Photos courtesy of Schoolcraft College
Over the past two years, it seems that Schoolcraft has brought a dose of reality to its students and transformed them into capable adults that are ready and determined to take on the world. The Pharmacy Technician Program, which is aimed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical industry, is leading the charge in preparing Schoolcraft’s students reality ready.
“Pharmacy Technicians prepare and dispense medications under the supervision of pharmacists in either a community setting, which includes drug stores, or in an institutional setting, which includes hospitals or long-term care pharmacies,” said Licensed Pharmacist and Program Coordinator, Joseph Ringer, in regards to the goals of obtaining the certificate.
It’s important to differentiate between the two available certificates to students. One is purely for the skills necessary to become a technician. The other prepares students at a more advanced level, as graduates from the program can obtain employment in any setting, in any medical specialty and to prepare any necessary medication. This can include oral, intravenous and more since the routes of distribution are vast and often complicated.
In fact, when students strive toward their advanced certificate, they learn how to screen prescription orders to ensure they are accurate and complete. Once they do so, they check the work of their peers and have their own work reviewed prior to a final, supervised opinion from a licensed pharmacist.
This program is held on the Radcliff campus in Garden City but will move to the main campus’s Health Sciences building within the next two years after construction is completed.
Both certifications require students to visit an academic advisor prior to beginning the journey to outline the required coursework and to ensure students meet the appropriate criteria for admission and completion of the program. This includes submission of transcripts, maintaining a 2.5 or higher in all pharmacy technician courses, earning an overall 2.0 GPA in all courses at Schoolcraft and completion of the program’s application packet.
“All students are required to provide a negative urine drug screen, in some cases submission of vaccination records and meeting the financial compensation for fingerprinting, the exam and certification and lastly, the state licensure fee,” Ringer explained.
Students will undergo a plethora of prerequisite courses to teach them about administration techniques, proper conduct and more. However, what earned and expeditated Schoolcraft its recent accreditation and set the bar so high for this program is the utilization of the state-of-the-art simulation center, which is used concurrently by nursing, pharmacy technician and local medical students.
“The drugstore side is modeled after leading chain pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens and Meijer. Meanwhile, the hospital side of the simulation lab is modeled after hospital clean rooms and is aligned with the most up-to-date standards for making intravenous solutions,” Ringer explained. “Our students use simulation drugs and intravenous solutions to learn how to prepare and dispense medications as if they were in the actual work setting.”
Schoolcraft College’s accreditation for the pharmacy technician program was granted by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission, which according to Ringer, is a collaborative effort between the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. This monumental achievement ensures that students will learn the skills necessary to be safe and competent professionals in the pharmaceutical industry in only one semester.
In addition to the simulated practice and competencies reinforced by the program, students are also paired with Schoolcraft’s partners for real life, hands on experience in the field. These partners include chain pharmacies like Walgreens and even renowned hospitals such as Beaumont Health, Garden City Hospital and the St. Joseph Mercy Health System. Ringer secured these connections through his strong relationship with the program’s advisory board.
“We prepare students with the skills needed and then prepare them for the workforce by assisting with their resumes and interviewing techniques. Our connections combined with our strong program has helped students’ employment right after graduation,” Ringer stated. “In fact, our first graduating class of 2019 all passed the certification exam on the first attempt. The hope is to continue improving the program and students’ level of preparedness for the field.”
Start getting reality ready and take the first steps to applying for the Pharmacy Technician Program today by scheduling an appointment with an academic advisor at 734-462-4429.
For more information or further inquiries about the Pharmacy Technician Program, please contact Joseph Ringer at [email protected]