Pharmacy Tech Program: San Francisco Graduate Spotlight #1

elba pharmacy tech program.jpgBAMA prepares it students for a career after graduation. Students learn in the classroom what they’ll need to know in their career, supplemented with an externship at a healthcare facility.

Pharmacy tech program graduate, Elba Rodriguez is an example of a person who took her BAMA training and turned it into a successful healthcare career working as a pharmacy technician.

We spoke with Elba about her BAMA pharmacy tech program and Walgreens externship experience.

A Nurturing Learning Environment

BAMA’s pharmacy tech program is 600-hours of lecture and hands-on classroom instruction, with a 240-hour, on-the-job externship. Students gain basic knowledge of pharmacology; pharmacy calculations; pharmaceutical and medical terminology; abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing; dispensing and documenting medications; and the standards, ethics, and laws as they relate to pharmacy practice and pharmacy technician duties.

Linda Madsen was Elba’s pharmacy technician program instructor, guiding her through the six modules of her training.

“Linda is an amazing teacher,” said Elba said. “She’s like a second mom. She keeps the class entertained. And she helps prepare you for your externship by sharing her own pharmacy experiences.”

When Elba experienced challenges, the first person she went to her was her instructor. “If you need help, speak up!” said Elba.

With Elba’s instructor partnering with her throughout training, she was soon ready to go on her pharmacy technician externship.

From Externship to Pharmacy Technician Job

Elba’s externship was at Walgreens Pharmacy, where her duties included filling prescriptions, data entry, answering phones, and helping pharmacy customers.

“I worked with great people on my externship,” said Elba. “The pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were helpful.”

Elba has this advice for pharmacy technician students on their externship, “Take plenty of notes, pay attention, and consult with staff when you need assistance.”

Elba is a person worth listening to when it comes to externship advice, because Walgreens approached her with a job offer, starting one week after her externship.

“I tried to be there for staff when it was busy. I was humble, and I took constructive criticism well,” said Elba about her great accomplishment.

Elba also believes that her customer service skills gained working in a restaurant benefited her externship performance. “There’s a parallel between food service and the fast-paced, customer service side of retail pharmacy, said Elba. “It helped shape my personality in a good way.”

As for people considering enrolling in the BAMA pharmacy tech program, Elba said,  “In the long run, it will be worth it. You’ll have a career.”


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.

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