WCC launches 10-week pharmacy technician boot camp to address worker shortage

In an attempt to bolster the shortage of pharmacy technicians in health systems and hospitals, Washtenaw Community College's (WCC) Workforce Development Division is now offering a 10-week pharmacy technician course.

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, WCC'S executive director of workforce and community development, says  the program is WCC’s first pharmacy technician "boot camp." The school is partnering with organizations such as Michigan Medicine and Trinity Health to prepare students to directly enter the workforce after graduation. Previously, WCC's pharmacy technician program required 28 credit hours and took two semesters to complete. 

Tenbergen says hospitals across the country have been experiencing increased vacancies in their pharmacy tech positions, and WCC hopes to reverse that gap.

"The program helps students approach the technician role as a soft entrance to long-term career development," Tenbergen says. "The course will provide students with unique training that hones pharmacy and professional skills to reduce pharmacy workflow issues." 

According to Tenbergen, the program has been designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certificate exam, allowing them to work in the field anywhere in the country. The program will also run in tandem with WCC’s current academic programming in fields such as nursing and health administration. 

The program will run from Nov. 12-Feb. 15, repeating throughout the remainder of 2023.

"The pharmacy technician is a core function of the pharmacy," Tenbergen says. "The program setup directly addresses the major issue of pharmacy technician personnel being available to hospitals and community pharmacies in Michigan." 

For more information on the program or to register, visit WCC’s website or email workforcedevelopment@wccnet.edu.

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.