SAC maintains a dedicated Pharmacy Technology classroom / lab facility on the Santa Ana College campus. The classroom, located on the second floor of Hammond Hall, was completely remodeled during the 1994-95 school year. The facility is fully mediated. (Hammond Hall is labeled as "H" on the Santa Ana College campus map.)
The classroom is designed to accommodate 38 students in a lecture setting and 24 students for lab. The flexible design allows the room to be set up to efficiently train groups of students in new lab techniques. During Skills Lab sessions, individual students are able to practice diverse activities concurrently.
Within the classroom, an area has been established for sterile products preparation. The classroom is equipped with five laminar flow hoods, including a vertical-flow bio-containment hood, with a total of 25 linear feet of hood space
Students are assigned to work in these hoods, as well as the four simulated hoods, to perfect their aseptic technique. During the Sterile Products lab class and the Skills Lab, students prepare a variety of different types of IV products, including large and small volume parenteral admixtures, prefilled syringes, parenteral nutrition solutions, and pseudo-chemotherapy. Students learn to work with IV pumps, including Baxa Repeater® pumps, and an Automix®. Students also learn to work with home infusion delivery devices (such as Intermate® elastomerics and CADD® cassettes) and various binary connectors (such as the Vial-Mate® and Minibag-Plus®.)
Another area of the classroom/lab contains the chemicals, supplies, and equipment used for non-sterile compounding
Students prepare a variety of dosage forms, including capsules, tablet triturates, creams, ointments, lotions, syrups, troches, suppositories, and PLO gels to gain practice in weighing, measuring, and compounding techniques. Students acquire experience with torsion and electronic balances, molds, and unguators, as well as the more traditional pharmaceutical devices. Complete quality assurance records are kept of all products prepared and packaged. Students also prepare cost studies to determine the cost-effectiveness of compounding.
The classroom also has an extensive inventory of bulk "medications".
A mobile cart system allows reconfiguration of the classroom to form an outpatient dispensary, with intake counter.
Role playing is an important part of the outpatient customer service training, with student pairs interacting as patients and pharmacy technicians. Students learn to process prescriptions using the QS-1 NRx software product. In lab, students fill new and refill prescriptions for a variety of dosage forms.
The classroom is also equipped with several live telephone lines, which allows students to practice phone techniques during the Pharmacy Technology lab classes.
The dispensary stock is used for inventory control and re-packaging activities, as well as prescription processing.
Students practice inpatient drug distribution within the classroom/lab facility
using information from patient profiles and pick lists to fill unit-dose cassettes with a variety of pre-packaged "medications". The room can be configured with two separate cassette filling stations, each containing pick bins of oral solids, oral liquids, topicals, and injectables in single-unit and unit-dose form. Students also learn different labs using the Automated Dispensing Cabinet called medDispense. Our medDispense ADC is interfaced with the inpatient drug data entry software Ascend IP by Mediware. Thus, students have hands-on practice of realistic inpatient pharmacy tasks.
Pre-packaging equipment and supplies
allow students to learn to prepare unit-doses for both solid and liquid "medications". The MPI Auto-Print® strip packager and Fluidose® liquid filling machines allow hands-on training in automated packaging, while oral syringes and several manual unit-dose packaging systems (such as Medi-Dose) are used for extemporaneous packaging. Students also learn to fill controlled substances counters and punch cards for long-term care facility patients.
The Pharmacy Technology classroom/lab facility
is equipped with a network of eight multi-media computers. In the Pharmacy Operations lab course, students use QS-1® software to process outpatient prescriptions. We also use QDM, an automated pill counter that interfaces with QS-1 NRx software to allow realistic pharmacy lab practices. In the Inpatient Pharmacy Services course, students learn to transcribe inpatient orders, maintain patient profiles, print unit-dose pick lists, and prepare computerized inpatient labels using the Ascend-IP® computer program. The Ascend-IP® program is also used in the Sterile Products course, to maintain IV profiles and print IV labels. Additionally, the students also practice simulated labs using medDispense, an automated medication dispensing cabinet. Our medDispense interfaces with Ascend-IP software, which allows students to see the full spectrum of the medication management process in the pharmacy.
The computers also are available for accessing on-line drug information and for student practice and training on a variety of educational programs and CD-ROMs.
In addition to the main library on campus, the Pharmacy Technology Department maintains subscriptions to several professional journals. The classroom/lab facility is stocked with the current editions of many well-known pharmacy references, including the USP-DI series, Drug Facts and Comparisons, AHFS Drug Information, Pharmacist Letter, and various PDR publications. Students learn to use both print and electronic resources. Students can access online resources (from the e-library) to access MedLine and other important health related articles and journals. The classroom/lab facility has Internet access, which students use throughout the program.
After completing lab training in the SAC on-campus facility, students obtain additional experiential training through externship rotations. Off-site externship training is provided in community pharmacies and chain drug stores, as well as hospitals and home health / home infusion pharmacy sites located throughout Southern California. While the majority of the contract sites are located in Orange County, SAC does maintain a few contracts in surrounding counties.
Externship consists of three rotations: 80 hours of outpatient, 120 hours of inpatient, and 120 hours of sterile products. During externship, students perform the same tasks as the pharmacy technicians employed by the facility. However, the students are working as volunteers during externship.
For more information about our training facilities, please contact the Pharmacy Technology Department at (714) 564-6650 or through e-mail.