Upward Bound Students Visit UK Pharmacy School

Jul 15, 2013

LEXINGTON,Ky-- About 40 Franklin County students recently played the part of pharmacists at the University of Kentucky.

After hearing presentations from staff at the BioPharma complex, they performed a variety of tasks that are  typical of pharmacy students.  These ranged from counting Skittles into pill jars, using a mortar and pestle to mix a topical pain gel, and learning how to wear protective medical garb. Pharmacist Trenika Mitchell says that she’s hosted student groups before, but that she practiced a more hands-on approach. 

“We didn’t just want them to have a tour because you can have a tour anywhere.  We wanted them to get involved and have a good time when they came in,” Mitchell said. 

To emphasize this, she made sure each activity had a game associated with it.  For the pill counting, there was a competition for accuracy, while with the medical garb, they had to put of it on the quickest and in the right order.  Mitchell even pitted high schoolers against pharmacy students. Although the latter would always win, they also passed down tricks they learned, such as making sure to count pills in fives.  

All the high school students are part of Upward Bound, a Federal program that provides a federal program that supports low-income and first-generation college students.  While the program is nationwide, these students all came from high schools in Franklin County.  For some, this visit was their first real exposure to medicine, while others, like rising senior Thayna Pires, have a new course of study to consider. 

“This has opened a door that maybe I need to spread out more and open my eyes to different opportunities.  I’ve always been set on being some kind of family doctor, but maybe I could look into this field too,” she said. 

Whatever the case, all of them got a clearer picture of what pharmacy work entails while having a little fun in the process.