Apr 19, 2021  
Academic Program Manuals 2019-2020 
Academic Program Manuals 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pharmacy Technology Program Policies & Procedures

Welcome to the Pharmacy Technology program. This program is three (3) terms, (9 months) in length. Upon successful completion of this program, a diploma will be awarded.

Indian Hills Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of Colleges and Schools and a member of the North Central Association.

The Pharmacy Technology Program is part of the Health Sciences Division. Jill Budde is the Executive Dean, Career and Workforce Education and Heidi Jones is Associate Dean of Health Sciences. The Program Director is Heather Larson. Joseph Miller is the Program Instructor.

This student handbook has been developed by the staff and administration of the Health Sciences Division of Indian Hills Community College. Its purpose is to serve as a guide for all students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology program. The handbook supplements the Indian Hills Community College Student Handbook and College Catalog; consequently all policies and procedures from the student code of conduct handbook are to be observed in addition to those outlined in the following pages.

This booklet contains specific information that may help you understand the policies and procedures of the Pharmacy Technology Program. Please read the handbook carefully and ask questions if any of the information is unclear. The Program Director and Program Instructors are the best resources for answering questions that you might have concerning program policies or procedures.

Staff Directory

For a full listing of Faculty members please visit the faculty directory in the College Catalog & Student Handbook or search the Online Faculty/Staff Directory.

Jill Budde, Executive Dean, Career and Workforce Education 641-683-5165
Heidi Jones, Associate Dean, Health Sciences 641-683-5292
Vicki Ellis, Health Sciences Department Assistant 641-683-5247
Heather Larson, Program Director 641 -683-5311

Indian Hills Community College Mission Statement, Values and Purpose

Mission Statement

Indian Hills Community College changes lives by inspiring learning, diversity, social enrichment, and regional economic advancement.


  • Academic Excellence and Student Success
  • Integrity, Relationships, and Teamwork
  • Acceptance, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • Tradition and Culture
  • Innovation and the Future


Indian Hills Community College is dedicated to providing a dynamic and timely response to the ever-changing needs of our business community and the populace of our small towns and rural areas. In this context, it is our purpose to provide, to the greatest extent possible, the following education opportunities and services.

  1. The first two years of college work, including pre-professional education.
  2. Career and technical training.
  3. Programs for in-service training and retraining of workers.
  4. Programs for high school completions for students of post-high school age.
  5. Programs for all students of high school age who may best serve themselves by enrolling for career and technical training, while also enrolled in a local high school, public or private.
  6. Programs for students of high school age to provide advanced college placement courses not taught at a student’s high school while the student is also enrolled in the high school.
  7. Student personnel services.
  8. Community services.
  9. Career and technical education for persons who have academic, socioeconomic or other disabilities which prevent succeeding in regular career education programs.
  10. Training, retraining and all necessary preparation for productive employment of all citizens.
  11. Career and technical training for persons who are not enrolled in a high school and who have not completed high school.
  12. Developmental education for persons who are academically or personally under prepared to succeed in their program of study.

Pharmacy Technology Program Mission Statement, Philosophy and Outcomes

Mission Statement

To provide a program of Pharmacy Technician education which builds upon previous experiences and affords the student the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become a competent Pharmacy Technician.


Indian Hills Community College, as a community centered institution, strives to meet the needs of all people for post-secondary education.  The college believes every opportunity should be provided for each student to develop to their maximum potential in order that they might become a valuable citizen who contributes to our complex and ever-changing society. 

The faculty of the Pharmacy Technician program believes that learning is an individual and continuous process resulting in a behavioral change which can be measure; and that learning is facilitated an affected by motivation, self-discipline, and structured experience.  We believe it is also the responsibility of the instructor to create an environment at is conductive to student learning.  We further believe that the role of the instructor is to identify learning needs, guide the learner, and assess student-learning outcomes.   Attainment of student-learning outcomes will be determined through the use of classroom and practicum assessment techniques. 

We believe that the Pharmacy Technician student is an adult learner and as such shares the responsibility for their learning.  This allows the student to develop into a life-long learner, effective practitioner, and a responsible citizen.  We also believe that students are accountable to the legal and ethical practices of the Pharmacy Technician profession. 


Upon successful completion of the program the graduate will:

  1. possess the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to assist the pharmacist in serving patients/customers
  2. demonstrate the ability to obtain certification within one year
  3. use effective oral and written communication appropriate to the profession
  4. be able to maintain medication and inventory control systems
  5. be able to participate in the administration and management of pharmacy practice

To The Student

Occasionally you will encounter circumstances requiring assistance or guidance. The following is a partial list of potential problems and who to see:

Difficulty/concern with a specific course Instructor
Difficulty with course work in general or problems of a general nature Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean
Concerns about clinical rotations Clinical Coordinator
Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean
Problems/concerns at clinical site Clinical Instructor
Clinical Coordinator
Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean
Information concerning Policies and Procedures Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean
Personal Problems Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean
Concerns about the program Program Director
Associate Dean
Executive Dean

Feel free to talk to any staff member if you think they can help you.

Pharmacy Technology Do’s:

  1. Expect to spend from 2 to 3 hours per day on course homework.
  2. Log in to your classes regularly to access online course materials in a timely manner.
  3. Ask questions frequently.
  4. Take responsibility for your own learning.
  5. Submit all required assignments by the due dates provided in each course.

Pharmacy Technology Dont’s:

  1. Waste time and energy trying to decide whether or not a course is relevant.
  2. Complain to people who cannot help you.
  3. Procrastinate with your work or with looking for solutions to problems.

Prospective Students

This post-secondary program is designed for both traditional and non-traditional type students who have a high school diploma or equivalent. 

