May 29, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pharmacy Technician Diploma

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A pharmacy technician is an individual who, under the supervision of a pharmacist, assists in the performance of activities of the pharmacy department not requiring the professional judgment of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians assist and support licensed pharmacists in providing healthcare to patients. Pharmacy technicians have been called pharmacy support personnel and various other titles, depending on their location. Pharmacy technicians must have a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and must be skilled in the techniques required to order, stock, package and prepare medications, but they do not need the advanced college education required of a licensed pharmacist.

This program will prepare students for entry-level pharmacy technician positions. Medical and pharmaceutical terminology will be introduced along with pharmaceutical calculations. The basic anatomy and physiology related to the pharmacology of medications will be a major component of the coursework. This program will provide students with the necessary preparatory courses for certification preparation. Certification will require a passing score on a nationally recognized certification exam such as the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) or ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians).

As a part of the Pharmacy Technician diploma, students will be required to perform two clinical rotations. Clinical rotations will include both retail experience and a hospital or custom experience. The instructor will help each student locate local facilities where they can do their clinical rotations.

Criminal background checks will be completed on each student. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may delay or prevent students from participating in clinical education experiences. Students unable to participate in clinical education will be unable to complete the Pharmacy Technician program by either the American Heart Association (CPR for the Health Care Provider) or American Red Cross (CPR for the Professional Rescuer) is required prior to beginning clinical rotations. Proof of current flu vaccination is required of all Pharmacy Technician students by January of each year.

Proof of immunizations is required of all Pharmacy Technician students and current certification by either the American Heart Association (CPR for the Health Care Provider) or American Red Cross (CPR for the Professional Rescuer) is required prior to beginning clinical rotations. Proof of current flu vaccination is required of all Pharmacy Technician students by January of each year.

For more information about the Pharmacy Technician program, please visit our website at

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall or Spring semester.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Submit to the Admissions Office evidence of high school graduation or GED completion.
  3. Obtain minimum ALEKS math placement score of 30 or minimum ACT math score of 14.
  4. Obtain minimum COMPASS English score of 70 or minimum ACT writing score of 19.
  5. Obtain minimum COMPASS reading score of 81 or minimum ACT reading score of 19.
  6. Obtain a score of at least 35 NWPM with five errors or fewer on the typing/word processing skill test. Students who do not achieve a 35 NWPM score on the typing test must meet with the program chair.
  7. Completion of one year of high school algebra with a “C” or better or take MAT 063  in their first semester.
  8. Completion of one year of high school biology or chemistry or equivalent with a “C” or better is strongly recommended.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Pharmacy Technician diploma, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A grade of 2.0 (C) or better is required in all PHR courses. To remain in the program, a student must maintain a grade of “C” or higher in each required course.

Required Courses

Total Credits Required to Complete this Diploma - 36

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

The Pharmacy Technician program utilizes a background check service,, to conduct criminal
background/abuse checks and to track immunizations, health records and CPR certification for each student after their
acceptance into the program. Students are responsible for the cost of this service (approximately $58).

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Books (approximate) 300 200 100
Supplies   65   25   0
MAPP Assessment Fee       10
Certification Exam Fee     129
IA Board of Pharmacy Registration 44   44  
Physical Exam (approx.) 80    
CPR Class 50    
Hepatitis B Immunization & Flu Required (may be covered by your insurance) 105    
IPA Membership  65    
IPA Educational Conference     70  

Approximate total for the program: $6,247*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

• Work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
• Perform many pharmacy-related functions.
• Measure, mix, count, label and record amounts and dosages of medications.
• Fill prescriptions.
• Communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals.
• Verify prescriptions from physicians and take refills.
• Maintain patient records and insurance information.
• Maintain inventory.
• Work in a variety of practice settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, the military, in-home health care, long-term
   care, mail service facilities, managed healthcare facilities, and educational/training programs.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

• Perform activities in an organized and detailed manner.
• Apply knowledge of mathematics and biological and social sciences.
• Must have necessary physical and emotional stamina to meet demands of a rigorous schedule.
• Must have self-discipline and ability to take initiative in resolving patient care problems.
• Must be dependable and trustworthy.
• Must be able to communicate, cooperate and work effectively as part of a team.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • General education classes can be taken at any DMACC campus and often offered in online WebBlend and face-to-face formats. Pharmacy Technician classes are scheduled on the Ankeny campus and in WebBlend format. Correlated clinical experiences take place in selected hospitals and community pharmacies throughout the area. Courses are taught by practicing registered.
  • You will be required to communicate easily and clearly with patients and coworkers.
  • You must accept responsibility for your actions.
  • You will stand and walk most of the day.
  • Working under pressure requires good physical health and emotional stability.
  • Since the year 2010, certification for pharmacy technicians is required of all pharmacy technicians in the state of Iowa. Licensure in Iowa may be obtained by passing any nationally accredited pharmacy technician certification exam. Currently, the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) and the ExCPT (Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians) are nationally recognized certification exams.
  • There are two parts to being a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). First, pharmacy technicians must sit for and pass the national PTCE or ExCPT. Once a pharmacy technician has passed the exam, he or she may use the designation CPhT. Second, to continue to hold the certification, a CPhT is required to obtain 20 hours of continuing education for recertification within two years of original certification.
  • In the state of Iowa, all pharmacy technician trainees are required to register with the Board by completing and submitting an application for registration within 30 days of accepting employment or internship in an Iowa pharmacy. Registration is necessary for the purposes of identification, tracking and disciplinary action.
  • Average starting salary $24,036 (2010-2011 Placement Report).

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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