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SCC’s Pharmacy Technician Program Spotlighted During Day of Recognition

Pharmacypic
October 16-22 is National Pharmacy Week

Tuesday, October 18, is National Pharmacy Technician Day in conjunction with National Pharmacy Week. The designated week recognizes the valuable contributions from pharmacists and technicians in the health care field.

Students and faculty at Southeast Community College celebrated with a pizza party. Program chair, Elina Pierce, says pharmacy techs rarely get any recognition because they are not always seen by the public.

“We do a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” she said. “We are the first and last people that customers see. We love our jobs and what we do.”

SCC’s Pharmacy Technician program is the only accredited one in Nebraska and takes about a year to finish. Pharmacy techs typically work under a pharmacist and perform many duties, including filling and pricing orders, processing insurance claims and stocking medication.

Currently, pharmacy techs do not need to be certified to work in Nebraska. Pierce says that will change in 2017. Sixteen states, including Iowa, require passing a licensing exam before employment. Each state has different requirements for technicians.

“Our profession needs to be regulated and standardized, one test, one option, just like the pharmacists,” Pierce said. “Otherwise you don’t know who is behind the counter filling prescriptions.” 

She also added that last academic year, SCC’s program had a 100-percent pass rate for the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, whereas the national average is around 60 percent.

Jessica Mace is a second-quarter student already working in a pharmacy in Crete. She’s always had an interest in pharmacy.

“I like how it’s fast-paced, and I have regular customers who are friendly and know me by name,” she said.

Raghed Alkhalili is a medical interpreter who speaks four languages: Arabic, Farsi, Dutch, and English. She says studying to be a pharmacy technician will broaden her knowledge base of medication.

“I hope to combine both of these things,” she said. “I also like the flexible hours, and you can work weekends and evenings if you have kids.”

The program will be available entirely online in January 2017, with the exception of the labs.

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For more information contact:
Andrea Gallagher Haggar
Marketing Specialist
402-323-3395
ahaggar@southeast.edu