Entrance Requirements

A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for admission. Prospective students must:

  1. Complete an IHCC application
  2. Request high school and college transcripts
  3. Take the ACT and/or ACCUPLACER assessment

To be considered for admission to the Pharmacy Technology program, prospective students must have achieved a 2.5 GPA on their most recent transcript. For a GPA from a college transcript to be considered, the applicant must have completed a minimum of eight (8) semester hours at that college. Qualified applicants will be required to complete an online orientation session and additional requirements provided at the orientation session. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the Pharmacy Technology program.

Academic Schedule

The Pharmacy Technology Program is three (3) terms in length and is comprised of online, hybrid and clinical instruction. Each term is approximately three (3) months (12 instructional weeks) long.

Term I: Students complete online course work. Students complete both online and face-to-face session/s for Pharmacy Simulation at dates to be determined by the instructor.

Term II: Students complete online course work. Students complete both online and face-to-face session/s for Pharmacy Simulation II at dates to be determined by the instructor.

Term III: Students attend practicum rotations for 176 hours. Students will spend 11 8-hours days in a retail pharmacy and 11 8-hour days in a hospital pharmacy.

At no time will students be assigned/allowed to be involved in classes and clinical more than forty (40) hours per week.


To view the full program curriculum, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.

Course Descriptions

To view the course descriptions, please click on the links below. 

  • Pharmacy Technology:
    • PHR 100 - Intro to Pharmacy Technician
    • PHR110 - Pharmacy Technician I
    • PHR115 - Pharmacy Technician II
    • PHR130 - Pharmaceutical Calculations
    • PHR 141 - Pharmacy Operations 
    • PHR 145 - Pharmacy Simulation I
    • PHR 148 - Pharmacy Simulation II
    • PHR150 - Pharmacy Technician Practicum
  • Health Sciences:
    • HSC230 - Employment Preparation
    • HSC 212 - Pathophysiology

Program Policies

Civil Rights Policy

To view the full Civil Rights Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

To view the full Sexual Misconduct Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook or the college website.

Grievance and Appeals Procedures

To view the full Grievance Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.

Social Media Policy

Social Media is a dynamic platform for interaction through words, images, audio and video.  Examples of these sites include, but are not limited to:  Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and many more. The Pharmacy Technology Program at Indian Hills Community College respects the rights of its faculty and students to use social media outlets as a means of self -expression.  However, posts made on social media sites may become viral at any time or may be available on public platforms potentially permanently; even when they have been deleted from the website to which they were originally posted.  Social media sites have the potential to reflect both negatively and positively on any user’s future and their future employment.  Students and faculty at IHCC have both ethical and legal obligations with any social media communications.  Thus, IHCC has adopted this social media policy for its faculty and students.  It is the expectation of the college that its content will be adhered to.

The intent of the policy is not to restrict the flow of communication, but to provide guidance for professional, ethical and legal interactions for all of the participants.  The following, are examples of students conduct that in any form of social media are considered unprofessional and may result in disciplinary action and or dismissal from the program.              

  1. Posting or discussing confidential patient/family information or photographs.  IHCC considers confidentiality of our patients and families to be of the utmost importance.  Any direct or indirect disclosure of patient or family information is subject to disciplinary action/termination.
  2. Posting or discussing information about IHCC, IHCC Services, clients, employees, or anyone associated with the college.
  3. Posting or discussing defamatory or false information about IHCC, college services, clients, vendors, employees or anyone associated with the college that is disparaging in nature.
  4. Harassing of discriminatory postings of any discussions concerning anyone associated with IHCC.   Students are expressly prohibited from using any social media platform to harass, bully or intimidate other students, faculty or anyone associated with the college.  This would include the following: Derogatory comments with regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political beliefs, Veteran status, etc.  This includes any and all other protected class or status information recognized by federal, state and local laws.
  5. Sexually suggestive, humiliating or demeaning comments.
  6. Threats to intimidate of physically harm an employee, student, of anyone associated or affiliated with the college.
  7. Speaking or posting in any way on behalf of the college without explicit permission of the President of the College.
  8. Posting work related pictures of college employees, students of anyone associated with the college without that persons’ permission.
  9. Students are not allowed to access social media sites during any class or clinical without the express permission of the classroom or clinical instructor.  Students doing this for any non-school related purposes will be subject to disciplinary action/termination.
  10. Additionally, students who identify themselves in any social media platform as an IHCC student must recognize and adhere to the following additional guidelines.  Others may view you as a representative of the college.  Because of this distinct possibility, students who choose to identify themselves in this manner are required, as a condition of their enrollment, to observe some additional guidelines when referring to the college, college employees, faculty, its’ programs and activities.  Students who identify themselves as an IHCC student must be respectful of all social media platforms and communications that make reference to IHCC, its employees, faculty or anyone associated with IHCC.  Any obscenities, profanity, vulgar language or images are prohibited.
  11. Any discussions referencing conduct that is prohibited by the college or college policies is prohibited.

Any failure on the part of the student to comply with these guidelines for social media conduct will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college.

Academic Policies

Academic Miscounduct Policy

To view the full Academic Misconduct Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.


The Pharmacy Technology core curriculum must be completed in the order offered. Core curriculum classes include all Pharmacy Technology classes in addition to Basic Anatomy & Physiology. If a student fails any of these core curriculum courses they will not be allowed to continue in the program.

If a student has course work equal to a course required in the Pharmacy Technology curriculum, they will be awarded transfer credit. This decision is made by the Registrar in consultation with the Pharmacy Technology Program Director, the Associate Dean and Executive Dean of Career and Workforce Education.

