A prescription for one of Manitoba’s in-demand careers

Originally posted: May 18, 2022

MITT partnership fills qualified pharmacy technician positions in hospitals and community pharmacies

With a high demand for pharmacy technicians in Manitoba, finding meaningful employment is not a challenge. In fact, a high percentage of the 2022 graduating class in the Manitoba Institute of Trades & Technology (MITT) Pharmacy Technician program have jobs lined up. As well, some students in their first year of the two-year diploma program also have secured summer employment.

Hospitals and community pharmacies across the province are counting on these new grads and upcoming classes of students to help fill positions.

Rose Marie Sunga moved to Winnipeg from the Philippines in 2021 to pursue her healthcare career. “My goal in choosing the Pharmacy Technician Program was to make a difference in people’s lives and their families by helping them manage their medications and improving the quality of their lives. The education and training that I am receiving will help me in achieving my goal.” Sunga adds, “I believe that this is the perfect program for me to learn and grow professionally and personally on a global scale.”

Pharmacy technicians play essential roles as members of the pharmacy team in hospitals and community pharmacies and are integral to achieving optimal medication therapy outcomes. Their role is to help procure, compound, dispense and distribute medicines as well as manage inventory of thousands of medication products on a daily basis.

Students in the Pharmacy Technician diploma program at MITT receive a blend of online, classroom and hands-on applied learning with in-person labs and industry placements. Some of the skills practiced include entering prescriptions into pharmacy management software, preparing medications including nonsterile and sterile compounds, prescription and order verification, and drug distribution.

In addition to course theory, they also experience hands-on labs involving the innovative automated dispensing system Pyxis™ MedStation™ ES which is used in hospitals across Manitoba. This device is unique to MITT’s Pharmacy Technician program and reflects the equipment and technology used in the industry.

Emelié Gillingham, Instructor of the Pharmacy Technician program at MITT emphasized, “It is important that our curriculum and simulated activities align with current industry standards not only because we are an accredited program, but because this allows us to matriculate pharmacy technicians who are ready to hit the ground running.” Gillingham adds, “Learning hands-on with the tools, equipment, and technology used in hospitals and long-term care homes across Manitoba allows our students to explore these technologies before they use them in a live environment. This model allows our institutional practical experiences to focus on reinforcing skills and learning acquired in our laboratories.”

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