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Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology

Pharm tech job market expected to continue growth for next several years.


pharm techWhen you graduate from St. Catharine College’s 2-year Pharmacy Technology program, you will be well on your way to a fulfilling career in a busy hospital pharmacy or other pharmacy technician position. SCC’s Pharmacy Tech program is Kentucky’s first nationally accredited Associate Degree of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology. As a student of the program, you will learn in small classes where instructors get to know you well and provide lots of personal attention. You will also participate in a clinical rotation program that acquaints you with various pharmacy worksites including a retail pharmacy, a community hospital and an acute care hospital. There is also the potential to train in veterinary and/or compounding pharmacies.

Students who complete the Associate’s degree take two semesters of general education courses and two semesters of Pharmacy Technology core.  In addition to the two-year Associate’s degree, the program is also available as a one-year certificate program in which the student takes only the pharmacy core.  Some students use the Associate’s degree program as a way to gain insight as to whether Pharmacy School is right for them.  The courses in this program, though not requirements for Pharmacy School, can provide some insight into whether you would like to work as a pharmacist.   In this case, the student would strongly emphasize additional courses in math, physics, chemistry and biology by working with our Science and Math dept.

Special Program Highlights and Features:

  • Our Pharmacy Tech program is constructed on the ASHP model curriculum including Aseptic Technique and IV Room Management.
  • SCC’s Pharmacy Technology program immerses students in the environment where they will one day work. It includes rotations in a retail pharmacy, community hospital and an acute care hospital.
  • The program includes interesting field trips such as the annual meeting of the Kentucky Society of Health System Pharmacists, the Kentucky Reptile Museum to watch venom extractions, the Renaissance Pharmacy Museum, and guest speakers who help students gain an accurate understanding of the challenges in the field.
  • Class work includes discussions focused on relevant medical issues of the day such as medication error prevention, pharmaceutical waste management, the advantages of childhood vaccinations and other relevant topics.
  • Assistance in securing employment is available.
  • Material covered in this program, unlike many programs, includes Investigational Drugs, Bioterrorism Drugs, Blood Factors, and more.
  • During the final semester, students take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam that will qualify them for employment in the field.
  • Our Pharmacy Technology program is the first nationally accredited program in the state of Kentucky offering an Associate of Applied Sciences degree.

Interesting Courses You Might Take

Dosage Calculations – Learn the math needed to perform common pharmacy calculations. Areas covered include ratio and proportion, weight-based dosing, BSA, various measurement systems, nomograms, alligations, and calculations needed for preparing IV fluids.

Current Issues in Pharmacy Practice – In this capstone course, among other activities students use critical thinking skills to design a game using the information learned in the program to demonstrate pharmacy knowledge.  Students complete an aging assignment, a research paper and a mock job interview. Sitting for the CPHT exam is required to pass the course.

Aseptic Technique and the IV Room – Students learn aseptic technique and the guidelines for USP 797. They also gain an understanding of issues surrounding a “clean room” and use a laminar flow hood and vertical flow hood.  Beyond learning sterile technique, students will learn how to read orders, select a medication, calculate the dose, reconstitute the drug and correctly prepare syringes and IV fluids.

Meet the Instructors

Assistant Professor Jeannie Oldham, Program Director, has 31 years experience in an acute care hospital facility at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. She is completing a doctoral degree in Health Promotion and holds a Master of Science in Therapeutic Recreation and Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics.

Career Outlook for Major

Employment within the Pharmacy Technician field is anticipated to grow by a full 25 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. This increase is much higher than the growth experienced by other occupations in the U.S. economy. The increase is due in large part to the vast increase in middle-aged to elderly citizens who typically require more prescriptions.



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Program Mission Statement

The mission of the St. Catharine Pharmacy Technology Program is to provide students classroom instruction, laboratory experience and experiential learning in a working pharmacy (hospital and ambulatory), thus equipping the student with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful pharmacy technicians, including skills in communication and a sense of professionalism. Upon completion of core pharmacy and general education coursework the students will receive an Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology degree. Those who wish may complete only the pharmacy course work for a one-year certificate in Pharmacy Technology. Students take the national pharmacy technician certification exam during their second semester.


Olivia Thompson, a junior education major (middle school math emphasis) at St. Catharine Coll ...

The following story first appeared in the Fall 2013 edition of Ne ...