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Island Health partners with VIU and Selkirk College on new Pharmacy Tech program 

Island Health, along with Vancouver Island University and Selkirk College, has announced a new pharmacy technician program which they say will streamline work placements. 

In a media release, they say the collaboration will help support local hospitals, pharmacies and other care settings to get new graduates into the workplace quicker to improve the quality of health in each community. 

Island Health board chair Leah Hollins says pharmacy techs play a very important role in the healthcare system, and the 15-month program is using a blend of online courses taught by Selkirk College. 

“They perform essential duties related to prescription processing, medication packaging, compounding medications, ordering and tracking of medication,” she says. “Without them our medication system would collapse.” 

Along with the courses taught by Selkirk College, Vancouver Island University will provide in-person labs where students can practice ‘real-world experience’ in a 10-week placement either in a hospital or community setting. 

Ainslie Horwood is a student enrolled in the program, and as a Nanaimo resident she says flexibility with the program is critical to her learning process.  

“I could do the schooling online from my home in Nanaimo, and travel to Duncan for the lab work,” she says. “The course has far exceeded my expectations.” 

Island Health says the program is accepting applications for the program’s next intake with is scheduled for Aug. 2024. 

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