Grading Policy

In order to graduate, a student must receive a passing grade in all courses listed for that major and achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or above.  This is equivalent to a “C” average.

Any student whose current term GPA falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic probation for the next term.  Academic probation may affect your financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Counselor for clarification of your individual situation.

Two consecutive terms of academic probation in succession will result in dismissal from the college unless the student receives special permission to continue.

Conferences will be scheduled periodically to discuss grades, progress, and concerns.  Students may schedule conferences with the instructor or program director at any time.  Students are expected to take the initiative in scheduling conferences when grades are below average.

Grades are based upon individual achievement, not upon the relative performance of your classmates.  Should a student be unable to complete some portion of assigned course work during the regular term, a mark of “I” (incomplete) may be assigned.  In such cases, the student must then complete the course work by midterm of the subsequent term.  “Incomplete” grades automatically convert to the letter grade “F” unless the work is satisfactorily completed within the time period specified.

Students who wish to terminate or withdraw from the program are required to obtain appropriate papers.  Withdrawal forms are obtained in the Health Sciences office located in the Rural Health Education Center.  Proper termination procedures insure that the student does not receive grades of “F” for all of the courses they were enrolled in at the time of withdrawal.  All withdrawals must be completed prior to two weeks before the end of the term.  Refer to the IHCC Student Handbook for additional information.

The Health Sciences Division grading is based upon the following percentage scale.  This grading scale is required by all health sciences programs. 

Percentage Scale Letter Grade Numerical Grade
93-100% A 4
85-92% B 3
78-84% C 2
75-77% D 1
0-74% F 0

You may compute your GPA at any time by following this example:

Course Credit Hours Numerical Grade Grade Points
Employment Prep 1 2 (C) 2
Pharmaceutical Calculation 1 2 (C) 2
Medical Terminology 2 2 (C) 4
Pharmacy Technician II 5 4 (A) 20

Credit Hours Attempted = 9       ;       Total Credit Points = 28

Total Grade Points divided by Credit Hours Attempted = Grade Point Average (GPA)

(28 divided by 9 = 3.11 GPA).

Should a student detect any errors concerning their grades, they should notify the school within two weeks after the grade has been posted.  The student should check their grades for accuracy.  If you have questions regarding your GPA, contact your instructor or the Associate Dean.

The student may also be requested to leave the college at any time for unsatisfactory attendance, work, or conduct.  The cooperating agencies, with the college’s approval, may request withdrawal of any student from the Practicum experience.  Students will be given an opportunity to meet with the faculty and other interested parties to discuss the problems before any final action is taken. 

Testing Policy

  1. Tests will be given throughout each course.  Each instructor will determine the time and content of the tests.
  2. Each student must notify the course instructor prior to test time if they are going to be absent or cannot complete an online exam. 
  3. Tests missed as a result of an absence will be taken or arrangements will be made on the first day of the student’s return to school.  An alternate format covering the same course objectives may be used for make-up tests.  The student that misses a test must initiate the make-up process with the instructor.  The instructor will then schedule a make-up test. 
  4. Comprehensive laboratory tests may also be given.
  5. Final examinations are scheduled for each course at the end of each term.

Re-entry Policy

Program statistics indicate that students that repeat specific courses more than one time or re-enter the program multiple times are less likely to be successful on the national certification examination.  To support student success the following repeat policy statements have been developed.

Students will be allowed to repeat a non-core course one time if they do not achieve a final grade of a “C” (78%) or better. 

Pharmacy is a legally regulated health profession.  As such, the definition of a technician is also very specifically worded.  As of July 2010, any person that intends to seek employment as a pharmacy technician must register with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy as a Technician Trainee when starting a training program.  That person must pass a certification exam from a nationally-accredited technician board within one year of registering with the Board.  If they are not certified within the one year time-limit, they may not practice in a pharmacy.

The unfortunate consequence of this is that when a student is accepted into the Pharmacy Technology program they will have only one opportunity to successfully complete all the required courses.  The student must register with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy at the start of Term III, and several of the classes (Pharmacy Technician I, Pharmacy Technician II, Pharmacy Calculations, and Pharmacy Practicum) are only offered once per year.  This means that if the student cannot complete one of those classes, their Technician Trainee registration will expire before they are offered again, and that student will not be allowed to work in pharmacies.  That means they will not be allowed to participate in the clinical practicum experiences that are required to complete the program.

Therefore it is vitally important that every student who is accepted into the Pharmacy Technology program make every effort to keep up-to-date on assignments and other class materials.  There is not sufficient time in a two-term program to “catch up” if one falls behind.  Consequently no late assignments will be accepted and it will be the responsibility of the student to monitor the Course Schedule and make sure all assignments are turned in on time.


The ability of a student to get a job in their career field upon graduation is a very important part of the educational process. The Health Sciences Division, working cooperatively with each student, will do everything possible to see that this objective is met.

  1. The student is responsible to actively seek employment.
  2. The division will keep students informed of known available employment opportunities.
  3. The student should provide the Program Director with placement data once a position is accepted.

Practicum Policies

Two practicum experiences will be scheduled at a hospital and retail pharmacy, giving the student the opportunity to apply knowledge in a real life situation that has been acquired in the classroom and laboratory setting.

Practicum Course Outline

PHR150 Pharmacy Technician Practicum

Course Credits:

2 semester hours

Practicum Hours:

180 hours (176 hours of on-site experience and 4 hours mock PTCB examination) during Summer Term (Term III) of the program


Must obtain Iowa Technician Trainee registration prior to starting practicum.  If another state is involved, contact the Program Director for information. 

