(VICTORVILLE, CA) Four-D College graduate and Riverside native, Keith Jackson, has been a Pharmacy Technician for the nation’s leading hospital provider since 2005, and he couldn’t be happier.
“After high school,” the Victorville resident says, “I entered Chaffey Community College in Rancho Cucamonga while working at a spaghetti restaurant and then Target. I was majoring in Computer Science, but after a while I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life staring at a computer screen, so I switched majors to Physician’s Assistant.”
With a twin brother enrolled at healthcare-oriented Four-D College in Colton, and a mother working there in Registration and Admissions (now in her 16th year), the academic move from Chaffey was natural. With his focus now on becoming a Pharmacy Technician, he began an eight-month program, which included an externship (free on-the-job training and experience) with a hospital in Fontana.
“Coming from a college setting like Chaffey allowed me to hit the ground running,” says Keith. As a result, a short time into his 240-hour externship, he was offered a full-time Pharmacy Assistant position at that hospital.
“Even though you don’t get paid money on an externship, you get paid in experience” said Keith. “I learned how to work with people and how to keep things moving. I learned the names of the drugs and medications on the spot, and even how to read the doctors’ handwriting.”
After making stops at the hospital’s pharmacies in Colton, Redlands, San Bernardino and five in Fontana, the hospital’s pharmacy in Victorville became home. In fact Keith and his brother, also a technician at the same pharmacy, recently bought a house there together.
“I’ve been with this company now since 2005, and love it,” the 25-year-old says. “In the High Desert our pharmacy serves 50,000 patients, so there’s no time to be bored. And the benefits here are awesome: for instance, there’s insurance, of course, but they even helped pay for my college education. The pay is outstanding, too.”
Initially, Keith joined the company as a Pharmacy Assistant, with a diploma from Four-D College, which gave him the training to help him obtain his Pharmacy Technician license. The experience he gained through his externship proved to be just what he needed.
So what would this successful graduate tell students at Four-D College?
“Please understand how important the school’s externships are. It is very important to treat them as your job interview. A potential employer wants to see what you know, how well you perform, how you get along in the work environment and how quickly you learn. If they like what they see, then they will probably hire you right away. At Four-D College the externship program is invaluable.”
Four-D College provides education in the growing healthcare field at locations in Colton and Victorville. Four-D College offers programs in vocational nursing, medical assistant, medical billing and coding, dental assistant, massage therapy and pharmacy technician.
New courses begin monthly at Four-D College and courses are available in the morning, afternoon and evening to meet the needs of working adults. For more information or a tour, call (800) 600-5422 or go to www.4DCollege.edu.