by Alexis Tucker, Managing Editor
Schoolcraft is now offering a new Pharmacy Tech Program at the Radcliff Center starting this fall. This program is the culmination of two years of work and several site visits to model the facility after real local pharmacies. The actual construction started earlier this year in March. With the program being 31 credits, it will take about nine months for students to complete the curriculum.
The focus of the program is on the practical aspect of learning like an apprenticeship program. “Any student will be ready,” said curriculum coordinator and Instructor Joe Ringer, R.Ph. MBA.
Students will be walked through the entire tech experience in their first semester from filling and processing prescriptions to even answering phone calls. At first it appears to be a normal classroom like any other, but when looking in the back, there is a mock-pharmacy meant to mimic a traditional pharmacy layout. This way, students will quickly become acclimated to their future workspace.
The mini-pharmacy is fully equipped with patient files and health records, prescriptions to fill, a mixer, even interrupting phone calls, and another half dedicated to another side of the technician job. On the other side, technicians have to make intravenous mixtures, which mimics the scenario of being in a hospital creating chemotherapy treatments and IV medications. Students there must follow specific protocols to work in an almost-sterile environment where they have to put on foot-covers, bonnets, scrub their hands, and put on their garbs to create the mixtures. This section has a laminar fume hood (horizontal blowing), vertical fume hood, and a chemotherapy fume hood, which students will learn how to properly use all three. Already certified technicians will assist in teaching students and will be on standby during classes to help students with a 5-to-1 student/tech ratio. Students will always have and get the help they need to succeed in this program.
In their second semester, students begin to work in the community in places like local hospitals or local pharmacies. By this time, students will be well-versed in their job, so everything should be fairly familiar in procedure.
Schoolcraft created this program to fill a need in the community, and with some generous donations from Diplomat Pharmacy and Walgreens, these students should be well-equipped to fill this need.
For more information on the Pharmacy Tech program, contact 734-462-4426.