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Pharmacy Technician Colleges in Illinois


In the state of Illinois, the general rate of pay for pharmacy technician jobs is above average in most major cities throughout the state. Becoming certified as a pharmacy technician in the state of Illinois is a desirable opportunity for variety of reasons. The rate of pharmacy technician jobs is expected to climb by 20% in the years 2012 to 2022 as projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work settings include pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, physicians’ offices and more. Work will range from part-time and full-time to as needed or temporary, allowing applicants a wide variety of schedule flexibility to fit their current lifestyle or long-term needs. Pharmacy technicians can expect a higher rate of job stability due to the growing rate of individuals with chronic diseases, people requiring health insurance and a growing elderly population as well as a baby boomer population.


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Why Become a Pharmacy Technician in IL?


Pharmacy technicians can enjoy the benefits of a comfortable working environment kept cool in the summer or heated during the winter. Technicians will have unique insight into new medications at their fingertips and be the first to know about rising trends and demands of the world of medicine. This information is not only useful in this particular field; such information may be useful to one's own health of the health of one's family. For those looking for an active lifestyle, pharmacy technicians will have plenty of opportunities for exercise and movement while working. Because pharmacy technicians are always in demand, employees within the field can expect a great variety in the locations and types of offices or businesses they may find work in.


Pharmacy technicians have many networking opportunities through their high levels of communication not only with the general public but also with medical offices, hospitals, insurance companies, other pharmacy technicians and staff or other healthcare providers. Such connections may provide future employment or excellent references. For those who would prefer not to work daytime hours or early morning hours, the pay rate for evening and night shift employees in the field of pharmaceutical care is much higher. This allows many the opportunities to design the schedules they would prefer while obtaining greater pay. Additionally, becoming educated on medicines and medical policies will serve one well in the pursuit of any other related medical profession. Staying up-to-date on valuable knowledge is a key part of the pharmaceutical technicians job. Technicians will also have ample opportunities to help others gain medical knowledge, understand more about the medicines they are taking, resolve problems and receive the care they need in a way.


Many certification programs and degree programs require students to submit to extensive student debt. The medical field especially is notorious for racking up high tabs in the form of costly education. Postsecondary education is not required to join a certification program to become a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians can expect a great deal of variety in work settings as they help patients and customers. This particular career can provide an excellent stepping-stone to other careers in the healthcare field while gaining knowledge and insight into the world of medicine.

Technicians can expect to work at supermarkets, drugstores, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and possibly even online. Workers in this field will provide customers with a warm and caring atmosphere that allows their medical transactions to run smoothly and easily. Because insurance and paying for medicines can be a very stressful and confusing process for many, pharmacists break down and explain transactions and regulations in understandable language. This skill is highly valuable and marketable in a competitive job world and especially with the world of medicine. A background in retail work may provide unique opportunities for pharmacy technicians to play up past customer service experiences. Pharmacy technician positions will also provide a welcome change for anyone who has worked in a warehouse, outdoors or in any difficult conditions as a pharmacy office of any kind will be courteous, professional and well controlled.

Among the more rewarding aspects of being a pharmacy technician, employees will have the unique opportunity to assist people who are being treated for illnesses and provide friendly consultation and care. Assisting people in their pursuit of healthier lives is by far one of the most useful forms of customer service anyone can provide. It allows pharmacists be unique opportunity to provide medical insider knowledge without working directly in a healthcare facility. Pharmacists and technicians can expect to work with people from diverse backgrounds, of all ages and all walks of life. People will appreciate insight on medicines, instructions, insurance policies, negotiating any medical bureaucracy and any other insight a pharmacy technician has to share.


Pharmacy technicians will be able to gain firsthand experience through observing doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals as they work and provide necessary services. Such experience will allow pharmacy technicians to begin considering potential future career paths in the medical industry and branching into different areas and careers pertaining to pharmaceuticals or healthcare.


Duties of a Pharmacy Technician


The primary duties of a pharmacy technician will be to inventory and receive written or electronic prescription or prescription refill requests, check any verify any information to ensure accuracy and completion, maintain adequate and secure storage and storage conditions for drugs, answer phones and respond to Aquarius or requests, fill prescription bottles with medicines and prepare appropriate labeling and price any and all prescriptions that will be filled.


Additional duties will include:

• Maintaining a clean and hygienic working environment including work and equipment areas.
• Sterilizing any glassware or prescription containers by any and all regulation methods.
• Maintaining in establishing profiles for patients which may include medication lists as sorted by individual patients.
• Labeling, ordering or counting medication stock, keeping tabs on supplies, chemicals or other inventory within a computer-based network
• Storing and receiving new supplies
• Verifying quantities in correlation with medical invoices, electronic databases or other means of supply tracking
• Informing supervisors on medication statuses or the need for new stock in the case of medicine shortages
• Transferring medications from vials, bottles, disposable syringes or other containment vessels by sterile, antiseptic techniques
• Adding prescription drugs or nutrient mixes into intravenous solutions too careful an sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for patients
• Monitoring or supplying electronic robotic machines used to dispense medicines into containers
• Monitoring the proper function of robotic labeling mechanisms
• Processing in preparing health insurance claims, records and forms
• Mixing pharmaceutical preparations in correlation with written prescriptions
• Operating cash registers and payment devices for customers; explaining payment options
• Computing medical charges and equipment charges from supplies dispensed by hospitals and entering such information into a computer database
• Delivering medicines and pharmaceutical supplies to nursing or surgery stations or to patients directly
• Pricing medical stock in marking items for sale
• Maintaining and promoting merchandise for both home healthcare and commercial services and products.


