Pharmacy Technician Schools in Iowa

Iowa is a Midwestern state bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and by the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers on the west.  Iowa is known for its agriculture, particularly corn and soybeans, and croplands cover about 60% of the state. But Iowa has successfully transitioned to a more diversified economy featuring industries like financial services, manufacturing, food processing and biotechnology.

Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

Working under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician receives prescription orders, labels prescription bottles, counts out medication and performs numerous other tasks, depending upon the work setting and the needs of the pharmacist. Most pharmacy techs who work in retail sales outlets like drug stores or groceries will spend quite a bit of their time waiting on customers. Other tasks might include sterilizing pharmacy equipment, delivering medications to patients, keeping records and talking with customers and insurance companies on the phone.

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

In certain states, certification as a pharmacy technician isn’t required by the state but might be required by some employers. Certified techs not only generally have an easier time getting a job, but they also usually get paid more.

To become a certified pharmacy technician, you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which consists of ninety questions in three sections: patient services, medication control, and pharmacy maintenance. You can attempt the exam up to three times, but each time you fail you have to wait thirty days to retake the test. The skills needed for the test include basic math, reading and understanding prescriptions, knowledge of pharmaceutical laws, and customer relations.

Becoming a pharmacy tech is a lot easier and less time-consuming than many other jobs in the health care industry. There are several schools in Iowa that offer training programs for pharmacy techs. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as six months. These schools provide all the necessary training, and many of them provide a hands-on laboratory.

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