Students are required to be at the assigned practicum location at the time determined by the program director in cooperation with the practicum supervisor.  The assigned hours will be accordance with actual working shifts in the assigned pharmacy.

The practicum supervisor will be responsible for the learning experiences of students in each pharmacy.

Students must remember that the facility/business is cooperating with the college to provide the necessary experiences for learning the pharmacy technician’s role and responsibilities.  As such, students must recognize they are guests of the cooperating pharmacy and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, observing any special rules and regulations applicable to those who work for that pharmacy. 

Student Responsibilities During Practicum

  1. The student shall conduct themselves in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedures governing other employees of the cooperating facility.
  2. The student is not an employee of the cooperating facility and, therefore, is not covered by Social Security, Unemployment Compensation or Workmen’s Compensation. 
  3. The student is responsible for their own health care insurance.
  4.  The student is responsible for their own transportation to and from the Practicum experience. 
  5. The student shall perform job functions as agreed upon by the Practicum Supervisor at the practicum site and the Program Director of the IHCC Pharmacy Technology Program.
  6. The student will be responsible for their own supplies to complete assignments.
  7. The student shall observe the confidentiality status of personal and medical information concerning patients and patient records.  The student shall also observe the confidentiality status of all operational phases of the facility and its staff.
  8. The student shall observe the time scheduled for the Practicum experience mutually agreed upon by the practicum supervisor, the program director, and the student.
  9. The student is responsible for contacting the Practicum Supervisor and the Program Director of the Pharmacy Technician Program in case of Absence.  Time must be made up for any absence.
  10. The student shall complete assigned practicum activities with the understanding that they do not receive a stipend.
  11. Children may not attend practicum with the parent.
  12. Before leaving the cooperating facility, the student must report off to the Practicum Supervisor.
  13. Background checks must be completed prior to beginning the Practicum experience.
  14. The use of computers at clinical facilities for personal use is prohibited.  Some clinical facilities may require students to sign forms in recognition of this policy.

Practicum Attendance Policy

Prospective employers consider attendance records a good indicator of future employee behavior. We consider attendance important for that reason and because learning rarely takes place if you are absent, regardless of the reason.  Therefore, to satisfactorily complete the objectives of the Pharmacy Technology program, the following policies must be adhered to:

  1. Students are expected to be present for all practicum experiences to attain the objectives of the program. If a student is unable to attend, they are to report their absence each day–stating name and reason. On practicum days the student will notify the Practicum Supervisor along with an email to the Program Director.  Failure to comply will result in a conference report and possible removal from the practicum site. 
  2. All absences and failure to be on time for the practicum experiences will be documented in the student’s record. Any student being more than 10 minutes late will be considered absent for that day.
  3. The faculty will review attendance frequently to determine if each student is meeting the objectives of the program. Documentation of missed practicum days will be made on the time card provided to each student at the beginning of the program.  Each student is responsible for making sure the time card is signed by the Practicum Supervisor.  The student will include a copy of the time card in at the end of each term to the Program Director for review.  Failure to meet these objectives will result in the student meeting with the faculty and possible termination from the program.
  4.  Students needing to take a Leave of Absence (maternity, surgery, death in immediate family, hospitalized child) may submit a written request to the Program Director for review by the Attendance Review Committee. Approval is based on the following:
    1. If the student’s previous performance indicates they are able to achieve the objectives of the program, and
    2. If it is possible for the faculty to plan the student’s program so all learning experiences can be satisfactorily completed.
    3. If the leave is granted, the student will be scheduled to make up the practicum days missed following graduation (Summer Term).  
  5. A maximum maternity leave of four (4) weeks will be granted for an uncomplicated pregnancy.  Any further extension of maternity leave will require a written excuse from the attending physician.
  6. Before leaving the practicum site, the student must report to the Practicum Supervisor.
  7. To successfully complete the Pharmacy Technician Practicum (PHR150) the student must complete 176 hours of practicum.

Practicum Dress Code

Student enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology program represent the college and the profession of a Pharmacy Technician.  It is imperative that certain standards be met and a dress code followed.  All students in Health Sciences should be neat and clean at all times. 

While at the practicum site, students are to follow the dress code for Indian Hills Community College Pharmacy Technician students:

Uniform Dress Code

  1. Students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technician program will be required to wear professional attire. A professional shirt and dress pants/slacks are required. No jeans will be allowed. Full shoes must be worn. No sandals or Crocs are allowed.
  2. Clothes must be clean, neatly pressed and free of odor at all times.
  3. Students must be clean, free of body odor and have well-trimmed fingernails. 
  4. Makeup must be conservative in nature.
  5. Hair must be neat.  Beards and mustaches should be neatly trimmed and not excessive in length.
  6. Jewelry must be kept to a minimum.
  7. Appropriate undergarments must be worn.
  8. Photo identification badges denoting Student Pharmacy Technician status will be worn when in attendance at any cooperating facility.  Arrangements will be made by the Program Director for obtaining the student identification badges.
  9. Students with visible body piercing jewelry will not be allowed to attend the Practicum Experience (i.e. eyebrow, nose, tongue, or lip).
  10. All visible tattoos must be covered.

Any student who chooses to disregard the dress code will be verbally warned once and the second infraction will warrant a written warning.  A third infraction will result in suspension from the practicum site.  A conference will be held with the Program Director in the Pharmacy Technician program. 

Professional Conduct

When at a pharmacy site, employees and students must conduct themselves in a professional manner.  Any serious violation or several minor violations could lead to dismissal from the program.

