Pharmacy Tech Program Externship Advice from a San Francisco Walgreens Store Manager

Walgreens_ATCO2_Vert-RGB.jpgAre you looking for pharmacy tech program externship advice?

An externship is an essential part of your pharmacy tech program training.

On an externship, you’ll put into practice your school training, learn new ways of working, and interact with pharmacy staff and customers; all of which means you should come out of the experience an improved pharmacy technician.

Most pharmacy tech program externships take place in a retail setting. It’s in this busy environment you’ll step out of the classroom and become a pharmacy technician patients depend on for fast, friendly, and skilled healthcare.

We spoke with Sherri Cookson, a Walgreens Store Manager, Area 48 (San Francisco) Recruitment Team Lead, and a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), about what it takes for a BAMA pharmacy tech student to complete a successful Walgreens externship.

Q: How Can a Student Ensure They Have a Successful Externship?

A: The student should push themselves beyond their comfort level. They should treat their externship like a real job. And they should take the opportunity to learn and increase their pharmacy acumen.

What Should a Student Never Do on Their Externship?

A: A student should never arrive late for their scheduled start time, or leave early. They should never miss their scheduled days. And they should also never fail to give their best effort.

What Should a Student Work on During Their Externship to Help Make Them a Better Pharmacy Technician?

A: It’s important that a student build a positive working relationship with pharmacy staff. They should make an effort to learn quickly and build upon and retain those newly acquired skills each and every day of their externship. They should also be productive and contribute to the successful operation of the pharmacy.

What Advice Do You Have for a Student on How to Handle a Busy Pharmacy Day?

A: A student should work to complete as many tasks as possible prior to the busy, rush times of the day. They should also commit to working as part of a team, prioritizing their duties to help with maintaining a smooth work flow and having prescriptions ready for patients on time.

How Does a Walgreens Externship Benefit a Student in Finding Pharmacy Tech Employment at the Store?

A: A Walgreens externship is an opportunity for the student to realize if community retail pharmacy is a good fit for their future employment. The externship also gives the student a chance to experience and participate in the day-to-day activities of a community pharmacy.

What Pharmacy Trends Should a Student Should Be Aware Of?

Pharmacy operations are becoming increasingly electronic with less handwritten hard copies of prescription. Pharmacy pace much faster, so our technicians need to be able to multitask and troubleshoot. Patient adherence and inventory control also need to be a priority for pharmacy technicians.

What Career Pathways Are Open to a Pharmacy Technician Hired by Walgreens?

Becoming a proficient, skilled pharmacy technician through practical experience. Progressing to a pharmacy technician at one of several specialized clinical pharmacies. Qualifying for and being accepted into pharmacy school and upon completion becoming a licensed pharmacist. Becoming well-versed in pharmacy operations and then moving up through our store management training program and be promoted to Store Manager. An important requirement for promotion to Store Manager is being PTCB certified and maintaining a current state pharmacy technician license.

More About BAMA’s Pharmacy Tech Program Training

BAMA’s pharmacy tech program provides lecture and hands-on classroom instruction to prepare students for a pharmacy technician career.

Students gain knowledge of pharmacology; pharmacy calculations; pharmaceutical and medical terminology; abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing; and dispensing and documenting medications. Students also learn standards, ethics, and laws as they relate to pharmacy practice and pharmacy technician duties.

BAMA is also proud to partner with Walgreens to provide students with a 240-hour, on-the-job, clinical pharmacy technician externship at one of the largest drugstore chains in the US.

At the end of the program, graduates are prepared and eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).


What employers are saying about BAMA pharmacy tech students

“We’re very pleased with the students from BAMA that we’ve placed in our pharmacies for their externships. They are well-prepared and possess a strong work ethic. We have hired several BAMA students as a result of their performance during their externships. We look forward to continuing our partnership with BAMA.”
– Sherri Cookson, Walgreens Store Manager

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