School Of Pharmacy Adds Program To Address Shortage Of Pharmacy Technicians
Texas A&M University’s Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy is responding to the increasing demand for pharmacy technicians in Texas by adding the Aggie Pharmacy Technician Program (PTP) to its educational offerings.
Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role alongside pharmacists in various health care settings, including hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to prepare and dispense medications, manage inventory, administer vaccines and facilitate communication with patients and health care providers.
“Pharmacy technicians are vital members of the health care team and contribute to delivering effective and timely patient care,” said Andrea Mora, Aggie PTP program director, clinical associate professor and associate department head of pharmacy practice. “A shortage of pharmacy technicians can result in reduced pharmacy business hours, backlogs of unfilled prescriptions, delays in patients receiving their medications and suboptimal health outcomes. Texas is experiencing a shortage and is in dire need of pharmacy technicians,”
The Aggie PTP curriculum, spanning 17 weeks, is shorter than many other programs, and is based on the apprenticeship model where students practice in retail or hospital pharmacies what they learn in the classroom and lab.
“We are working with various pharmacy partners to create paid apprenticeship opportunities for our Aggie PTP trainees. This will mean that during the last five weeks of the curriculum, our trainees will be able to earn while they learn,” said Asim Abu-Baker, clinical professor and associate dean for clinical and professional affairs.
The program also provides American Pharmacists Association Immunization Delivery training for technicians. Upon completion of the program, students will be certified to administer certain immunizations.
The cost of tuition is half as much as the average cost of other technician programs in Texas. The WoodNext Foundation has generously gifted the Rangel School of Pharmacy $1 million to create the Aggie Pharmacy Technician Program and support incoming students in various ways, including scholarships.
The program is seeking American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) and American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) accreditation, ensuring quality and compliance with their standards, as well as the principled Texas A&M standards. Unique to Aggie PTP, courses are taught by Rangel School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. and Ph.D. faculty, and academic support is provided to participants through Pharm.D. peer mentors and other supplemental instructors.
“The Aggie PTP is looking for applicants who are hard-working, motivated, conscientious with high morals, and eager to make a positive impact on patients’ lives,” Mora said.
The program is accepting applicants, with an application deadline set for Jan. 1. The first cohort of students will begin in Spring 2024.
To learn more about eligibility or to apply, visit Aggie PTP.