Pharmacy technicians will work under the care and supervision of a licensed pharmacist who will help them understand medications and other healthcare products. Pharmacy technicians will then be equipped with the knowledge they need to, in turn, explain such aspects of medications to consumers and patients. Routine tasks of a pharmacy technician will include counting tablets, bottle labeling, and administrative duties, much like secretarial work, including stock organization and shelving. Computer know-how is an important skill set for this profession, as many electronic databases require basic understanding of computer skills and proficiency in typing. Technicians may have to quickly scan large databases for specific information in order to help a client. Responsibilities also include organization, collection, evaluation and management of patient information. Technicians will be providing drug information and education to consumers and patients in a comprehensive manner.


Technicians will prepare, distribute, dispense or administer medications with the help of a pharmacist and under the direct supervision of said pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians must fully understand and comprehend drug side effects and prescription and nonprescription drugs considered beneficial in the treatment of common disease states. Technicians must demonstrate an understanding of medical ethics and preserve confidentiality for patients and patient information.


While technicians may perform these duties in a variety of health system settings including clinic pharmacies, hospitals, retail pharmacies, home healthcare pharmacies, chain pharmacies or nursing home pharmacies, technicians they also expect work in nontraditional settings which are gaining popularity and momentum in the state of Illinois as well as across the US. These settings may include online distribution or consultation portals, drug wholesale companies, drug manufacturing companies, medical insurance companies or other pharmaceutical instruction and training programs.


Within the setting of pharmacy retail, technicians are brought prescriptions are prescription requests from patients or doctors offices as well as refill requests. Technicians must then work quickly to process prescriptions electronically to, in turn, verify prescription information and complete a prescription as quickly and accurately as possible. According to Illinois state law, pharmacy technicians have the responsibility of receiving and preparing prescription medicines, retrieving, pouring, weighing, counting, measuring and sometimes mixing medications. Technicians will then prepare any prescription labels necessary, choose the appropriate type of medicine container, affix prescriptions and alternate labels to each container and, once filled, file and price the prescription. Medications can then be distributed to the patients when they are deemed ready for pickup. Robotic or personal calls made by members of staff including pharmacy technicians are often made directly to the patient's or careful facilities to notify the necessary parties of a prescription that is ready and waiting. Technicians establish and maintain up-to-date patient profiles, ready insurance claim forms, taken stock medical inventory of prescriptions as well as over-the-counted medicines.


How to Become Accredited as a Pharmacy Technician in Illinois


The primary step to achieve training as a pharmacy technician is to earn a high school diploma will potentially a GED equivalent. This basic education qualifies one for first-hand, on-the-job training. Finding employment as a pharmacy technician may be easier if one has undergone some type of post secondary education or training including online courses in pharmacy technician certification or accreditation. These courses help one prepare for work in the profession. States like Illinois may require technicians to show proof of passage of a national certification exam provide proof of formal training.


The duration of pharmacy technician training programs ranges depending on formal training or informal training and can take as little as a few months or as much as a year or more. Training programs may include on-the-job training such as guidance, mentorships, assistanceships, internships or other opportunities to gain experience under the tutelage of a skilled pharmacist. Completion of training is decided often upon the recommendation of a pharmacist who can vouch for the competence of a technician and their ability to perform work duties without supervision.


More formal training programs include programs sponsored by community colleges, technical institutes and vocational schools. Additionally, online pharmaceutical training certification courses are a great opportunity for students already working in similar professions or those strapped for time. Many institutions in the state of Illinois provide pharmacy technician training classes which can be completed relatively easily and quickly. Some of the shortest training courses can be finished within three months.


Two main types of certification for pharmacy technicians include

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification. In the state of Illinois, the minimum age requirement to certify applicants is 18 years of age and the minimum educational certification is a high school, completion of a technical training program and at least one year of on-the-job experience. Once the criteria are met, students will sit four a certification exam. Passage of this exam then guarantees accreditation under NHA. Technicians are required to recertify their credentials every two years and provide up-to-date information for any advances that may change their realm of practice or advances in their career.


Salary and Long-term Expectations in Illinois


The state of Illinois, the average hourly income for a certified pharmacy technician is $13.82. Average annual income in the state of Illinois is $32,000 a year. Illinois is a state filled with many cities above the national average for annual pay for pharmacy technicians. Among Illinois’s highest paying cities are: Arlington Heights, Aurora,Bloomington, Bolingbrook, Champaign, Chicago, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Joliet, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Orland Park, Cicero, Des Plaines, Elgin, Palatine, Rockford, Schaumburg, Skokie, Tinley Park and Wheaton. Pay generally increases for mail order pharmacies and long-term care pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians can look forward to benefits including medical, dental and vision coverage and a rise in salary as they rack up more credentials and on-the-job experience. Salary can rise up to $15,000 annually under the right circumstances. Whether one wants to maintain a career specifically as a pharmacy technician or advance their career in the world of medicine, beginning as a pharmacy technician is a great platform from which to jump.