The health care industry in the United States is experiencing a sudden surge in the demand for pharmacy technicians. This surge may be caused by the increase in health care facilities or aging of the general population. Those entering the job market in the next ten years should find many employment opportunities. For this reason, a number of schools have introduced programs dedicated to this field. Students may earn a diploma certificate or an Associate of Science degree, depending on the institution. The next section provides useful information regarding the best Pharmacy Tech Schools in the city of Chicago.
Harry S. Truman College
Harry S. Truman College is a member of the City Colleges of Chicago and was formerly known as Mayfair College. The school offers a pharmacy tech program that allows students to earn a Continuing Education Certificate (CEC). The coursework includes the following subjects of study:
1. Understanding prescriptions
2. Dosage calculations
3. Basic pharmacology
4. Drug interactions
5. Medical terminology
6. Inventory management
Besides taking courses, the students are required to work at medical facilities as part of the curriculum. This enables them to earn hands-on experience before entering the workforce. After completion of the program, graduates are encouraged to appear for national certification exams such as the CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician)and PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination) which establish their credibility and expand their employment opportunities.
Coyne College is one of the oldest technical colleges in Chicago. The college was established in 1899 and was formerly called Coyne American Institute. It has two campuses in the city of Chicago, with each offering a pharmacy tech program. The main campus is located on Green Street, while the Loop campus is on West Monroe Street. Students have the option to either enroll in a diploma program or an associate’s degree program, which take 10 months and 16 and a half months, respectively. Prospective students can apply for admission online through the institution’s website. The eligibility criteria require candidates to have a high school diploma and be over 17 years of age.
Throughout the programs, students learn about different principles and are required to take part in externships. The following are some of the topics included in the coursework:
2. Sterilization techniques
4. Basic communications
5. Pharmacy law and ethics
Although Coyne College is accredited by the ACCSC, it encourages its students to take the PTCE exam. Students are also offered financial aid and scholarships by the state to ease the burden of expenses.
Contact: 1.800.707.1922, 1.800.699.5958
Robert Morris University Illinois
Robert Morris University has 10 different campuses spread across the United States. The main campus of the university is located in Chicago. It is a private institution that offers different programs for all disciplines. The university has a 15-month pharmacy tech program, at the end of which students earn an associate’s degree. The program teaches students all the skills required to work side-by-side with a pharmacist. These include interpreting prescriptions, managing the inventory, and filing any paperwork or insurance claims. In total, the students are required to complete 92 credit hours, which include courses such as the following:
1. Medical calculations
2. Community pharmacy practices
3. Human body systems
4. Pharmacy law and ethics
5. Career development
Besides taking courses, it is necessary for students to complete a clinical externship as part of the program. Upon graduation, the students are prepared to take the CPhT test for national certification. The graduation rate of Robert Morris University is listed among the top 5 nonprofit institutes in Illinois. However, to be accepted, it is mandatory to have a clean background and to pass any drug-screening tests. The tuition fee for full time students is $7,600 per quarter (12 or more credit hours) and for part-time students it is $5,067 per quarter (6-11 credit hours), while for less than part-time students,(less than 6 credit hours) it is $2533.
Chicago Malcolm X College
Chicago Malcolm X College is a member of the City Colleges of Chicago. The institute is among the few in Chicago that offer an Advanced Certificate (AC) in pharmacy technology. The program requires students to take a total of 33 credit hours, which include classes in the following subjects:
1. Pharmacy calculations
2. Medical law and ethics
3. Pharmacy operations
4. Basic communication skills
5. Prescription processing
The subjects mentioned above and other courses prepare students for employment as pharmacy techs. This program of Malcolm X College is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Prospective students must satisfy a list of requirements that include a clear criminal record, a high school diploma, letters of recommendation, and passing interviews with the admissions committee.
Olive Harvey College
Olive Harvey College is known to have the largest campus among any of the City Colleges of Chicago. It is located on the southeast side of Chicago. For pharmacy tech aspirants, the college has introduced a CEC program. The program teaches students about dosage calculations, inventory management, drug interactions, and much other useful information related to retail and hospital pharmacies. The environment at the college encourages students to interact with their instructors and fellows on a daily basis. This ensures well-developed communication abilities. Also, the students are taught about career development to help them find the best job opportunities in the future. To provide students with a practical experience prior to taking up any job, the college has made internships and externships mandatory.
In each class, there are about 25 students from all age groups. Although the majority of the candidates are recent high school graduates, the average age in class is 28 years. Students who wish to take the CPhT or PTCE exam are recommended to register at this college. For citizens of Chicago, the college is situated in a convenient location that is easily accessible by public transport. Additional information regarding the curriculum can be found on the college’s website.
Wilbur Wright College
Wilbur Wright College also falls among the seven prestigious City Colleges of Chicago. It is known for offering associate degrees that are transferable to most four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The college has been serving students since 1995 and was named after the first powered aircraft designer. Like other City Colleges of Chicago, this institute also issues a CEC for pharmacy tech education. During their time in the program, students learn about topics such as:
1. Basic math and chemistry
2. Medical calculations
3. Pharmacy assistance
4. Insurance claims
5. Medical law
Upon graduation, the students are ready to sit for the national certification exams to further aid them in career development. Wilbur Wright College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Prospective students can find more information regarding the program on the college’s website.
Richard J. Daley College
As a member of the City Colleges of Chicago, the Richard J. Daley College also follows almost the same curriculum for pharmacy tech education program as the other colleges do. The institute offers a CEC to its students. Throughout the course, students are taught about working in hospitals, retail pharmacies, and community health care facilities. Also, detailed learning of prescriptions, drug interactions, and medical calculations are part of the curriculum. To provide students with a practical experience prior to entering the real world, the program requires students to take part in internships. When the program is complete, candidates are ready to appear for the national certification exams that help them to establish their credibility.