Memorial’s Career and Technical Education students learning key pharmacy tech skills

Published 11:40 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

Memorial High School’s Career and Technical Education program has a new offering that will help students looking toward the medical profession.

The pharmacy technician program kicked off this school year and has 10 seniors enrolled, though officials expect that number to increase in coming years.

Devonya Ray, health science instructor for the pharmacy technician program, said the course prepares students for a job in the medical field.

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During the first half of the semester, students learn federal laws, medications, how to work in retail community pharmacy and learn the diagnosis for classifications of drugs.

Ray said the coursework sounds difficult, but there are be real-life scenarios where students can apply their knowledge.

During the second half of the class, students begin interning at Walgreens, something that is not new to Ray.

Students in the pharmacy technician program split up into teams to work on a quiz. (Mary Meaux/The News)

She worked at Walgreens for 25 years and taught the pharmacy technician course at Lamar Institute of Technology for approximately six years.

She also previously worked with students from Beaumont United, giving them a chance to intern in a real pharmacy. At the end of the internship, those students had an opportunity at a job, she said.

There is a benefit for the Memorial students who take the course.

Ray said in order to take the certification test, a person either has to be in a Pharmacy Technician Certification Board-approved program or have worked in a pharmacy for more than 400 hours.

Nicole Izquierdo is one of the pharmacy tech students.

“I want to be in the medical field but I know it’s very important for me to know the medications. I heard this class takes that in,” Izquierdo said. “Also, when I get out of school, I want to know that I have a future.”

Izquierdo would like to have a career as a technician but hasn’t decided on a specialization.

Monica Becerra also wants a career in the medical field as a surgeon and knows the class will help her along the way.