  1. The student is responsible for being available for instruction in their assigned area.
  2. The student will be ready for the Practicum Experience at the assigned time and will report to the supervising pharmacist.
  3. The student is responsible to the supervising pharmacist when in the Practicum setting.
  4. The student will develop a sense of protection for the health and well-being of the client and themselves by careful and complete Pharmacy Technician practices.

The following are examples of misconduct in the classroom and Practicum site:

  1. Falsifying records or dishonest behavior.
  2. Leaving the practicum experience during assigned hours without permission.
  3. Loafing or sleeping on the premises.
  4. Conducting personal business during practicum hours.
  5. Failure to follow instructions or neglect of duties assigned.
  6. Any immoral conduct such as use of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty or reporting for practicum or class under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  7. Fighting, horseplay, disorderly conduct, loud talking or the possession of weapons on cooperating facility/agency or college property.
  8. Acting in a discourteous manner toward clients, physicians, pharmacy staff, instructors or peers.  This includes the use of vile or abusive language.
  9. Abuse of time spent on breaks or lunch.
  10. Disregarding practicum site safety rules.
  11. Smoking in unauthorized areas.
  12. Disclosing confidential/private information about clients, students, pharmacists, physicians or staff.
  13. Theft, destruction or misuse of pharmacy property.
  14. Having excess absenteeism or tardiness.
  15. Violating dress code.
  16. Refusing to provide service to a client because of race, color, sex, religion, age, beliefs or handicaps.
  17. Parking in unauthorized areas.
  18. Having cell phones on during the practicum experience.


All patient information that students have access to is personal and private; therefore, confidentiality is crucial. Any violation of the “patient right” would be possible cause for dismissal. Violation would include, but not be limited to:

  1. Discussing information about a patient in an inappropriate setting, or with someone not related to the care of the patient.
  2. Taking pictures of the patient for personal keeping.
  3. Exposing a patient unnecessarily.
  4. Handling inappropriately the personal possessions of the patient, such as going through a patient’s purse/wallet without authorization by the patient.
  5. Contacting patient by e-mail, text messaging or Facebook for personal reasons.

All students will adhere to the HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations of the facility they are attending.

Practicum Prerequisites Checklist

All of the below components must be completed and uploaded using the Castle Branch Portal. If any of the following items are not completed/met by the deadline, the student will not be placed for practicum and cannot continue in the program.  If this occurs, the student will lose any placement priorities for assignment.  If perchance a student has been assigned, and any item has not been received by practicum start time, the student will be immediately pulled from their practicum site until such time as they are completed.  The student will make up the time missed at the end of the scheduled rotation, at the discretion of the site and program officials.

The following must be complete and uploaded to Castle Branch prior to the start of practicum:

Health Requirements:

  • Physical exam (obtain Physical form from HS office on main floor of RHEC)
  • Immunization/disease records
  • Titers where necessary (if can’t prove disease or immunization)
  • TB Skin Test - 2 step PPD
  • Hepatitis B series begun (or waiver)
  • Drug Screening (obtain form from HS office on main floor of RHEC)
  • Copy of Health Insurance card/coverage (if required by clinical facility)

College Requirements:

  • Completion of all core and specified support courses with a minimum of a “C”.
  • Enrollment/registration in appropriate Practicum course
  • Initial program course requirements:
    • HIPPA/Confidentiality
    • Blood Borne Pathogens
    • Mandatory Reporting: Child Abuse Training (OR submit certificate good for 5 years)
    • Mandatory Reporting: Dependent Adult Abuse Training (OR submit certificate good for 5 years)


  • Limited Criminal Background Check (TJC requirement of all hospitals)

NOTE:  Immunization records are the hardest to locate, so the student should begin to locate those as soon as possible.

The following sections provide more information regarding required practicum materials.

Mandatory Background Checks

Criminal and Abuse Background Checks

National and State criminal and dependent adult/child abuse checks are required of every student preparing to enroll in an Indian Hills Community College Health Sciences program.  The cost of the required checks is the responsibility of the student/applicant.

The Criminal and Dependent Adult/Child abuse background check procedure is established to meet the requirements for the partnerships between the College and the clinical facilities and/or sites.  Students who have a criminal history, and are cleared to participate in an IHCC Health Sciences academic program, are still responsible to work with their professional licensing or certification board for determination if they are eligible to sit for that profession’s licensure or certification.

Timeline for completion of background check policy: (Non- CNA students)

  • Check must be run PRIOR to the Last day to Drop of the first term of the program, or the student will not be allowed to participate in core class or labs.
  • Students who change from 1 IHCC Health Sciences program to another without a term between may use the first program’s check ONLY if it is no more than 12 months since the initial check was run.
  • Students who complete a Health Sciences program and have more than one term before the next program start will need to have the check repeated, no matter how long ago the first check was completed.

Criteria used to determine whether a student is ineligible to participate in an Indian Hills Community College Health Sciences program: 

At Any Time
  • Refusal to participate in the background check or evaluation process.
  • Iowa DHS record check evaluation determines the student is not eligible to participate in the clinical portion of the course and/or to work in a health care facility.
  • A felony conviction.
  • A felony, serious misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor charge with an outstanding disposition or warrant.
  • A serious misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor conviction in which the probationary period has not been completed.
  • A criminal conviction, of any kind, related to past employment, and/or a healthcare system or organization.
  • Inclusion on the child, dependent adult and/or sexual abuse registry. 
The Past 5 Years
  • A criminal conviction of any kind related to illegal distribution or theft of drugs.
The Past 2 Years
  • A serious or aggravated misdemeanor conviction of theft or a pattern of theft convictions. 
The Past  1 Year
  • A criminal conviction related to the possession of drugs, paraphernalia, and/or illegal substances. 
Any of the criteria listed may disqualify you from enrollment in IHCC’s Health Sciences programs based on factors such as job/program relatedness, patterns, time frames and/or completion of sentence.
  • Recent criminal conviction(s) or charges of any type.
  • A misdemeanor conviction involving domestic abuse with injury, violence, or sexual misconduct.
  • A pattern of criminal convictions or charges.
  • 2 or more OWI convictions.
While enrolled in any Health Sciences program at IHCC, it is expected that students report all child abuse, dependent adult abuse, and/or criminal activity, in which they are involved, to IHCC within forty-eight (48) hours of the incident.  Failure to do so could result in criminal charges per Iowa Code and removal from the program. 

