Pharmacy Tech Program to Offer Two Information Sessions


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Interest in healthcare professions is rising, and South Campus is responding with two presentations Nov. 5 for potential students interested in becoming pharmacy technicians.

The demand for healthcare professionals is rising, and San Jacinto College responded by offering many programs in the health science fields including nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In addition, the College offers certification as a pharmacy technician (tech), and the leaders of the South Campus program are presenting two information sessions Nov. 5 to answer questions from interested students.  

Regina Ram is the program’s director and clinical liaison on the South Campus. She said her passion for the pharmacy tech field grew with the dramatic influx of interested students, some of whom are earning two credentials at the same time.

“We’ve had an increase in enrollment of 41 percent and an increase of students earning the certificate and an associate (degree) at the same time,” she said.

During the information sessions, Ram will present a slide show highlighting the program’s advantages. She said she encourages students to work toward a credential that will open the most doors, and she recommends the Associate of Applied Science in Health Science with an emphasis in pharmacy tech.

“Most students are not even aware that we have that degree plan,” she added.

The median national average pay for a technician is roughly $14 an hour. Ram said program graduates see a starting pay rate between $16 and $19 an hour, with the option to work at either a retail or hospital pharmacy.

Retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS offer store employees the opportunity to earn their certification after passing a national exam, but Ram said she prefers receiving her medications from program graduates.

“As a customer of a pharmacy,” she said, “I would feel more confident if the technician putting together my prescription had more of a formal education rather than studying a book.”

On the other hand, hospitals require technicians to have additional skills like working with IVs. San Jac’s program offers training to encompass a wide range of professional demands that widen graduates’ career options.

Also during the sessions, Ram takes the opportunity to clarify misconceptions about the time required to complete degree plans and graduate.

“Students are often turned off to the idea of joining the program because they believe it may be an entire two-year program, but the entire classroom portion is only two semesters,” she said. “In the final days of the program, students are interning and getting clinical experience.” 

The Pharmacy Technician program is offering information sessions at noon and 6 p.m. on Nov. 5 in Room 251 of the Science/Allied Health building (S1) on the South Campus.