Pharmacy Technician – Progam Highlight

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.

To learn more about WVJC Online’s exciting Pharmacy Technician program, request information here!

Olivia Williamson – Graduate Highlight

Olivia Williamson is a West Virginia Junior College Pharmacy Technician graduate.   Her choice to become a student at WVJC was easy because of the class size and family atmosphere. When making her decision to enroll in school she knew “it would be a challenge” because she is a wife and mother of two small children.  However, she was determined to further her education to better her life.

Once Olivia officially decided on WVJC, she began to take an interest in her general education courses.  These courses brought her out of her shell as she enjoyed being creative and giving presentations on a wide variety of topics. “Mr. Cutright inspired me to think outside of the box and push the limits of my comfort zone.” Olivia has always been a quiet person, but she now feels more confident working with others.

As Olivia approached graduation, she completed a 160-hour externship at Mountaineer Medical Pharmacy. She said, “I enjoyed every moment of this hands-on experience.”  Olivia was given the opportunity to work alongside the pharmacist and observe in every aspect of that career. The pharmacist enjoyed having her there and watching her grow in her field of study.

As Olivia progressed through her education and externship, she knew that she was done working “dead end jobs.” “I am thankful that WVJC provided me with the opportunity to, not only complete my degree, but also, allow me to see that I have chosen the right career path.”

Olivia credits her mother for her decision to enroll at WVJC and is thankful every day that she has a career that will help her provide for her family. Olivia is looking forward to her new career in a local pharmacy!

To learn more about WVJC’s pharmacy technician program, request information here!

Sarah Cruz – Student Highlight

Sarah Cruz, WVJC Morgantown Campus

Senior year is both exciting and stressful. Many high school seniors are debating over what they want to do with the rest of their lives. The golden question for most seniors is where to attend college. Sarah Cruz, a Pharmacy Technician student at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown struggled with that question. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do right after high school, but my mom pushed me to go to school, and I complied.”

Sarah who is originally from Guam started her college career at Guam Community College. Once Sarah started the program, she realized GCC wasn’t the path for her. She decided to call it quits and work full time. “I enjoyed earning my own money and feeling like I had a new freedom.” Time passed, and Sarah made a big decision to move to Seattle with plans to start attending school again. After spending some time in Seattle, Sarah found herself having a hard time settling in. “Moving to a new place, trying to figure myself out, and working full time was too much.” Sarah then thought about moving to West Virginia. “About five months before I moved to West Virginia, I was visiting my cousin who invited me to live with her and go to school at WVJC.”

Sarah decided to meet with an Admissions Representative at WVJC. She loved it, and decided that the Pharmacy Technician program was the program she wanted to pursue. “I wanted a career where I could help people, support myself, and that I could have a great future in.” When asked what she enjoys most about WVJC Morgantown, Sarah said, “The hands on experience. We don’t just learn things by reading out of a book or watching videos. We get to experience everything before we graduate.” Sarah said she enjoys it so much, she would definitely refer her friends to WVJC. “It’s a smaller school, so it’s more intimate and the teachers make themselves available to you as often as possible. It’s nice being able to have that one-on-one help when you need it.”

Pharmacy Technician – Program Highlight

Jamie McGuire, Pharmacy Technician Program Director at West Virginia Junior College- Morgantown,  is very passionate about the Pharmacy Technician field and her program’s role in providing educated and competently trained individuals for employment in this growing field.  See the video below to learn more about WVJC’s Pharmacy Technician program.

In the video, Ms. McGuire explains that a Pharmacy Technician is “a healthcare professional working under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to provide a wide range of patient-based pharmaceutical services.”  These services include everything from general prescription processing and billing at a community pharmacy to working in a nuclear pharmacy.

Ms. McGuire highlights the fact that the general public does not realize how many different types of facilities require the use of a Pharmacy Technician and highlights those in the video as well.

Finally, Ms. McGuire talks a bit about the Pharmacy Technician program at WVJC in terms of how the training and education is completed, the required national certification, externship requirements and so much more.

WVJC Bridgeport Student Highlight: Denise Nicolette

Denise NicolettiDenise Nicolette is a Pharmacy Technician student at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport Campus.

“The WVJC Bridgeport Campus was easy to get to and I they offered the Pharmacy Technician Program, which is what I was very interested in,” Denise explained. “Unemployment statistics quoted an increasing need and growth for Pharmacy and the program sounded very interesting.”

She is thoroughly enjoying WVJC Bridgeport so far. “My favorite part of attending is everything! My brain is so happy!”

Her biggest supporter was Ms. Gilbert, who Denise says had confidence in her when she did not have it in herself. Also, she appreciates the support of Mr. James Jones for showing her the reality from both sides.

The WVJC Pharmacy Technician Program teaches students to prepare chemotherapy and IV antibiotics, manage home infusion, compound creams and capsules, prepare total nutrition mixtures, recognize neonatal and geriatric considerations, maintain controlled substance logs, use ampoule and glass filter syringes, reconstitute antibiotics, calculate flow rates, calculate dosages identify the classification of drugs and understand pharmacy law and patient privacy.

Pharmacy Technicians could work in locations such as retail chain sites, long-term care, home health pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, nuclear pharmacies, in-patient care pharmacies, psychiatric pharmacies and incarceration facility pharmacies.

WVJC Bridgeport begins a new Pharmacy Technician class every six weeks! For more information or to contact an Admissions Representative, visit