Process for Criminal and Abuse Background Checks

 National/State Background Check ($32.00)

Students who enroll in a non-nursing Health Sciences program will be required to complete a National Background Check and the Iowa Adult and Child Protective Services check through One Source:


  • Click or copy and paste the above quick link and then click on “Indian Hills Community College” to complete the background check. 
  • Please read the instructions prior to completing the form and submitting the online payment.  Payment is required to complete the check. 
  • Next click on the Iowa Adult and Child Protective Services Release links at the bottom of the page and print both forms. 
    • The release forms will need to be filled out by the student and then emailed, faxed, or mailed to One Source in order for the background check to be entirely implemented and complete. 

The student’s signature is required on both printed release forms.

Email: orders@onesourcebackground.com
Fax- 1-800-929-8117
Mail - One Source
P.O. Box 24148
Omaha, NE  68124

The background check must be completed prior to starting the program or as directed by the program director for special circumstances.  Students who fail to complete the required checks may not be able to attend laboratory or clinical. 

Physical Examination/Flu Vaccine

Pharmacy Technician students will be in direct contact with clients at the participating facility. It is extremely important that each student have a physical examination prior to starting the clinical component to assure both the student and the affiliate that the student is physically able to participate in the activities required.  Each student will have a physical performed by a licensed physician, physician assistant or a nurse practitioner.  The completed form will be kept in the student’s permanent file.  The Physical Examination and proof of flu vaccines must be submitted to Castle Branch prior to Spring Break.

A two-step skin test will be required prior to being allowed at a clinical site.  A current TB skin test is then expected to be kept current (annually) for the length of the program.  If the skin test expires during the program year a two-step TB skin test will be required.  Failure to produce required documentation of the physical examination of the physical examination, immunizations, flu vaccines, and two step TB on request while student is participating in a practicum experience will result in the student being sent home and receiving an absence for the day.  

Drug Screening Policy

Students will be required to have a drug screen performed prior to beginning clinical experiences. Students will be provided with information on approved screening agencies by the clinical facility and/or program. The student is responsible for any fee(s) incurred.

Each facility may have different testing procedures (waived, confirmatory, specific assay, DNA testing, etc.). The student will be expected to abide by the facility’s requirements and policies for that drug screen testing procedure.

A confirmed positive test will result in dismissal from the clinical site and from the program. A positive test is considered for:

  • any illegal substances (as defined by state and federal regulation), and/or
  • any medications for which the student does not have appropriate physician records or prescriptions, along with documentation from physician indicating that they are under their care for a diagnosed medical condition, and that the medication is for the treatment of that condition.

The student is expected to provide a FULL list of any medications/drugs along with dosages, frequency, and the last time they were ingested, at the time of the drug screen. Some medications can remain in the system for up to a month or longer, and some tests will be sensitive enough to pick up consumption several months ago. Also, second-hand smoke from marijuana (or cigarettes) may remain in the body system for several days or longer.

Possible steps that may take place include:

  • A test showing that the student has ingested a medication for which they are appropriately prescribed might still require provision of additional testing and documentation; proving that the levels are in the therapeutic range and are not recreational. This validation is again at the student’s expense. Failure to comply with this or the clinical affiliate’s policy could result in the immediate dismissal from the program.
  • In the event that the student believes the test is in error, and there is a “False Positive”, it is the responsibility of the student to be re-tested or obtain a more exhaustive workup within 72 hours. The results of the second test will be considered validation of the first. Failure to comply with obtaining the second level test in the allotted time will result in the assumption that the student is admitting to the first test results and that they do not want to contest the findings. This again may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
  • Note: During the validation of the sample and testing, the student may be placed on “Clinical Leave” pending the results of the second test. If this happens, the student will still be expected to make up the clinical time. 
  • The use of other people’s urine, “masking agents”, or any attempt to falsify, invalidate, or cover up results, will result in an immediate dismissal from the program. All test samples are to be original, fresh, and unadulterated, whether they are urine, saliva, blood, hair, DNA, or other samples that have been requested. Failure to comply and give the required sample will result in the immediate dismissal from the program.
  • Consumption of alcohol, and the metabolites of such, may or may not be tested. Impairments due to alcohol and other medications are dangerous and risky for both the student and others. Because of safety, and with appropriate screening or documentation of impairments related to this, immediate dismissal from the program can take place on these grounds.

Student’s may at any time during the program be asked to have a random drug screen completed at the student’s expense.If the student has a substance abuse problem, they should seek help. The student can contact Student Health Services, 641-683-5336, or a local substance abuse center or treatment center.

Employment during Practicum

Students are not to be substituted for paid staff during any directed practice assignments.  Students may not take the responsibility or the place of “qualified” staff.  However, after demonstrating proficiency, students may be permitted to perform procedures with careful supervision.

Health Related Policies

Student Health Statement

Each student is required to sign a student health statement which includes a list of physical abilities requirements at the beginning of a program and upon return to clinical following absence due to health status that have the potential to influence patient/student safety and affect the quality of care provided by the student.

