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I am Penn State Health: Darryle Tillman

Sundays at Darryle Tillman’s childhood home meant reading the jobs section of the newspaper – at his dad’s encouragement. Tillman landed on pharmacology because he read that it meant helping people, having a set schedule, not having to see blood and making a decent living. Well, two out of four isn’t too bad, chuckles the Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center pharmacist, who works varied hours and has witnessed several medical procedures.

This is the Best Part of Working at Penn State Health

I love the family feel and camaraderie. I’m not in this by myself.

A Typical Day Looks Like This

I’m putting together IVs, entering orders, doing patient education, in a meeting, taking a call from a doctor. My area of responsibility is sterile compounding, which is all the IV medications including antibiotics, pain meds, chemo and more.

Biggest Challenge

We are heavily regulated by the government, and the challenge is in adapting the needs of the patient to the regulations. I have been president of the Berks County Pharmacy Association since 2011, and I’m on the Pennsylvania Pharmacist Association to have a seat at the table and a chance to take part in decisions affecting our profession.

Favorite Project

I love being a preceptor for in the pharmacy residency program. It gives me a chance to give back and to pass on what I’ve learned.

My Part in the Big Picture

Physicians are the head coach, and you can call me the defense coordinator – if I see an order that doesn’t seem right, I say something, or physicians may call me with drug-related questions. Their training is different than mine, and we complement each other.

Coping During COVID

Once COVID hit, demand for several meds that we do not use too often went through the roof.  We confronted two challenges. One was being able to keep up with demand. I make a lot of the IVs. There were several days, in the early part of the surge, that I couldn’t feel my thumbs when I went home. The second challenge was a chain supply issue. The run we had on the meds was the same run every hospital had on the meds, so they went quickly on backorder. We purchased up when we could, and my boss’s office was stacked to the ceiling with things we needed to make it through the surge.

Three Things I Can’t Live Without

  1. God
  2. My wife and my daughter
  3. Football – I love, love, love the Eagles!

This is Why I’m Proud to Work Here

A lot of people associate good things with Penn State Health, and we benefit from having the backing of a university-affiliated health system that’s well respected.

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