Pioneering Through as a Pharmacy Technician

Pioneering Through as a Pharmacy Technician:

Evanne Raker’s Story with American National University

Like many adults that join American National University, Evanne Rakers has a family to support and a life that does not have room for disruptions. After struggling in the sink-or-swim environment of one of the busiest stores in a retail pharmacy chain, Evanne took her education into her own hands and joined the ranks of ANU’s pharmacy technicians. Her dedication to her studies and hard work have earned her the spot of Term 231 Pharmacy Technician Student of the Term!

While scrolling through social media, Evanne found us through one of our advertisements around the time she was searching for pharmacy technician training. Upon her findings of ANU, she found our stackable degree programs, she says, “it just had a path for me. And doing everything online, at home, it was perfect… I love it, the way it’s set up.” While attending ANU, Evanne has even found that it’s helped her learn of the different areas she can work rather than in a retail chain, and she looks to join a hospital setting once she graduates.

Once she enters the workforce, Evanne feels like ANU is preparing her for the situations and daily work she’ll have to do once she’s licensed. She says, “I’ve learned a lot of the bigger aspect of the pharmacy world… I didn’t know there was so much more to it than the compounding medications!” She has learned everything from dosages, dosing calculations, and aspects of patient care that will help her become successful as a pharmacy technician. This was a big difference to the on-the-job training she was promised at a retail pharmacy that she feels she never truly got. She describes, “working with on-the-job training, it was so busy that they didn’t stop to take the time to personally train you how to do things or show you how to do things.” At ANU, Evanne gets personalized attention and time to truly learn the material and equipment that she will use every day in her career.

When it comes to her classes and professors, Evanne has enjoyed every moment. Her professors are “all pretty fantastic. They’re very thorough with the lessons and curriculum. They teach in the caring way,” as Evanne describes. “If I send an email, they respond right away. They explain things. They’ll focus on posting extra videos to help us,” she says. Not only that, but as a part of our High Tech, High Touch education, Evanne received all the lab materials she needed to learn to be a pharmacy technician. She was blown away by them! “The science interactive kits are probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” She excitedly says. “We got a little human skeleton that we actually got to refer to as we’re doing the schoolwork… that was nice to have something right there, and you could look at it and see it for yourself, in person!” Prior to enrolling at ANU, Evanne says she had never worked with anything like that before.

ANU sends students lab skits to succeed – and included in that is access to the state-of-the-art PioneerRx system that is used in pharmacies everywhere across the nation. As previously mentioned, even though Evanne worked in a popular chain pharmacy, she didn’t get much of a chance to actually learn what she needed thoroughly. At ANU, with PioneerRx, she can study the system as often as she needs! “Actually being able to play around with the PioneerRx [software] myself, go through and look through everything, it was great,” says Evanne. “I was able to learn everything on my own time. Even when I wasn’t doing an assignment, I was able to just look through the whole thing, where everything was, and how to do things.”

“I think it’s a lot better to go through the courses so that you can learn at your own pace. When you go into the pharmacy world, you learn stuff, but you don’t get a thorough learning of everything… I think going into a pharmacy after having the training is a lot better than being thrown into the mix.”

Her future goals include graduating and then coming immediately back to ANU for her bachelor’s degree in Medical and Health Services Management through our stackable degree programs. She even hopes to earn her master’s later down the road.

Evanne would definitely recommend ANU to others looking to earn their higher education – and even has already tried encouraging her daughter to enroll! She says, “it’s just a perfect atmosphere. It’s so convenient, it’s a great program. It’s a great learning experience. I tell my daughters: ‘if you want to have your free time and work at your own pace, this is the best option for you.’” She explains that even through the distance, she has developed social bonds with her classmates through the discussions she’s had in her classes. She remembers her ethics class for those discussions: “The point of views from all these different minds… I am very neutral, I like to just absorb everything, and just hearing all the different aspects of what these people thought was amazing! You don’t really understand how each individual person thinks until you’re in a class like this, given topics, and then given how everyone feels.”

Her advice for future students: “Take it one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed. If you think you want to give up, reach out to somebody and ask for help. If you push through, everything will work out.”


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