What types of people would be interested in this program?
The person interested in the Pharmacy Technician program is one starting a career or needing a career change.
Ideally a person who would like the pharmacy tech program would be one with a health care background looking for a career change due to a job loss or a need for rehabilitation. Graduates from high school will also find this a good starting career without a large investment in education, especially those looking for an orientation to the pharmacy field before deciding on obtaining a pharmacy degree in the future.
This type of career will suit a person who:
Is detail oriented
Has an interest in working with the public
Can handle multiple tasks
Is interested in learning superior written and verbal communication skills
What is the appeal/benefit of this program? (i.e. What do graduates say makes it great?)
The Pharmacy Technician Online theory component of the program allows flexibility of lifestyle and time management. This allows students to stay at home to work on courses at a convenient time for them. It saves child care, driving and fuel expenses.
Students come to Selkirk College for 7 weeks for the hands on component in April. Affordable accommodation in off season rates is available at Kekuli House on the Castlegar Campus for those who travel from out of the area.
Small class sizes give students individual attention as well as a sense of community and sharing with fellow students.
How is this program similar to or different from offerings at other institutions?
Selkirk College Pharmacy Technician Program learning requires students to be mature and disciplined. The program is intense and focused on learning the basic skills needed to work in a community and/or hospital pharmacy. Other distance programs are mainly paper based over two years whereas our program is an interactive online format completed with Practicums to eleven months.
How do I learn practical skills?
Full time students or students completing part time studies at Selkirk College come to the Castlegar Campus in April to complete the final seven weeks of hands on training for learning pharmacy computer programs, sterile product preparation, dispensing and compounding procedures.
What are Practicums?
Practicum is 140-160 hours of work experience in a community and hospital pharmacy. We place students in practicum placements all over the country.
Are there other special benefits/attributes of this program that should be noted?
Instructors make every effort to assist students acclimatize to the online working format. The first week is spent in orientation to using online tools, Forums and Discussions for posting and retrieving assignments. In a short period of time students find they improve their typing, computer and internet skills. Students also develop “team skills” which transfer into their work place.
Quotes from former students:
I am happy that the instructors of the PTEC program are so nice. I wasn’t sure when I started the course what to expect, because all I had to base my speculations on was High School but I am happy to have gotten to know them both.
How long has the program been offered at Selkirk?
The Pharmacy Technician Program at Selkirk College began taking in its first class September 2003. The addition of Hospital Program courses began in 2006.
Which campus(es) deliver this program?
Under the School of Health and Human Services the online component of Pharmacy Technician programs home base is Castlegar Campus with the Lab component also at Castlegar Campus in April each year. The main advantage to students is that it is central and Kekuli House can provide needed affordable accommodation for out of area students.
Is it offered via distance learning?
Yes, the program offers nine of fourteen courses online by distance learning format. Details are available on our website at www.selkirk.ca under The School of Health and Human Services.
An online delivery method allows students a convenient educational plan for their busy schedules.
Anonymous quotes from general feedback of the program:
I think being a successful on-line learner teaches more discipline than a traditional setting. Even though all learning teaches discipline, on-line learning requires the learner to keep on his/her toes, and take control of their lives. On-line learning is not impersonal at all. In fact, I believe that it is much more intimate than most University lecture theaters.
I chose the online classroom primarily because of the flexibility I needed when it came to my new family situation. It is nice to know that as the world becomes more competitive, convenient ways to stay competitive are available.
Is a Certificate or Diploma offered upon completion?
How long does the program take to complete?
Although the Pharmacy Technician Program is a full-time eleven month certificate program students may also choose the option to extend the program over 2 years.
For optimum success, we highly recommend for those that are working full-time or have other challenges in their life, to take this program over two years.
What methods of program delivery are used?
The program is primarily an online learning environment for theory courses and depending on the career path chosen, face to face labs for the seven weeks in the Spring Semester. During the Lab component, a practical hands on experience is emphasized with additional opportunities from field trips and community pharmacy seminars when available.
What careers does this program lead to?
The program trains for Pharmacy Technician in a community or the hospital pharmacy. See employment opportunities for other options.
What further education options are there following this program?
Students will also wish to explore specialty avenues available for training in the homecare field, as well as advanced compounding techniques that may be required by community pharmacies.
Some students will find this an opportunity to explore the pharmacy field before going on to university to obtain a pharmacy degree. Two former students are presently in a pharmacy degree program and two others are working on other degrees while waiting to be accepted to a pharmacy university program.
What employment opportunities are available, and where, and how plentiful?
Every community has at least one pharmacy and today with pharmacist shortages, qualified graduates can find employment in clinics and retail pharmacies. New and expanding career opportunities are available with insurance companies, pharmacy software vendors, pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical research. As healthcare organizations restructure to decrease healthcare costs, a well-trained Pharmacy Technician will have increased opportunities for employment.