Are you a pharmacy technician student wondering where your clinical practice kits come from? Or a prospective student wondering how you will do clinicals at home? Take a look as the team here at WVJC banded alongside Pharmacy Technician Program Director, Jamie McGuire to create these kits that are sent right to your home!
Medical Coding student Christy Richards has been attending WVJC since January 2021. Before attending WVJC, she attended Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia. She says she feels much more at home at WVJC due to the welcoming environment and the support she has from all of the faculty! She loves getting the help she needs and is not looked at as just a number. Christy is also working full-time while going to school! She is a sales representative who works very odd hours. She said, “I work full time, and WVJC fits my schedule so well.”
When Christy was looking for a school to further her education, she did a lot of research for a few months to find a school that would fit her needs and wants. She explained that she felt so welcomed from the beginning, and that feeling has continued throughout her studies. She said, “My only problem now is knowing I’ll have to leave one day and graduate!” Christy chose medical coding because she has always had an interest in the medical field and will still utilize the skills she already has. She was also able to research the certifications and felt that it would allow her to continue learning constantly.
Although she has taken something away from every instructor she has had, she did say that if she had to choose a favorite, it would be her professor Jamie McGuire! Christy has loved all of the assignments from the multiple classes with Jamie, so she knows she will not be bored.
While thinking about future career paths, Christy said she would really like to work as a medical coder at the University of Virginia Hospital or Martha Jefferson Hospital. Christy feels that her education will give her the ability to grow in her career! To continue with her future plans, she is really hoping to be a homeowner and is already working toward this goal! She would also like to work toward a management role and have the ability to sit for more certifications.*
Overall, Christy said that she has been very pleased with her experience at WVJC. She has gained more confidence in herself and her abilities. She is very excited to see where the future will take her and which opportunities will open up. She has shared her experience with her peers and recommends that if they are looking to further education, they should look into WVJC! “You get help the whole way through. Tons of guidance and even assistance with finding that right career/ job placement. It’s a wonderful experience!”
*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.
Jamie McGuire, the WVJC Pharmacy Technician Program Director, beamed with excitement when we sat down to discuss the advantages students have when attending the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program.
“Pharmacy technicians are in demand within many versatile settings,” Jamie tells us. These settings include hospital and clinic pharmacies, community and retail pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, and pharmacies in primary care organizations. It is also no surprise to find pharmacy technicians in education and training settings, prisons, the military, and pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry. In WVJC’s program, we assist our students with obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a position in any of these pharmaceutical areas.
Through the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program, students can expect to learn how to compound medications, assemble medication for prescriptions, fill and label prescriptions, and verify the accuracy of those orders. Students also learn how to provide patients and other healthcare professionals with relevant information regarding medications. Within their roles as pharmacy technicians, these foundational skills are the gateway for advancement. WVJC’s program also gives students an understanding of medication therapy management, insurance and billing, and specialized medications such as chemotherapy. Our pharmacy technician students not only learn these skills, but also get to bring these learning concepts to life as they participate in hands-on training through weekend clinical activities, externship experiences, and WVJC’s new customized pharmacy technician simulation training. Alongside the simulation training, WVJC Online students will receive a home kit completed with the tools they need to get hands-on training right in their home, so they feel confident on their first day of externship and as they start to merge into their career.
When asked which characteristics students need to succeed in this career, Jamie replied, “someone that is ready to go on an adventure! Most individuals think that it is academics or ‘book smarts’ that will make them succeed in this field. However, it is not just academics. Many mistakes happen during the learning process, and they have to be able to learn from those mistakes and let them go. Students that are willing to work hard and willing to push forward are the ones that succeed.”
Not only is the academic experience an adventure for WVJC Online students, but the career progression for pharmacy technicians looks promising for a fulfilled career journey. As pharmacists continue to evolve to provide more direct patient care, you can expect to see an evolution in the role of pharmacy technicians as well. We are already witnessing the first steps into the future of pharmacy technicians due to COVID-19, as pharmacy technicians are currently administering vaccinations to patients on the frontlines. As the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase, you will see more advanced certifications coming into play for pharmacy technicians to continue to grow in their field.
“Being a pharmacy technician is one of healthcare’s best kept secrets, because there is so much opportunity, demand, and growth happening in the industry. It is a surprisingly rewarding industry to dive into and is more than what meets the eye!” Jamie exclaims.
At WVJC Morgantown/Online, what we are most thankful for are our students. We are here because of them, and all the work we do is for them. The faculty and staff at WVJC Online and WVJC Morgantown want our students to be successful and believe that they can be. We are so grateful that our online students rise above the challenges they face and aspire to learn more.
Keep reading for messages from WVJC faculty and staff.
Bryce Adkins, Legal Office Assisting Program Director, says, “I am so thankful for my students and for being able to interact with each of you, particularly via video interactions and discussions.”
Kacey Eagle, Allied Health Programs Director, says, “I am thankful for my students who want to take the step and make a difference in their life.” She also shares advice from Beverly Sills who said, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
Jamie McGuire, Pharmacy Technician Program Director, says, “I would like to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication each of my pharmacy technician students have shown this module. Our program is packed full of specialized medical, clinical, technical and administrative knowledge that takes great commitment to master and each of you have accepted this challenge with enthusiasm. Keep up the hard work! You make me proud!”
Shane Welter, Business Programs Director, says, “I’m thankful for the students because it gives me the opportunity to work with students and professionals in different communities.”
To close, here is a message from your Academic Dean, Rachael Salvucci. “Your dedication to improving your life through education makes all of us here at WVJC work harder to help you reach your goals. We wish you well as 2020 comes to an end and hope for nothing but a prosperous future.”
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at WVJC!