See Springdale Pharmacy Tech Students in Action

Pharmacy tech students at the Springdale Job Corps Center take their training seriously. Success in this career boils down to being very thorough and accurate.

Under the direction of a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician student will measure, mix, count, label, and prepare medications. They also often interact with patients and answer their questions. Most graduates in this area go on to work for pharmacies in drug stores and in hospitals.

During a recent training event, Springdale students, including Jericho Pettengill, all tested their ability to quickly and accurately count medication. Jericho describes his experience. Watch the video above or read below.

“Hi, I’m Jericho Pettengill. I come from Cornelis, Oregon, and my trade is pharmacy tech.

Accuracy and speed is mainly just how quickly one can count pills or in this case beans. It is about seeing how accurate you can be. Along with trying to get close to what most pharmacy technicians shoot for when it comes to filling pills, which is about a bottle a minute, like 60 bottles an hour.

The way we have it set is we are timed for ten minutes. In those ten minutes we are supposed to fill as many prescriptions as we possibly can. We normally count by five or some other multiple that works best. So, when filling prescriptions we have to make sure the count is right and also make sure the lids are correct.

There are two types of lids: easy open and safety cap. Accuracy is very important. In fact, that is why we double count, for accuracy. With controlled substances you want to make sure you have everything on the letter, otherwise you could accidentally give them too much or too little and that could be very dangerous. So, we double count the controlled substances and put them back in the vile, after double counting them. We set them on the paper, and we circle the number and initial it to prove that we did count and double count and were 100 percent sure of what’s in the bottle is what the prescription says.

What we’re supposed to take away from this is getting used to working in something akin to a pharmacy environment. Learning how to count pills at a rapid rate, and to help yourself speed up to where most pharmacy technicians want to be—which is about one bottle a minute. That’s one bottle containing 30 to 120 pills. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy, Speed is fine, but accuracy always comes first.”