“A second chance is a gift that keeps on giving if you go ahead and take it,” Qourtney recalls.
Qourtney became interested in the medical field when she was undergoing treatment as a dialysis patient. Through the multitude of prescriptions, Qourtney’s curiosity blossomed as she pondered the differences in drugs, how they worked, and how insurance companies processed payments for them.
In July 2014, Qourtney received a call that she would be receiving a life changing organ transplant. She also learned about the IUPUI Workforce Readiness program, and was specifically interested in the Pharmacy Technician program.
IUPUI’s Workforce Readiness courses support the unemployed and underemployed in their move to living wage career opportunities and offers a variety of programs, ranging from Pharmacy Tech to Human Resources Management Assistant.
Qourtney received her transplant shortly after, and was ready to begin her journey by registering in the Pharmacy Technician class. Upon completion of the program, Qourtney’s career began to skyrocket; she was hungry to learn more and to advance her career.
“Though it’s not a requirement to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) as part of the course, I sought this certificate in order to gauge my preparedness to enter a new field,” said Quortney.
The certification paid off. Quortney applied for a Pharmacy Technician position at Community Health and was immediately hired.
Within a year of working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician, Qourtney was ready to build on her knowledge and reviewed additional courses offered by IUPUI. “I wanted to be as employable as possible, and secure myself in a position where a computer could not take my job or I cannot be downsized,” she said. To be knowledgeable, resourceful and a major asset to any team in a hospital setting, she enrolled in the Patient Access Specialist (PAS) program.
“My main motivation behind this is because I am an ex-felon. I know that I really have to market myself and be prepared,” Qourtney said.
Upon completion of the PAS program, Qourtney took advantage of the PAS internship at HealthNet Southwest Health Center. “The Internship was great,” Qourtney said. “I loved it, because not only was I a prospect for employment, but I got a chance to see if this is what I really wanted to do.” During the exit interview, the manager recommended that she apply for the PAS position at HealthNet Southwest Health Center. She did and was hired.
The first days on the job were not overwhelming, even though there was a lot to do, because the hands-on experience she received during the PAS internship prepared her for the job.
“Through this position, I feel that I brighten each patient’s day. I don’t mind hugging them and showing them that I care. Because I was a patient, I empathize with them,” she said. “You never know what someone is going through, and how just one eye contact, smile, compliment or act of kindness can prevent a tragedy.”
She said, “Sometimes God puts it on my heart to share my personal story about being a dialysis patient. Patients are usually in disbelief and reply, ‘You were a dialysis patient?’ and I reply ‘You don’t have to look like what you’ve been through.’”
Qourtney currently holds a full-time PAS position at Southwest Health Center and is working part-time at Meijer as a Pharmacy Technician. She is excited about the opportunity for advancement and will continue to hold both types of positions until she finds a job that combines both skills.
She showed gratitude for the instructors and staff members at IUPUI for encouraging and consistently going above and beyond. “The instructors would ensure everyone was retaining the lessons by staying late to help with equations and calculations even when they had their own personal things to attend like anniversaries and being with their own children,” she said. “They also helped with resumes, etiquette, giving advice and sharing the inside scoop of what employers are looking for. I appreciate them for everything that they’ve sacrificed and everything that they do selflessly.”
Qourtney tries to spread the word about IUPUI’s Workforce Readiness courses because she believes that they are an asset to the community. She loves the idea of how affordable the program was and how she didn’t have to take out student loans. She said, “You’re able to make a way for your family and yourself. These classes not only help the participant’s household, it helps others by giving hope.”