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HCC students find employment in pharmacy technician field

Two students at Hagerstown Community College recently found employment at local pharmacies. Blanca Quezada, of Hagerstown, and Jeffrey Cook, of Clear Spring, are pharmacy technician majors who recently completed student internships at nearby pharmacies, which, in addition to their coursework, helped to provide them the necessary skills and on-site job training needed for their employment.

“By completing HCC’s pharmacy technician program, these students had a chance to learn about the theoretical basis of pharmacy practice and gain experience in compounding and preparing IV solutions before they began their internships,” says Elaine Ashby, professor, biology/chemistry and pharmacy technician program coordinator.  “Our students have had good luck finding jobs and employers have told me that they appreciate how well-trained our students are.”

Quezada, 18, interned at Meritus Medical Center, Robinwood Home Care Pharmacy, and Potomac Pharmatech in Williamsport. Quezada says that the most
rewarding part of her internship was being able to have hands-on experience and getting an idea of what her career would be like as a pharmacy technician. Quezada received her pharmacy technician certificate in December 2011 and will go on to complete her associate’s degree in chemistry. She is currently employed at the Meritus Medical Center inpatient pharmacy.

Cook, 42, also interned at Meritus Medical Center, Robinwood Home Care Pharmacy, and Potomac Pharmatech. Cook says that his favorite part of the internship was learning the different aspects of pharmacy and gaining experience in retail, institutional, and long-term care pharmacy practice. Cook will receive his pharmacy technician certificate in May 2012. After graduating, Cook plans to enroll in HCC’s new pre-pharmacy program with the ultimate goal of attending pharmacy school after he completes his associate’s degree. Like Quezada, Cook is employed at the inpatient pharmacy at Meritus Medical Center.

“We are incredibly proud of the success of these two students,” says Ashby. “Both Blanca and Jeff have had excellent internship experiences and their preceptors have spoken about how well-trained and intelligent they are. I think both students have a great future ahead of them.”

To learn more about HCC’s pharmacy technician program, go to www.hagerstowncc.edu/academics/divisions/math-science/phr. To learn more about HCC’s internship program, go to www.hagerstowncc.edu/student-services/internships-clinical-education.