One of the best parts about learning in a hands-on environment is the opportunity to actually travel to places where people are using the skills being learned in class. The Ross Medical Education Center students in the Charleston Pharmacy Technician program got the opportunity to do just that. The students spent a morning touring the in-patient pharmacy at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The students and their instructor really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot about working in a hospital setting. Many of them expressed enthusiasm about their chosen career path and the things they learned throughout the morning about it. Amber Holley, a senior student, said her favorite part was the honesty of their tour guide, “you will see a lot of sick kids there, and it can definitely be hard. Our tour guide told us all about that, and was knowledgeable and up-front regarding the daily tasks in the pharmacy.”
Pharmacy Technician Instructor Teresa Sargent said her favorite part was discussing the career opportunities for graduates. “They were very excited to hear that CAMC has many openings. They did tell us that working there is hard because of NICU babies and sick children. She really talked to us about the joys and struggles of working in a children’s hospital pharmacy.” Both the students and their instructor appreciated the balanced look at what it’s like to work in such an exciting but also difficult site.
In addition to talking about potential careers, students also had the opportunity to examine chemotherapy equipment and syringe IV compounding. Additionally, they got to see two different types of hoods – a Class B and Laminar Air Flow Hood. These allow pharmacists to compound hazardous treatment with little to no exposure. Students also got to watch an employee putting together IVs and filling the cart that delivers medication to patients throughout the hospital. After visiting Women’s and Children’s hospital, many students expressed a great interest in working in a hospital in-patient pharmacy.