that when the time is right.

--As told to Sarah McCormick

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