Student Health Services

The Indian Hills Community College Student Health Services provides campus based health services to currently enrolled students.  The clinic serves as an outreach for health promotion and disease prevention, as well as care for students in need of acute care of minor illnesses and injuries.  Student Health Services stabilizes and/or arranges transportation for emergency medical care during clinic operation hours.

Student Health Services is located on the first floor of Trustee Hall, Bldg. 15.  Clinic hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 7:15am – 4:45pm IHCC Health Services is staffed by a receptionist, a nurse, and an advanced registered nurse practitioner who practice under medical protocols approved by a community physician.

Health Service is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, if the waiting period is inconvenient, an appointment will be set up for a more convenient time.  Emergencies or urgent problems will take first priority. 

General Responsibilities and Examples of Physical Requirements

Observes professional ethics in maintaining confidential information acquired concerning the personal, financial, medical or employment status of patients.  Students must: follow accepted safety practices, report safety hazards, initiate appropriate action, and participate in safety instruction programs.

Physical Abilities Requirements

Activity Occasionally
% of Hours
Sitting X      
Walking   X    
Standing   X    
Bending   X    
Squatting   X    
Climbing X      
Kneeling X      
Twisting X      
Lifting (0-50 lbs)        
Lifting (50+ lbs) X      
Carrying (0-50 lbs) X      
Carrying (50+ lbs) X      
Pushing (0-300 lbs) X      

Clinical Protective Health Policy

The Pharmacy Technology faculty at Indian Hills Community College believes that physical and mental health is essential components of well-being and is imperative for successful performance in the program. An alteration or limitation in physical or mental functioning has the potential to influence patient safety and affect the quality of care provided by the student.

To assure that patient safety is not compromised and to avoid the increased risk of student injury, the faculty, using professional knowledge and judgment, may request the student to leave the clinical setting if the student’s physical or mental status is impaired. Physical and mental impairment that potentially may affect student performance in the clinical setting may include, but is not limited to:

  1. contagious conditions (ex. chicken pox, influenza, herpes simplex)
  2. immune-suppressed conditions (ex. chemotherapy)
  3. physical limitations (ex. back/neck injury, fracture, sprain, surgery)
  4. impairment of judgment/mental function (ex. prescription drug, drug or alcohol use/abuse)
  5. cognitive impairment (ex. anxiety disorder, panic disorder, depression)
  6. uncorrected visual/hearing impairment

When the faculty member becomes aware of any of the identified or similar conditions, the following procedure will be followed:


  1. After gathering sufficient information concerning the physical and/or mental status of the student, the instructor will determine the feasibility of the student remaining in the clinical setting. If it is determined that the student is not able to perform at the expected level due to physical illness or limitations and/or mental impairment, the student will be dismissed from the clinical setting.
  2. The student will be notified that dismissal from the clinical setting will result in a clinical absence or absences that will be addressed as specified in the student handbook.
  3.  The instructor will notify the Program Director of the student’s health status and the action taken within 24 hours.
  4. Documentation of the student’s status and instructor’s action will be completed on a Conference Report within 24 hours and a copy will be submitted to the Health Sciences Department Office within 48 hours.
  5. A signed note by a physician (MD or DO) will be required at the discretion of the instructor and in consultation with the Associate Dean before the student can return to the clinical setting. Information provided by the physician must include a statement confirming that the student’s condition has resolved and no longer present a patient/student safety concern. The student must be able to resume functioning at a level compatible with meeting clinical requirements and achieving clinical competence.
  6. The student will be required to sign a student health statement before returning to clinical. Physical Ability Forms will be available with the Pharmacy Technology instructors or in the Health Sciences office.

Bloodborne Pathogens & HIV Policy for Health Science Programs.

Students may be participating in activities within the Health Sciences Programs, which have potential for exposure to infectious diseases including but not limited to Hepatitis B and HIV. All measures must be exercised to minimize the risk. Students who fail to comply, jeopardizing the safety of others or themselves, may be asked to withdraw from these programs.

In the event of a significant exposure (e.g. an occupational incident involving eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious material, including saliva), the student must report the incident immediately to the instructor or clinical supervisor and file an incident report for the college.

Follow-up evaluation will be required consistent with Federal regulations. This may involve going to their personal physician or the emergency room. Students are responsible for the cost of their own medical care.

Hepatitis B

It is highly recommended that all students providing direct patient or childcare in the Health Sciences Department receive immunization against Hepatitis B. Although this is not required, it is highly recommended and is considered to be an extremely good investment. Students are particularly vulnerable to contamination, as their hand skills generally are not yet well developed. Although the incidence of the infection is relatively low, the outcome can be fatal. Since there is a vaccine available, all health care providers who are at risk are encouraged to become immunized.

The Disease

Health care professionals are at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is usually spread by contact with infected blood or blood products and risk of acquiring Hepatitis B increases with the frequency of blood contact. Hepatitis B virus may also be found in other body fluids, such as urine, tears, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Hepatitis B infection can have severe consequences, including progressive liver damage and the possibility of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Six to ten percent of the people who contract the virus become chronic carriers.

The Vaccine

Vaccination is the only available means of protection against Hepatitis B. No currently available therapy has proven effective in eliminating the infection. This vaccine, prepared from recombinant yeast cultures, is free of association with human blood or blood products. Full immunization requires three doses of the vaccine over a six-month period. Because of the long incubation period for Hepatitis B, it is possible for unrecognized infection to be present at the time the vaccine is given, and in that case, the vaccine would not prevent development of clinical hepatitis.


You will need your physician’s approval or order prior to being immunized. He or she will provide you with information regarding the contraindications and side effects of the vaccine. Contact your physician for additional information.


