Cortney Warner – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Medical Coding student Cortney Warner began her classes in February of 2021. In the fourth module of her program, Cortney has come a long way toward achieving her dreams! Cortney has worked in the medical field since 2010, previously a Pharmacy Technician and a Scrub Technician. When asked what inspired her to decide to switch her career focus to medical coding, Cortney shared, “I chose medical coding and billing because I love being in the healthcare setting. I feel I can contribute to a hospital or insurance company in the future. It is such an important job that most overlook. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!”

Cortney has been thinking about her future and how she would like to see life play out as she completes her Medical Coding program. “My ideal job after graduation is to be employed by a company I can work from home for. I have a step-daughter and a baby girl; after losing my son to an accident, I don’t want to be away from them.” Cortney noted that, though she has encountered some tough times in the recent past, she only wants to move onward and upward toward her dreams. “It would be a dream come true to be able to be close to my girls, but do something I love.”

In the almost five months since she has been a WVJC Online student, Cortney has enjoyed her experience! She has felt very welcomed and encouraged from the beginning, starting with her first admissions phone call. She would be happy for those close to her to have the same positive experience if they ever decide to further their education, stating, “I would most definitely recommend WVJC Online to my friends and family! Not only have my teachers been very accommodating, but each and every person I have spoken with actually cares about you and your future. They are there to help at any given time. It’s like having a friend available to lend you a hand. You are not just a student at WVJC…you are family!”

Here at WVJC Online, our core values are WE CARE, and we do care! We are so happy to have Cortney as part of the WVJC family! If the fast-track Medical Coding program sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to get more information, request information here!

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!

Thankful For Our Students in 2020

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.”

Robin Addis, NAS, IT, and Cybersecurity Program Director says, “I am thankful for the students’ willingness to move outside of their comfort zone and learn new tasks.”

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!

We’re Here for You Through COVID-19

Our lives have dramatically changed in the last few weeks as we all adjust to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. From our movements being restricted, to learning to homeschool our children, to the heroes on the front lines battling this virus, we have all been affected.

At West Virginia Junior College, we want our students, our community, and our future students to know one thing: we are here for you and we will support you in every way possible. We’re all in this fight together, and we will get through it together.

Supporting WVJC Students

At WVJC, we are not just a college, we are a family. Throughout this difficult time, we continue to remain fully committed to our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity.

We are committed to serving and supporting our WVJC student family through the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable our students to continue training for rewarding careers, our ground campuses are providing live remote classes for all students. Via these live remote classes, students can continue to gain valuable knowledge and develop professional skills, setting them up for successful careers.

Students may travel to campus to receive distance learning materials and other essential services, as educational institutions are considered essential businesses in West Virginia. We’re taking every precaution necessary to ensure our facilities are sanitized and are operating under social distancing requirements. All instructors are also available to remotely assist students with anything they need for those who cannot or prefer not to travel to campus.

To further support our students during this time, WVJC has created an Interim Leave of Absence Policy for active students in good academic standing, who are unable to complete or begin an externship due to COVID-19. We have also revised the current incomplete policy for students who cannot sit for their certification exams during this time. For more information and guidance on these policies, please visit the COVID-19 Information page.

Supporting the Community

In addition to continuing to supporting our students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highly invested in our community and dedicated to serving it by providing the local workforce with trained and qualified medical professionals.

With healthcare programs including Nursing, Practical Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration, Dental Assisting, Medical CodingHealthcare Administration, and Pharmacy Technician, WVJC graduates are on the front lines fighting the virus, caring for sick patients, and providing critical support to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

We pledge to continue supporting members of the community and local healthcare teams by educating and training essential healthcare workers who are critical to saving lives during the pandemic.

Supporting Future Students

Due to COVID-19 and the mandatory restrictions on non-essential businesses, many people and families have been negatively impacted. There have been many people who have lost their jobs or been laid off, with millions all over the country who have applied for unemployment benefits.

With our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity, we believe that WVJC has a responsibility to help people by providing them the opportunity to get retrained and back to work. With this in mind, we are now offering virtual campus visits for all potential students. Additionally, we are waiving all enrollment fees for applicants starting college in May or June of 2020. It’s our hope that this will help people who have been affected by providing them the opportunity to start their path to a more secure career.

We also understand that it’s hard for high school students who are dealing with this time of uncertainty while trying to make decisions about what to do after graduation. We encourage all high school seniors to explore our career training college degree programs that may lead to successful, rewarding careers.

To learn more about our healthcare and professional college degree programs, contact us today to schedule a remote admissions meeting.

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!

Mon Health Medical Center – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College and Mon Health Medical Center have had a working relationship for the past few years. Mon Health Medical Center accepts Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration,  and Pharmacy Technician students to complete their externship hours with the facility, as well as Nursing students for their clinical hours. During the last few years, many students have not only completed their externship and clinical hours with Mon Health Medical Center, but have also been hired for full-time employment. Mon Health Medical Center has a large need for nurses and certified medical assistants, and West Virginia Junior College is proud to be affiliated with the facility.

