IU Health pharmacists covering test costs for Ben Davis technician students

AVON, Ind. - High School students on the verge of earning an associate's degree have gotten some financial assistance. When pharmacists at IU Health West Hospital heard six students may not be able to sit on the final exam due to the $129 fee to take the test, the hospital employees raised the money to help.

Friday, the students were given the funds for the final test, which they're expected to take in May.

“We all work in healthcare because we want to help people," said IU Health pharmacy tech supervisor Amy Hurst. "We like helping people, it’s what we do. These kids have worked so hard to get this far. You don’t want to see them get to a certain point and then see a test fee is keeping them from going further.”

The half dozen students have spent years getting to this point. Some started preparing in eighth grade before enrolling in the program at the Area 31 Career Center their freshman year.

"I have a lot of responsibilities and me not worrying about paying almost $150 for a test is a big relief," said senior Aaron Noble.

To earn the degree, students need 200 hours of training in a pharmacy at a hospital and retail, along with their classroom work. Students still need to compete roughly half of their hours before the test in May.

“It’s not just a job, it is a career opportunity," said the students' instructor Jessica Fisher.

The degree and certification can put the students with a job that pays between 12 and 14 dollars an hour to start. It can also help them start a career in medicine or healthcare.