Former 911 Dispatcher Mixes Up a New Career


Kimberly Spraker, a student at American National University’s $$Lynchburg Campus, has been a 911 dispatcher for 15 years. While she loved her job and being able to help people in need, the swing shifts and emotional toil of the job began to wear on her. She decided to pursue career training in the medical field that would still allow her to help others while providing a steadier schedule for herself and her son.

“I knew community college and big universities were just going to be out of the question. I needed something that was going to be flexible, that was going to work with me being a working mom,” Kim explained.—

She checked out ANU and fell in love. “When I came here…I just liked the atmosphere and how welcoming everyone was. When you walk in, everyone knows your name. They’re just as invested in you as you are in yourself. They root for you and pull for you as much as you pull for yourself,” she stated. “Being a full-time parent and having a job is hard enough, and then coming to school on top of that…so when you come to an environment that is supportive and comfortable, it makes it a lot easier.”


After enrolling in the medical assisting program and excelling in her classes, including making the Dean’s List, Kim’s instructors encouraged her to add on a pharmacy technician minor to round out her education and give her more to bring to the hiring table. She completed her pharmacy technician course requirements in December, earned her Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential from the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, and will finish her medical assisting program later this year.

Even though she still has a little ways to go until graduation, Kim has already received a pharmacy technician job offer from the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital pharmacy and is excited to be starting her new job. Although she has already gained some retail pharmacy experience, she’s looking forward to using the skills she learned in the classroom, labs, and her externship in a hospital pharmacy setting. “I’m going to get to do some chemo drugs, so I’m actually going to be working in a laminar hood and working with some different types of medicines, which is going to be exciting,” Kim explained. “I’ll be making IV’s, which is going to be really, really fun–I actually can’t wait to do that…and making specialized medicines for hospice patients, which have to be very sterile. Making specialized medicines and IV’s, we learned about all that, so it’s going to be really exciting to actually suit up and do it.”

[img]Now that she’s putting her education to work, she feels ready to dive right in to her new role, thanks to the comprehensive education she received at ANU. “I wanted to go back to school to show my son that at any age you can do anything that you want to do,” Kim shared. “You don’t just have to settle just to do a job that pays the bills, you need to do something in life that you’re going to enjoy and that you love. You’ve got to do something that’s going to make you happy.”

Photo A-Kimberly Spraker has been hired to work in the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital pharmacy after completing her pharmacy technician course at the ANU Lynchburg Campus and becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Photo B-Kim is excited to use the skills that she learned in class at ANU in the hospital pharmacy.

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