Mon Health is always expanding, growing the opportunity for West Virginia Junior College students and graduates. Mon Health is the “parent” company of Mon Health Medical Center, Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital and Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. It was formed in 1982 to aid in strategic planning and to manage all of its affiliated entities under a common philosophy. Mon Health Medical Center is the flagship member of Mon Health. The 189 bed hospital traces its roots back to the first hospital in Monongalia County in the early 1900s, and was officially established by an act of the Monongalia County Court in April 1943.

The hospital has a strong commitment to providing personalized care and service with compassion and respect to North Central West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania, and the surrounding region. The more than 250 physicians with privileges at the hospital have a long history of dedication to the community and hospital, with a wide range of specialties including Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Oculofacial Surgery, Oncology, Orthopedics, Psychiatry & Behavioral Health, and Rheumatology.

While there are a number of steps a student must complete before being able to start their externship or clinicals at Mon Health Medical Center, students are happy to oblige. Students are excited to not only have an opportunity to work in such an upstanding health center, but to also have the possibility of starting a career there. West Virginia Junior College is looking forward to the growth of Mon Health and our continuing partnership!

Jessica Travis – Graduate Highlight

Jessica Travis is a recent graduate from the Pharmacy Technician program at WVJC Bridgeport. She showed nothing but exceptional skills during her time at WVJC. Jessica was an exceptional student and was a good role model for her fellow students. On top of working at a local diner she kept up with her homework. It was always completed on time, if not early. She was present during class time, both physically and mentally. Jessica asked the questions that everyone was thinking, but no one would ask. Jessica is a perfect example of a hard working student.

Jessica was placed at a pharmacy in her hometown for her externship and her supervisor had nothing but praise for her. They truly enjoyed her working there! Jessica says she learned a lot during her time at the retail pharmacy, but decided she really wanted to see how pharmacy technicians worked in an inpatient pharmacy setting. She was then off to UHC to finish her externship hours in their inpatient pharmacy and she fell in love with it. The atmosphere in an inpatient pharmacy is very different than that of a retail pharmacy and she enjoyed the differences. In an inpatient pharmacy, technicians do not have patient contact but still get to work with all of the medications.

Jessica was able to pass her certification exam on the first try and was offered a position at both facilities where she completed her externship. Jessica is now proudly employed at UHC in their inpatient pharmacy as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Jessica is the perfect example of how much hard work and dedication pay off in class and work. She studied hard and payed attention during all of the class lectures, she also asked questions when she had them. Jessica is loving her position at UHC and her supervisor always has good things to say about her.

Pharmacy Technician Program Highlight

When students are enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program at West Virginia Junior College, they are able to learn about all aspects of being a pharmacy technician. While enrolled in the program, students participate in hands-on training of skills in both retail and clinical settings.

In retail pharmacy, a pharmacy technician inputs new prescriptions into pharmacy software, works with insurance claims, pulls medications to be counted, counts and labels medications for orders, answer phone calls, and interacts with customers on a daily basis. WVJC has a pharmacy software program in which students are able to practice these skills! WVJC also has a pharmacy lab room which is set up as half a retail pharmacy and half a clinical pharmacy. Students have the opportunity to physically count tablets and package them for sale, just like they would in an actual retail pharmacy setting.

Clinical pharmacy is a sector of pharmacy that a lot of students do not think about. Clinical pharmacy can include compounding IV bags, making capsules, mixing ointments, and reconstituting medications. A unique feature of WVJC is that our pharmacy labs have flow hoods. This is the area where IV medications, including chemotherapy drugs, are mixed. During lab courses, students mix medications in the flow hoods.

WVJC’s Pharmacy Technician program is not only unique because of the hands-on training students experience, but also because the program is recognized by the PTCB. The PTCB is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. They regulate and administer certifications to pharmacy technicians. Upon completion of the program at WVJC, students sit for this certification exam. Having this certification is very appealing to employers, as is proves to them that you have the skills necessary to perform your job.

Pharmacy technicians have several options when it comes to career choices. There are retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, and there are also independent pharmacies. On the clinical side of pharmacy, there are inpatient pharmacies in hospitals and nursing homes. Technicians are even needed in correctional facilities and mental health clinics. The possibilities for pharmacy technicians is ever-growing, and the roles they take on are always expanding. Pharmacy technicians have to be able to multi-task, dependable, self-sufficient, and responsible. If a pharmacy tech is working in a retail setting, they need to be personable and patient when interacting with patients. These are all important characteristics employers will look for during the hiring process.

