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Pharmacy Tech while studying Pre-Pharm?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ericbchoe, 06.02.12.


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  1. ericbchoe

    ericbchoe

    Joined:
    06.02.12
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    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy

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    Hi guys,

    I am in the summer of my senior year in high school and freshmen year in college, and to say the least, I can not wait to be a pre-pharmacy major at the Ohio State University! Recently, due to the competitive nature (I would say), of being accepted into pharmacy school, I realized more and more students have somewhat, to a lot of experience in the pharmacy world, before going into pharmacy school.

    Therefore, I went off, studied my tail off, and passed the national exam of becoming a certified pharmacy technician. I was just wondering, is it worth holding a job while taking pre-pharmacy courses? The positive thing is, i'll receive a good boost on my resume and cash flow, however; I know my grades will drop. Should I wait until the summer of my freshmen to sophomore year to work as a pharmacy technician?

    Thank You!
  2. pharmerbird

    pharmerbird

    Joined:
    06.13.11
    Messages:
    189
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Congratulations! I really think it depends on the individual. I definitely would NOT suggest working anywhere near 25 hours or more if you are taking full time classes. Personally I don't see 5-16 hours a week being an issue... if you manage time well.

    It comes down to this:
    Do you have good time management?
    Do you plan on having a social life(It IS your freshman year at a University!!)
    Can you find a pharmacy that is absolutely willing to work around your school schedule (time off around exams, no work on certain days for school, ect.)
    Are you planning on working more 16 hours or less a week?
    Is math and science a strong subject for you? Or do you struggle with it, or need extra time to study.

    If you answered no to those questions I wouldn't suggest it. Try shadowing first maybe...
  3. ericbchoe

    ericbchoe

    Joined:
    06.02.12
    Messages:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy

    Thanks for the response,

    I typically just want to work 2 - 3 times a week for about 8 to 10 hours a week. I just want to make sure I have the ability to impress Pharmacy School admissions and have an "edge" on the competition.

    I'm hoping that people who worked as pharmacy tech's were able to keep up with their course load during pre-pharmacy and were not overwhelmed.
  4. pharmerbird

    pharmerbird

    Joined:
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    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    When I first started being a Tech and doing my prereq courses I struggled with saying "NO" to my job about working more, coming in on days off, scheduling me more than my availability and it effected my grades. I finally put my foot down and was able to work about 10-14 hours a week and get straight A's. It's possible, but like I said for certain people.
  5. ericbchoe

    ericbchoe

    Joined:
    06.02.12
    Messages:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Yes, I admit, I am not the brightest kid in the world. I struggle in chemistry, but, the one thing that's going for me is my ability to work hard and study. I even bought Dr. Collin's PCAT study review, and I have a year to study! (I know, i'm desperate :rolleyes:). But did working as a technician help you at all in the long run? Did you feel as if it gave you an advantage towards admission into pharmacy school?
  6. pharmerbird

    pharmerbird

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    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I am actually applying this summer, so we will see! So far I feel like it has helped because I was able to meet Pharmacists and gain experience in other areas (VA clinic, hospital, soon a compounding pharmacy) because of the Pharmacists that I might not have met. If you do get the job make sure they fully understand your school schedule and always put your studies before your work! Good luck
  7. dancingallday

    dancingallday

    Joined:
    09.15.11
    Messages:
    168
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Congrats on passing the tech test! As far as getting a job while in school, I say, absolutely do try to. I worked 20-30 hours per week while a pre-pharm, first at CVS than at a hospital. Time management is key, and I'm not going to lie: your social life may suffer, but that's a price I was willing to pay. The experience is invaluable, and will let you know for sure that you actually want to be a pharmacist; the "on paper" description of a pharmacist's job leaves out a lot of important details and considerations--you may change your mind about pharmacy school once you work in a pharmacy for a while, or you may be even more solidified in your decision.
  8. velvet75

    velvet75 Junior Member

    Joined:
    05.03.06
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    It can be done. You just have to manage your time effectively. I worked as a pharmacy tech at a retail pharmacy but I did make it clear to them that school was my first priority. The PIC I had was more than willing to work with me and he he would work around my school schedule. In fact, I worked the entire time I was an undergrad and at times even had two jobs at once (not by choice though, I was married and husband lost his job, etc, etc....). Anyway, if you are determined and focused you can do it.
  9. smercer

    smercer

    Joined:
    05.07.12
    Messages:
    366
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Do not forget about nightshift.

    Trying to manage working and school sucks big time. I have worked fulltime at a hospital pharmacy since I graduated HS. For the first few years I was stuck in day/evening shift. I was able to schedule classes, but never more then 2-3 per semester due to having to work fulltime. No one ever wanted to trade shifts and management always gave me crap about "special" schedules. I found the ultimate loophole after a few years. Nightshift. I can work fulltime, go to school fulltime, hang out with friends, etc.

    My schedule runs on 7on-7off (I work 7 nights, then am off 7 nights). Really the only problem with this setup is getting sleep. Trust me nothing more hellish then if your schedule gets spread out over the entire day. At that point I learned that there is something worse then floor sleep...that is car sleep. On the other side of that you have to becareful not to put multiple classes back to back. Try sitting through 3-4 hours of lecture after being awake for the last 18 hours...it does not work well. Thus try to get at least an hour break between classes. Then you can nap a bit and be able to focus.

    On the upside that 7 days off is like a vacation and you pretty much just have class.

    Its a rough ride doing this, but over 15,000hrs as a Pharm tech means I got plently of exp. and I have zero fear that I will hate pharmacy when I am out of school. Also I am sure pharm schools like to see people who not only have experience in pharmacy, but also the ability to manage the stresses of work and school at once.

    I guess it really just depends on how well you can handle stress and multitask. Nothing worse then needing to cram for an exam, but knowing that you have to work the next couple of days and do not have time.

    Do not be afraid of taking your time in school either. Its not a race to see who can finish first...trust me all thats waiting after the finish line is real life. No more pissing around when you need a job and have 100k+ debt. My advice is do what you feel you can handle and have fun while your in school.
  10. Guitarmacy

    Guitarmacy

    Joined:
    01.17.12
    Messages:
    182
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I would suggest volunteering at a hospital pharmacy or non-profit for your first semester as they usually only ask for 4 hours a week. Then if you feel comfortable enough you can get a job your second semester. Plus it might look good to have your extracurriculars include both work and volunteering.

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