Working for the Greater Good: from Pharmacy School to the Air Force
The United States has one of the largest militaries in the entire world, with over a million brave individuals putting their lives on the line for the greater good. One of those individuals is Becca Seagraves, a 2019 UKCOP graduate and pharmacist in the Air Force. Seagraves's military career required her to continually adapt as she quickly went from a recent pharmacy grad to being in charge of a team of over 25 people at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Pharmacy.
“Going in as a new pharmacist and being put in charge of an operation that size was initially daunting. But between my Air Force training and what I learned at UKCOP, I felt ready to make the jump. They teach you how to be an officer and leader in the Air Force, and UK prepared me to be a pharmacist,” said Seagraves.
Though pharmacy practice and the military might be a unique combination for some, Seagraves has found where she belongs. At its core, military pharmacy is still pharmacy--it is all about patient-centered care.
“Military pharmacy is not as different as I was initially expecting. When I was trying to decide whether to join the military, I imagined preparing IV bags in a tent in the Middle East, and it was a hard decision. But I came to realize that I was already prepared for what the job would throw at me,” said Seagraves. “All the experience I got at UKCOP has been so incredibly helpful. My rotations and my experience in the emergency department prepared me well for the kinds of challenges we face at our pharmacy.”
One of Seagraves's most significant accomplishments in her career thus far is making Narcan more accessible to her pharmacy patients.
“During my time at UKCOP, I was able to volunteer and dispense Narcan, so making sure patients can have access to it was very important. Having prior experience with Narcan through UK directly impacted my decision to change the way we handled the medication.”
By helping people reframe the way they discussed the life-saving medication, Seagraves addressed the stigma surrounding Narcan and increased the acceptance to 99%. She even received a coin from her commander for the program.
Seagraves' contributions to both the field of pharmacy and the U.S. Air Force have allowed her to influence the world around her positively.
"At first, I just wanted to feel like I was making a difference. But with what I'm doing now, I'm able to be the difference for my patients,” said Seagraves.