Boot camps launching healthcare careers

April 3, 2024 Kayla Gahagan

Aiden Kinczkowski quote

Aiden Kinczkowski knew early on he wanted to go into the medical field, and Washtenaw Community College is helping him realize his dreams.

Back home in Pinckney, Kinczkowski started working in a local retail pharmacy at the age of 16 but wasn’t old enough to handle the medications until he turned 18.

When he learned about the Pharmacy Technician Boot Camp offered by the WCC Workforce Development Department, he jumped at the opportunity.

Kinczkowski enrolled in the 10-week boot camp and finished his clinicals last April at Michigan Medicine, where he is now employed.

WCC’s next Pharmacy Tech Boot Camp kicks off May 11. Classes run on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This has 150% prepared me for the workforce,” Kinczkowski said. “Because the instructors are pharmacists, they are able to provide us with the best experience-based information possible. They also bring in guests from different pharmacy areas. This gives us a great view of where we may want to work, and how it actually works in the ‘real world’.”

Pharmacy technicians are medical professionals who work alongside pharmacists to ensure quality patient care. Multiple placement opportunities include settings such as community and hospital pharmacies, compounding pharmacies and insurance companies.

The boot camps include 170 hours of hybrid didactic sessions and 230 hours of on-site clinical experience.

WCC partners with a diverse group of employers for clinical rotations throughout Southeast Michigan, including Michigan Medicine, Trinity Health-St. Joseph Hospital, various community pharmacies, compounding pharmacies and non-traditional settings.

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which will allow them to work throughout the United States, and apply for Michigan licensure.

“Getting to be a part of a hospital system that leads the way in pharmaceutical sciences is truly amazing,” Kinczkowski said of his new employment at Michigan Medicine.

“The best part is getting to see the impact that pharmacy has on the rest of the hospital, whether it be a patient that gets better or a cardiac arrest that makes it out because of our fast response with an arrest box, or even something as simple as a nurse or doctor thanking you.

“Pharmacy is highly underrated, and recognizing the impact it has on every other function of the hospital gave me a whole new drive and appreciation for the job we do.”

Along the way, Kinczkowski has been inspired to evolve his career in medicine and helping others. He has earned his Emergency Medical Technician certification through Huron Valley Ambulance and also plans to return to WCC to join its Nursing program.

“I learned more than I ever expected,” Kinczkowski said of his pharmacy tech training and health care journey thus far. “I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

“WCC helped me reach connections and experiences that led me to where I am now, and looking to start my nursing path at WCC in the fall.”

Tags: Boot Camp, March 2024, On The Record, Pharmacy Tech, Workforce Development

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