As part of the curriculum all students in Health Sciences programs will receive instruction regarding Hepatitis B and HIV prior to providing patient care. This shall include but not be limited to:

  1. epidemiology
  2. method of transmission
  3. universal blood and body fluid precautions
  4. types of protective clothing and equipment
  5. work practices appropriate to the skills they will perform
  6. location of appropriate clothing and equipment
  7. how to properly use, handle, and dispose of contaminated articles
  8. action to be taken in the event of spills or personal exposure
  9. appropriate confidentiality and reporting requirements
  10. review of program policy related to refusal to care for specific patients.

Post Exposure Procedure for Health Science Students

  1. If a student has been exposed to a contaminant parenterally (needle stick or cut) or superficially through a mucous membrane (eye or mouth) they are to follow the following procedure:
    1. immediately wash the affected area with the appropriate solution (soap and water, alcohol, water),
    2. seek appropriate medical attention through their personal physician (students are responsible for their own medical care). This may include baseline testing for HIV antibody at this time, followed by recommended series of testing. (Physicians may also inquire about the students status in regard to tetanus and hepatitis immunization at this time.)
    3. follow institutional (agency) policy regarding determining HIV and hepatitis status of patient, (students are responsible for the cost of any testing)
    4. maintain confidentiality of patient,
    5. seek appropriate counseling regarding risk of infection.

Guidelines for HIV Positive Health Care Providers

  1. The Center for Disease Control has specific guidelines for health care workers, which are revised periodically. They have been incorporated into these policies and are reviewed annually.
  2. There shall be no routine serological testing or monitoring of students for Hepatitis B or HIV infection.
  3. Barrier or universal blood and body fluid precautions are to be used routinely for all patients. These include:
    1. The use of glove(s) when:
      1. cleaning rectal and genital areas;
      2. carrying soiled linen;
      3. bathing patients, if the student has a cut on the hand;
      4. suctioning or irrigating even if the orifice does not require sterile technique;
      5. there is, at any time, a possibility of spillage of blood or body fluid onto the student’s hands, (i.e. accucheck, discontinuing an I.V., I.M.s) regardless of the presence of open lesions;
      6. emptying urine drainage bags, suction catheters, colostomy and ileostomy pouches; and
      7. providing mouth care. 
    2. The use of masks, goggles or glasses and/or aprons when there is a possibility of fluids splashing onto the face or body and clothing.

Specific Guidelines for Known HIV - Infected Health Science Students

  1. HIV positive health sciences students who do not perform invasive procedures need not be restricted from work/clinical experience unless they have other illnesses or signs and symptoms for which such restrictions would be warranted.
  2. HIV positive health sciences students should wear gloves for direct contact with mucous membrane or non-intact skin of patients.
  3. HIV positive health sciences students who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from direct patient care and from handling patient care equipment and utensils.
  4. Reasonable accommodations will be made within the curriculum to assist the HIV positive student to meet course/program objectives.
  5. The policy of agencies utilized for clinical experience will supersede college policy if they are more stringent.
  6. Confidentiality will be maintained whenever possible, with only the appropriate individual(s) being informed of the HIV status of health sciences students.

Pregnancy Policy

According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Regulatory Guide 8.13 a student enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology Program who becomes pregnant will be provided the following options related to the pregnancy.

The regulations allow a pregnant student to decide whether to formally declare the pregnancy to the advantage of lower dose limits for the embryo/fetus. The choice whether to declare a pregnancy is completely voluntary, and at any time can the student, in writing, withdraw the declaration of previously declared pregnancy.

The Pharmacy Technology Program provides the following options:

  1. A student may voluntarily declare the pregnancy by notifying the Program Director in writing and providing a physician’s statement that includes name, a declaration of pregnancy, the estimated date of conception (only the month and year need be provided), and the date that the Program Director was provided the letter. If this option is chosen the student will conference with the Program Director regarding NRC Regulations and potential risk.

    If the student chooses to voluntarily declare the pregnancy, the following options will be provided. The student may:
    1. Sign a Release of Liability Statement releasing Indian Hills Community College and the Clinical Education Setting from liability and to continue in the program. The signed “Release of Responsibility” will be included in the student’s permanent IHCC record. The student will review a copy of the Radiation Protection Regulations and Current Reports from the National Council for Radiation Protection and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the effects of radiation on the unborn fetus. The student will be provided an additional fetal monitoring dosimeter and will be directed in the use of this dosimeter.
      1. Withdraw from the program and re-enter when an opening is available. Typically, this would be the following year.
      2. A student must have a medical release from her doctor to return to clinicals.
    2. If the student chooses not to declare the pregnancy no further action by the Program Director or other officials will result.

Tuberculosis Policy

Indian Hills Community College programs in Health Sciences have adopted the following policy: Students enrolled in the clinical education portion of all Health Sciences Programs will not knowingly be assigned to provide care to individuals who have active tuberculosis.

IHCC does and will continue to require an annual TB Skin test on all students at their own expense. Initially students will be required to complete a two-step TB Skin Test if they have not had a previous one within the past year. See Student Physical Form.

If a student is exposed to an individual who tests positive for tuberculosis the protocol for medical follow-up of the institution where the student is assigned will be implemented.

Hazardous Materials/Waste Policy

The proper handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and waste products is everyone’s responsibility. Contact your instructor immediately if you suspect exposure to or contact with any hazardous materials.

Your instructor will acquaint you with the following for any areas in which hazardous materials are in use:

  1. Location of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  2. Protective clothing, etc. required for handling materials
  3. Proper disposal of used or unwanted materials and waste

Appendices/Student Forms