New health sciences center planned for Davidson County Community College

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- With the kids out of the house, Sandy Thorarinson is beginning her second career.

"With nursing being saturated, pharmacy and some of the other health sciences programs are opening up," Thorarinson said.

Thorarinson is a part of Davidson County Community College's pharmacy technology program. While being familiar with different medicines is a part of her training, Pharmacy Technology Director Jana Andrews says future employers are looking for additional skills.

"The big thing is the soft skills. Teamwork, interaction and communication. In a hospital setting you work together as a team," Andrews said.

Currently, at Davidson County Community College, disciplines like pharmacy technology and nursing are scattered across the Davidson County campus. But a new $12 million health sciences center will bring all health sciences programs together. Andrews says with all of the programs together, students will work together and simulate a hospital environment.

"Nursing calls pharmacy, grab a medical assistant. It's going to be great. It's going to make it real life and hands-on for the students," Andrews said.

Thorarinson can't wait to begin classes in the new health sciences center.

"It will make it a lot better for prospective employers to see what we are doing. We have the interaction before we get to the job," Thorarinson said.

The Sarah and Edward Smith Health Sciences Center is scheduled to open in January 2018. A large family donation along with money from state and federal sources will help build the new building.