Pasco-Hernando State College Volume XL, Issue II - Fall 2017 - Page 19

ications P harmacists believe technician certification is essential to reducing medication errors, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy Technology. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) sponsored survey concluded that lead pharmacists perceive certification as an essential component to ensuring patient safety and increasing positive health outcomes. “The future is bright for well-trained pharmacy technicians. As the roles and responsibilities in the field evolve, the demand for educated pharmacy technicians increases, particularly in institutional pharmacy settings,” said Kristen Overstreet BA, CPhT, RPT, PHSC Pharmacy Technician Instructor and Program Director. Overstreet brings 13 years of program development and implementation experience to PHSC’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program. “Generally, people are surprised to learn that anyone who completes a board approved program and passes a background check can become registered and work as a pharmacy technician. The big chain pharmacies have established their own training programs which allow them to hire and train technicians to perform retail specific tasks,” said Overstreet. However, in addition to retail, the PHSC program located at the Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel, provides training in a variety of skill sets, such as hospital (including chemotherapy preparation), homecare, long-term care, mail order pharmacies, and many others. Small class sizes of 12 students per session, hands-on training and clinical practicums in two different pharmacy settings during the program have contributed to the success of graduates. Now in its third year, the Pharmacy Technician 9-month program at the College has graduated 19 students and boasts an 83 percent pass rate on the first attempt of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)—quite an accomplishment since the passing rate for the national exam in the past three years is 57.3 percent. Also in its third year, PHSC’s Surgical Technology Certificate program is quite successful having had its first six graduates pass the national certification exam—with nine students waiting for results from the July 2017 National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certification exam. Sherry Payne, Surgical Technology Instructor and Program Coordinator, explains all classes within the 18-month program, also located at the Porter Campus, are in-person hands-on training with lectures. “We have partnered with six local hospitals for a 10-month rotation providing real-time clinical experience from the highest quality health care institutions in the Tampa Bay area,” said Payne. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the position of surgical technologist is expecting a tremendous increase in new job opportunities through the year 2020. “As our program gains popularity, especially being newly accredited, we are looking to the future of our health programs to offer Associate in Science degrees in ancillary care,” said Payne. “Earning a certificate will get program completers in the job market more quickly, but an associate’s degree can boost career opportunities and higher wages.” With demand growing, students interested in these programs are encouraged to contact an advisor for information and apply early. Health Programs Receive Accreditation Pasco-Hernando State College recently received accreditation on the Surgical Technology technical credit program and the Pharmacy Technician certificate program. The peer review conducted by the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) and CAAHEP’s Board of Directors approved a full five-year accreditation, and recognizes the PHSC surgical technology program’s substantial compliance with nationally established accreditation standards. The Pharmacy Technician certificate program received a full three-year accreditation from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). “Receiving these accreditations is a major milestone for our health programs and assures students, graduates and employers that PHSC offers clearly defined, comprehensive curricula that meets national education and quality standards in the surgical technology and pharmacy technician fields,” said Dean of Nursing and Health Programs Billie Gabbard, MSN, RN. FALL 2017 19