Students can now earn a Pharmacy Technology diploma in just nine months at Wayne Community College. The Pharmacy Technology program, which prepares students to assist pharmacists and to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, has been reduced from three semesters to two.
“This will give them a chance to get in and out in less than a year,” said Pharmacy Technology Program Director Laura Skinner. “They will be prepared for the exam in nine months and ready to work in a pharmacy setting.” “Money-wise, it is a smarter way to go,” Skinner said. “We felt it would be better for the student - just nine months and they go into the workforce.”
Many of the students are hired by the businesses and organizations that provide their clinical experiences, Skinner said, sometimes before they graduate.
The program, which was instituted at the college six years ago, started with just three students. It has produced 47 graduates so far and another eight will finish at the end of this summer.
Of the graduates, Skinner knows of 36 who have gone on to health care careers or for further education in a medical field, including one that is currently in pharmacy school. “If I can get them nationally certified, they’ve got a job,” she said, and some have found that their employers will pay for them to advance their education. Pharmacies are starting to require that technicians have formal training, Skinner said, which gives graduates of her program an advantage over those who simply take the certification exam.
In addition to its shrinking diploma regimen, the Pharmacy Technology program has more changes on the horizon. Skinner is preparing to apply for national accreditation for the program and to implement an associate degree curriculum. Skinner is the program director and the only instructor, which allows her to provide more personal guidance to each student. “I love the fact that I am with them the whole time,” she said. “From the time they come in the door until they graduate, it is one-on-one.”
The college is taking applications now for the Pharmacy Technology cohort that will begin this fall. Admission to the two-semester diploma program is limited to 15 students.
For more information, contact Skinner at (919) 739-6950 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.waynecc.edu/pharmacy-technology/.