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How pharmacy students are helping during pandemic

Like others in the midst of this pandemic, pharmacists have found themselves doing more and more, and that's changing how students are trained to do the work.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The head of the pharmacy program at Wilkes University said right now, pharmacy students from there and other schools are helping with vaccines by getting shots into arms.

“We typically have taught our upper-level students to immunize, but we quickly had to put together an immunization training program…join that immunization force," said Dr. Scott Stolte of Wilkes University's Nesbitt School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Stolte said more and more people are realizing how important pharmacists are, and students are realizing just how much the job requires.

He has heard stories from a lot of graduates about just how intense the pressure is right now.

"There are stories of terrific empowerment, and there are stories of overwhelm, with questions with people showing up, with symptoms, just the added protection we’ve had to take just doing our jobs, the responsibilities are immense.”

Dr. Stolte said this pandemic has changed so much, including, of course, how students learn to be pharmacists, including how to help patients’ physical health and their mental health too.

“Is there a role for us in terms of supporting people in their mental health? So yeah, it’s causing us to think. It’s already led to changes, and I think it will continue to lead to changes.”

Nationwide, some medical experts predict a rise in the number of people applying for pharmacy programs.