The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Behind the counter, NE student strives to help sick

By Colt Langley/managing editor

After graduating with a business management degree, NE Campus student Ryan Daussat left his job and returned to school to one day become a pharmacist.

Daussat, now 27, got his diploma from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2007 and took a position at a financial institution that offered payday loans.

While working there, he would have to charge customers an annual percentage rate of 500 percent, something he did not feel comfortable doing. On a couple of occasions, he had customers try to use child support as proof of income.

After two and a half years at the job, he knew it was time to move on.

“Basically, I was only working for the check,” Daussat said. “The job was hovering around the idea of racketeering or on the cusp of violating usury laws. It’s a legal form of racketeering that’s monitored by the state.”

Not only was the desire of becoming a pharmacist lurking in his mind, he said witnessing a family member’s struggle in the hospital and hearing from clients who could not make their loan payments on time because of trying situations gave him the final push needed to pursue a new career.

“Seeing the volume of tears allowed those things that were previously on the backburner for me, regarding people’s conditions about chemotherapy or various reasons of not being able to make a loan payment, made it more human for me,” he said. “It was like an instantaneous epiphany that I was not doing the right thing with my life at the time. I needed to actually focus on helping people as opposed to, at this financial company, putting up this facade of trying to help people get a loan.”

Daussat wants to be active in speaking and raising awareness with customers, which he said is something pharmacists typically don’t want to do.

“Lots of doctors and pharmacists are highly intelligent people, but they’re quieter,” he said. “And the last thing they want to do is have this burgeoning of customers every day, where I would probably prefer something like that.”

Daussat’s interest in pharmacies began in 1998 when he worked as a technician at Eckerd Drugs, which later became CVS. Having had plenty of interaction with customers at both companies, Daussat found that he began to care about his customers and vice versa.

“After you get to know your customers, you also get to play psychologist. You are a friend to them,” he said. “People would tell me about problems in their life like, ‘My husband’s cheating on me,’ or whatever’s going on. You can be there for them and create that within a professional environment on a friendly scale. It’s great.”

Daussat spoke about how while working for CVS, he once had to drive an hour from Plano to another CVS in East Dallas to pick up a viral suppressor medication, which his store needed. The medicine was for a nurse at Parkland Hospital in Dallas who accidentally pricked her finger with a lancet of an HIV-positive patient.

Daussat then explained what must have gone through the nurse’s head after the incident.

“Just imagine, right when that happens, going to the sink and not being able to scrub hard enough, knowing what you’ve just done, what has just happened to you. You’ve been pricked with an HIV-patient’s blood lancet,” he said.

Once he got back with the medication, she was sitting and crying. Then when the pharmacy filled her prescription, she reached over the counter and hugged him.

“I’ve probably never been hugged harder in my entire life,” he said.

Daussat said that the infection wasn’t in her long enough to be contracted and that he was glad he could help someone in such a difficult situation.

Daussat’s organic chemistry professor Bill Kucera said Daussat has a curious persistence for chemistry and pharmacy.

“He has an unusual level of knowledge compared to most students,” Kucera said. “He’s explored chemistry on his own to reach that level. His desire to learn has expanded his ability to achieve in the classroom.”

Having attended TCC since January, Daussat said he will be ready to apply to pharmacy school in August, when he will begin another four years of college.

His wife, Erin, is his main source of support.

“It’s going to be a challenge getting there, but when it’s done, it’ll be a very proud accomplishment for both of us,” Erin Daussat said.

Ryan Daussat also said without his wife’s efforts, he wouldn’t be going to such lengths.

“The ultimate appreciation on my end is for my wife,” he said. “If it wasn’t for her 100 percent of unyielding support, I would not be doing this right now.”

Though Daussat may leave North Texas for pharmacy school, his wife will stay in the Metroplex. He said the time spent away from each other will be hard but will work out in the end.

“We’ll work through whatever kind of issues we may have like a financial loss or whatever it may be, but we know the end result is going to be OK after pharmacy school is over with,” he said.

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