Students complete an externship of 165 hours during their program at WVJC. The externship allows students to go out and work in nearby businesses to get real-life experience in their field of study. WVJC has had students complete externships at small independent pharmacies and in hospital settings. The externship is an important part of the students’ education because it provides them with an opportunity to see which pharmacy career suits them the best. Some students divide their externship and do half in a retail setting and the other half in a hospital setting. Another perk that comes along with externships is that sometimes they lead to careers!

Over the next 5-10 years, schooling for pharmacy technicians is going to become very important. In 2020, anyone who wants to sit for the certification exam through PTCB will be required to go through a training program. This is a positive advancement in the field of pharmacy. Technicians will now be required to have knowledge of pharmacy and the medications they are interacting with every day. Pharmacy is an ever-changing and developing field and the demand for pharmacy technicians will only grow over the next 5-10 years.

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a very rewarding career! As a technician, you are constantly learning about medications, such as how they work in the body and what they are used for. Helping someone get the medication they need and knowing you made a difference in their life, even if it is a small difference, makes being a pharmacy technician very rewarding!

Kevin Mayhew – Student Highlight

Kevin Mayhew is enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown.  He knew through research that the healthcare field was something that intrigued him and believed that it would be a good fit and allow him to help people.  Kevin believes that pharmacy “is the art of creativity and expertise to potentially save a life.” He has always described himself as an artistic person and compounding is “where the magic happens.” If you vary the recipe even slightly the product will be ruined.

Prior to coming to WVJC, Kevin chose a different educational path.  While there, he changed his major a few times trying to find a good fit, but nothing seemed right for him.  His family taught him that there is “never a problem, only a solution.” He began to look elsewhere and speak with others about opportunities closer to home. He had a conversation with Diane, WVJC Morgantown’s Registrar and family friend. “She is just an angel! Diane told me about the program options, length of time, and the personal small class size. She told me I should come in to get information. So I did.” At that time Kevin had already completed two years of college and was over an hour away from home.  What made WVJC Morgantown most appealing was that the program was only 18 months long and was less than 30 minutes from his home. Kevin is excited that he will officially graduate in August 2019.

The support Kevin has received from his family keeps pushing him toward his career goals. “My family constantly reminds me that I am capable.” The WVJC students and staff have become an extended family of support for Kevin. Jaime, the Pharmacy Technician program director, “knows each of her student’s strengths and uses them to help build us up. She won’t quit on you and is very patient. Jaime tells me often that I have ‘strengths’ and that I ‘can do this’.  Kevin doesn’t know where he would be without all of the supportive people in his life.

Kevin recommends taking the time to find out about fields of study that interest you. When you are pursuing your degree, “remind yourself of the goals that brought you to WVJC. It will help to keep you motivated to want to do it.” Kevin’s career goals have him looking for careers in the Virgin Islands. He is looking for a career in a community where “everyone will know him and he will know them.”

Pharmacy Technician Student Highlight – Trevlin Delbrook

Trevlin DelbrookIf you are looking to be a part of a healthcare team through indirect patient care, becoming a pharmacy technician may be the right fit for you.  The role of the pharmacy technician has evolved from someone who simply counts pills and checks out customers, to a medical professional who plays a significant role in the pharmaceutical setting.  Pharmacy technicians have a complex working knowledge of pharmacy operations, such as mixing IVs, checking prescriptions for drug interactions, performing dosage and flow rate calculations, complying with HIPAA regulations, and brand and generic drug names. Pharmacy technicians may use their knowledge and skills in pharmacy settings such as hospitals, retail, compounding and home infusion.

The Pharmacy Technician program at WVJC will help prepare you for a successful career as a pharmacy technician, through hands-on lab classes and externships.  The program also assists students in preparing for the PTCB—Pharmacy Technician certification exam.

For Trevlin Delbrook, a current WVJC pharmacy technician student, this was the right choice for him. Trevlin is set to graduate in December 2017 with his Associate Degree from the Pharmacy Technician program. He is eager to join the work force and start a career in a field that he is passionate about.  Before attending West Virginia Junior College-Bridgeport, Trevlin attended East Fairmont High School. When his senior year rolled around, he started thinking about his passions and where he could see in his future career path. After meeting with Kristin Kirk, WVJC’s High School Admissions Representative, he felt that WVJC was the right path for him.

After scheduling an appointment with Kristin he knew WVJC was right for him. He says his interests were peaked “because it was a shorter program and I was highly interested in the field of Pharmacy.” He chose the Pharmacy Tech program because he was passionate about helping others, but knew enough about himself to know that Medical Assisting wasn’t for him. This was a way he could help others, but through indirect patient care.

Trevlin’s favorite part about attending WVJC is the friendships he has made.  He also admires the fact that all the teachers are all very helpful and want to see you succeed and pass your certifications as much as you do.  Trevlin’s ideal job is to work at WVU Medicine as a pharmacy technician.  He hopes to be interviewing with them soon and begin his life and career with a hospital with such a great reputation.  Trevlin lives by one quote “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE.