If you’d like to be a pharmacy tech training student, finding the right pharmacy tech training school for you will involve some research.
Your research will probably involve visiting school websites, reading school reviews, touring school campuses, and speaking with family or friends who may work in healthcare.
Among other things, your research is telling you something very important – what it’s like to be a student at the school.
If you’ve been wondering what a typical school day is like for a BAMA pharmacy tech student, here’s what you can look forward to.
A Typical School Day for a BAMA Pharmacy Tech Training Student
BAMA’s accredited pharmacy technician training program runs from Monday-to-Friday, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, at the San Francisco campus. The program is 600-hours of lectures and hands-on classroom instruction, followed by a 240-hour on-the-job externship.
A typical day for a pharmacy tech training student is as follows:
8:30 am to 9:00 am
Students arrive on campus. It’s time for them to maybe eat breakfast in the break room, review homework, or just hang out together on the couches before class starts.
9:00 Am to 11:30 Am (Including 10 Minute Break)
Students are either scheduled Labs or study module.
Class insight: “Each student takes labs at the same time, but at different levels depending on how far along they’re through the training program. Students then come together for pharmacy theory and math lectures,” says Linda Madsen, BAMA Pharmacy Technician Instructor.
11:30 am to 12:00 pm
It’s lunch break, with students either eating packed lunches on campus, or heading out into San Francisco to grab a quick bite.
12:00 pm to 2:30 pm (Including 10 Minute Break)
Students are either scheduled Labs or study module.
Class insight “Part of an experienced student’s training involves taking on the responsibility of mentoring newer students during labs.” says Linda Madsen. “Pharmacists are extremely busy, and they often rely on experienced technicians to train new technician hires. In class, I replicate this mentoring process. It’s a valuable skill students learn, and will greatly help them during their pharmacy career.”
Class for the day finishes, with the opportunity for students to ask the instructor further questions, or visit with other BAMA staff concerning externship placement or career services assistance, for example.
Employer and BAMA Graduate Campus Visits
A student’s pharmacy tech training also involves visits from pharmacy employers and working BAMA graduates.
During the appropriate training module, BAMA’s Career Services Team invite staff from pharmacy employers, such as Walgreens Pharmacy, to speak with students about work place professionalism and career pathways for pharmacy technicians
Additionally, BAMA graduates are invited back to campus to speak to students about their externship experience and working as a pharmacy technician.
“I like to invite graduates back to BAMA to talk to my class,” says Linda Madsen. “It’s a great opportunity for current students to learn from their peers. It has a great impact. Students get to learn about life working as a pharmacy technician, which helps them become a more well-rounded pharmacy technician by the time they graduate.”
BAMA Student Celebration Events
Events that have become annual fixtures at BAMA are: Hawaii Day, a Halloween costume contest, an ice cream social, student appreciation bagel day, and Red Nose Day.
BAMA’s big celebration event though is the annual Graduation Ceremony for pharmacy technicians and medical assistants. It’s a day for graduates to celebrate their great achievement with their family, friends, and BAMA staff.
What Are the Benefits of BAMA’s Pharmacy Tech Training Program?
On completing the program, pharmacy tech graduates are prepared and eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
An entry-level pharmacy technician will usually begin their career working at a retail pharmacy. (In fact, BAMA pharmacy technicians are often hired to work at their externship site!)
After working at a retail pharmacy, a licensed pharmacy technician can explore some of these career possibilities:
- Progress to working as a pharmacy technician at specialized clinical pharmacies, e.g. at Walgreens Pharmacy, or CVS Pharmacy
- Gain entry into store management training programs, e.g. at Walgreens Pharmacy
- Working in hospitals
- Working in mail order pharmacy
- Work at a veterinary hospital pharmacy
- With extra schooling, complete training to be a pharmacist
- … to name a few pharmacy technician career pathways.
While no one day is exactly the same as another for a pharmacy tech training student (after all, variety is the spice of student life), there’s the guaranteed consistency of each day of training building upon another, preparing students to begin a successful pharmacy career. And as we hear repeatedly from graduating pharmacy technician students – those days go by fast!
BAMA is 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.