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    New Pharmacy Tech program offers chance at lucrative healthcare career

    Pharmacy Technology is the newest program at LSCPA, offering a certificate after two semesters that could lead to lucrative career opportunities in the healthcare field.

    Four years of education to pursue a career in medicine might seem like a bitter pill to swallow for folks looking to make a quick transition into a well-paying job. Lamar State College Port Arthur offers a cure, though, with a two-semester answer resulting in a certificate in Pharmacy Technology.

    LSCPA announced its new program this month with classes starting in Fall 2022.

    “Through a meeting with one of our current clinical affiliates, a need for additional pharmacy technicians was identified,” said Shirley MacNeill, Chair of the Allied Health Department at LSCPA. “Market research using labor market data from Texas Workforce Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics show the career is in demand.”

    Not only are pharmacy technician graduates in demand but they can expect projected median hourly earnings of $17.79 with a steady growth of 18 percent in job demand.

    Texas has the second-highest employment level for Pharmacy Technicians, second only to California, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Pharmacy technicians work in either an inpatient or outpatient setting and function under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist. Technicians receive and verify prescriptions, maintain inventory records, answer pharmacy calls, and prepare medications for patients by filling prescriptions.

    The certificate program requires a total of 25 hours of credit, starting in fall and completed in the spring semester. During the spring, students will be provided the opportunity to complete clinical hours within a supervised setting. Students will initially learn in a lab environment designed to simulate a pharmacy environment.

    “When we saw a need for more pharmacy technicians in the region and across the state, it was a natural thing to move forward with providing this opportunity for current and future students,” MacNeill said. “We want to help fill those openings with qualified graduates but as much as that, we want to provide students with the opportunity to enter a lucrative career field. It’s truly a win-win situation.”

    Classes available for the Fall 2022 semester include Community Pharmacy Practice, Drug Classification, Introduction to Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Math, and Pharmacy Law. Classes are being taught Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week of the semester, which starts August 22 and runs through December 9. Registration is underway now through the first week of the Fall semester.

    “Classes will fill quickly,” MacNeill said. “This is a fantastic opportunity in a career field where jobs are waiting for qualified graduates.”

    Anyone interested in taking classes at Lamar State College Port Arthur can start the process by contacting Enrollment Services at 409-984-6467 or by email at Financial aid is available for those who qualify.