Sullivan College of Pharmacy has developed two simulation labs that give Pharmacy Technician students practical experience working in both a community setting and an institutional setting.
The labs – which are essentially practice pharmacies that give students hands-on experience and instruction – were made possible by generous donations from Walgreens and Jewish Hospital, which is part of Kentucky One Health.
“Sullivan students are now able to receive a more hands on learning experience, gaining practical pharmacy skills that cannot be learned through a text. It better equips the students with proper skills for entering an actual pharmacy workplace,” said Megan Reynolds Assistant Director of the Pharmacy Technician Program at Sullivan University.
Walgreens recently relocated a store and donated the entire shelving and other equipment and materials for the pharmacy simulation labs.
Jewish Hospital donated a “retired” Pyxis MedStation ® machine for the institutional simulation lab. A Pyxis machine is CareFusion Corporation’s brand of an “Automated Dispensing Cabinet” – a secure medication storage device used by hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide point-of-care drug availability to nursing and medical staff.
Pharmacy technicians have a primary role in the stocking, inventory management and record-keeping associated with such machines, and must have special training to use and access them.
“Without the donations from Walgreens and Jewish Hospital, the simulation labs would not be able to provide students with such a valuable learning experience. Both Walgreens and Jewish Hospital take an active role in supporting our students during the experiential portion of their education and beyond in their careers,” Reynolds said.
During the last academic quarter of the pharmacy technician curriculum, each student is required to complete a 200 hours of externship. This experiential portion of their education puts them in an actual work setting – 100 hours in a community (retail pharmacy) setting, and 100 hours in an institutional (hospital or long-term care pharmacy) setting. These simulation labs will allow better preparation for both types of externship.