Malorie Moreland, a sophomore biology major from Rogers, was pretty sure she wanted to go into pharmacy as long as a year ago, but working as a pharmacy tech this past summer cemented her decision. "I figured working there would either make me or break me," Moreland said. "And it did. I transferred to the pharmacy here when I came back to school. I work there a couple days a week."
Moreland says the tech work is sometimes stressful - she’s in her sixth month. "You learn something new every day," she said. "It gets really busy so you just have to stay calm. I spend a lot of time inputting prescriptions and filling orders. Plus there are many over the counter medications people have questions about."
Learning the ins and outs of a retail pharmacy is part of Moreland’s training. She plans to go to pharmacy school when she finishes at Ozarks. "I am working on my pre-requisites for school now," she said. "I’m going to apply at the end of next year, and if I don’t get in then I’ll stay here another year, then re-apply." In the meantime, Moreland enjoys the small size of the Ozarks campus and her coursework in the pre-pharmacy track.
She plans to attend the UAMS pharmacy program in Little Rock the first two years and spend the second two at its Fayetteville campus. "I miss Fayetteville," she says. "I’m a huge Razorback fan. I haven’t missed a football game in five years."
The pre-requisites for pharmacy school include the following: Principles of Biology I and II, Principles of Genetics, Microbiology, General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, Calculus I, General Physics I; also Principles of Accounting I or Principles of Macroeconomics or Principles of Microeconomics; also Basic Oral Communication and Composition I and II; also 3 courses from the following: Biology, General Physiology, Anatomy Laboratory, Molecular Genetics, Quantitative Chemical Analysis, Biochemistry, Calculus II, Probability & Statistics, Logic, or General Physics II.
In addition to her coursework, Moreland, like other pre-pharmacy students, can take advantage of the Ozarks biology department’s practice interviews for admission into pharmacy school, as well as opportunities to shadow pharmacists of different types and to intern in pharmacy-related positions as a student here.
"This semester is harder than last, but it’s all good," Moreland said. "The funny thing is, the hardest part for me of working in a pharmacy so far is when you can’t read the doctor’s handwriting. Sometimes the cliché really is true, and their handwriting is like chicken scratches! I have to get help with those."
Moreland said she worked at the pharmacy in Rogers with a woman for whom she’d been a babysitter, and through her realized it was possible to be both a pharmacist and a mother. "I definitely like the flexibility of pharmacy," she said. "If I wanted to go to work part time due to family, I could do that."