Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina, offers a one-year pharmacy technician program that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Trident accepts 24 students into its pharmacy tech program each year. PharmacyTechSchools.com recently caught up with one of this year’s students, Rosie Crawford.
In this interview, Crawford discusses her inspiration for studying pharmacy technology, her career aspirations, and a number of highlights of Trident’s program, including clinical and hands-on experiences, certification exam preparation and the Pharmacy Tech Student Association.
PTS: What inspired you to take the pharmacy technician program at Trident Technical College?
RC: I was inspired to enroll as a pharmacy technician student at Trident Tech for many reasons. The main reason is that I began my studies here at Trident to eventually pursue a career in psychiatry, but realized that I needed to gain a strong foundation and understanding of medicine in order to do so. Another reason is that my mother is an RN, and growing up, I was always impressed with her professional knowledge and realized that I too, could be involved in the world of medicine.
PTS: What are some examples of courses and/or clinical rotations you’ve done in the program?
RC: Some courses that I’ve taken in the pharmacy technician program that I’ve really enjoyed are Therapeutic Agents, which is a basic foundation in pharmacology and pharmacokinetics for technicians and Pharmacy Practice, which involves a hands-on lab that teaches technicians how to fill prescriptions, compound medications and perform aseptic techniques. My clinical rotation sites this spring semester are at the Naval Health Clinic Charleston, which is a perfect fit for me as I am a Navy spouse, and at MUSC Institute of Psychiatry, also ideal due to my career aspirations.
PTS: What’s most rewarding and most challenging about the program?
RC: The most rewarding part of my program is putting everything I’ve learned on paper into use in a real hands-on way. I am the type of person that learns best by actually doing what I’ve been taught. The fact that we have a real pharmacy in our classroom is a great way to learn from experience. The most challenging part of my program is time management and keeping up with the fast-paced schedule. There are many components to this program—classroom lectures, labs, online exams, clinical rotations— and you learn very quickly the importance of prioritizing and staying organized. Many of my classmates have families with children, multiple jobs and they still manage to be successful in the program, and to me, that is truly inspiring. I have found that writing everything down in my planner and organizing myself the night before have both been essential to my success. Although, sometimes I still find myself running out the door on hectic mornings!
PTS: How and when did you get involved with the Pharmacy Tech Student Association?
RC: I became involved in the Pharmacy Tech Student Association the first week of our program. Our class goes through the entire program as a unit, so we get to know each other very well. We elected our officers based on their strengths. For example, our Treasurer was previously a banker for many years and is great with numbers, and our Secretary is the most organized person I know!
PTS: What kinds of activities does the Association organize?
RC: Our entire class makes up the TTC Pharmacy Technician Student Association plus with the help of Ms. Snipe, our advisor, we all participate in different ways to achieve our goals. We have done a fundraiser of coupon book sales for our students to attend the technician conference in Hilton Head this March and earn CE credits. We also have worked with Habitat for Humanity on a house construction project for an underprivileged family and we are currently holding a “Rice & Beans” drive at our school for a local food bank that provides for women and children in need.
PTS: What has been most surprising or interesting to learn about the pharmacy world?
RC: The most surprising thing I’ve learned about the pharmacy world is how many career opportunities pharmacy technicians have. There are so many areas a technician can specialize and advance in. It is exciting to think of all the career possibilities that are available to pharmacy technicians.
PTS: What are your plans for after graduating from the Pharmacy Tech Program?
RC: My plans for the future are to work as a pharmacy technician and also pursue a degree in psychology. With my combined skills, I would love to be able to work for the DoD with combat veterans and their families, who are living with PTSD. As a Navy wife, it is extremely important to me that I am able use my education in order to give back to those who sacrifice so much for our country. As for where I will be in the future, “home is where the Navy sends us!” but I do know, that with my training from TTC and becoming a certified pharmacy technician that I will be able to pursue my career goals anywhere I call home.
To learn more about Trident Technical College’s Pharmacy Technician Program, visit: Tridenttech.edu