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Indian River State College one-year Pharmacy Technician Program in high demand

“I get calls weekly from pharmacies that need help,” says IRSC program director
Posted at 10:47 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 10:48:48-05

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — The Indian River State College is encouraging job seekers to consider the one-year Pharmacy Technician program.

The program offers flexibility for those who are making the tough decision about whether they should go back to school.

As the heath care landscape changes at a rapid pace, the Indian River State College is evolving its curriculum to meet new needs in the pharmacy.

“It’s a lot of knowledge, it's a lot of experience that I wasn't expecting,” said Jessica Leavesley, a student at Indian River State College. “I don’t have to go out and job hunt during this time, knowing my job will be safe and secure.”

Leavesley is enrolled in the IRSC Pharmacy Technician in Fort Pierce and also participating in the apprenticeship program that offers on-the-job experience.

When Leavesley is not on class, she’s working at Butterfield’s Pharmacy and Medical Supplies in Port St. Lucie located down the street from St. Lucie Medical Center.

Leavesley has been familiar with the the family-owned pharmacy since she was 15 years old when she landed her first job as a cashier.

That experience sparked her interest to learn more about the pharmacy side of the drug store, which ultimately lead her to the IRSC Pharmacy Technician program.

As St. Lucie County continues to grow, the IRSC pharmacy technician program director is noticing a new surge in demand to staff more pharmacists at area drug stores and hospitals.

“I get calls weekly from pharmacies that need help,” said Jessica Fulton, program director of the pharmacy technician program at Indian River State College. “They need three, four, or five full-time pharmacy technicians and I can't crank them out as fast as they need them.”

The IRSC Pharmacy Technician program accepts anyone regardless of their prior knowledge or experience in the industry.

Pre-requisite courses are not a requirement and classes are only held twice a week.

After one year, graduates of the IRSC Pharmacy Technician program take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, and may seek employment in a retail pharmacy, hospital or nursing facility.

Selection for the Pharmacy Technician program is on a first-come, first-served basis.

According to the IRSC website, pharmacy technicians enjoy rewarding careers as vital members of the healthcare team—trained to prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. They measure, mix, count out, label and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

Indian River State College also offers a Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship program which works with employers to strengthen their existing technicians.

The apprenticeship program is sponsored by the employer, so their employees can join the IRSC apprenticeship program without paying for tuition.

The opportunity allows students to gain on-the-job hours while doing their didactic work and skills training with IRSC.

The apprenticeship program is also a good fit for an existing technician who is state registered, but looking to become nationally certified.

Currently, IRSC apprentices are state registered with retail pharmacy experience, but continue to learn additional hospital skills while preparing for the national certification exam.

Free information sessions are held periodically throughout the year. Upcoming sessions:

To learn more about the Indian River State College Pharmacy Technician and Apprenticeship programs, contact Program Director Jessica Fulton at 772-462-7086 or email jfulton@irsc.edu.

Additional information about the application process can be found here.