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Program Trains Pharmacy Technicians in a Semester
August 3, 2022

The demand for pharmacy technicians continues to grow. To help meet this demand, Walters State’s Pharmacy Technician Program is offering an entry-level certificate, which can be completed in a semester.
“This is a very rewarding career and this is an excellent time to enter the field,” Kimberly Brown, director of the program, said.  She said that students are ready to work as technicians after just 15 weeks. 
The new certificate prepares students to work in many settings. 
“This career is so much more than counting pills at the corner drug store,” Brown said. “Entry-level students are trained in processing prescriptions, interpreting and filling hospital medication orders, non-sterile compounding, legal and ethical issues, billing, inventory management and pharmacology. Students also learn the top 200 drugs.”
Graduates are eligible to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam to earn the CPhT credential. Completing this final step usually increases a graduate’s pay. Many students are hired by their clinical practice sites.  
The advanced certificate provides additional training in pharmacology, pharmacy practice and clinicals. Graduates have advanced skills, including mixing IV medicine, chemotherapy, veterinary medicine, long-term care packaging, and the preparation and administration of immunizations. Advanced graduates may work in hospitals, home infusion facilities, cancer clinics and compounding laboratories. 
Brown has always been fascinated by how medicine interacts with the human body and found being a pharmacy technician a rewarding experience. In addition to teaching, she works as an advanced pharmacy technician at LeConte Medical Center.
Brown said the pharmacy technician program is a good first step towards a career as a pharmacist, a nurse or any other health care career.
“Students can see if a career in health care is a good fit,” Brown said. “They receive a solid foundation in medicine, something valuable in any field. That also gives students the option of working as a pharmacy technician while continuing their education.” 
The Pharmacy Technician Program requires no prerequisites. Program requirements can be viewed at https://www.ws.edu/academics/health/pharmacy-technology/.  
For more information, contact Brown at Kimberly.Brown@ws.edu or 423-318-2757. 
Fall semester at Walters State begins Aug. 22. 

In the photo: Kimberly Brown is director of Walters State’s Pharmacy Technician Program. The college now offers an entry-level Pharmacy Technician course. This course can be completed in one semester.