Figuring out Pharmacy: the Real Deal

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The pharmaceutical industry has been steadily growing over the past decade or so and is predicted to have more jobs than there are candidates till the year 2012 and even beyond. Pharmaceuticals are huge in the States and have one of the largest influences on the kinds of medications prescribed, released, and used by the general public. This is an industry with a lot of job opportunity, tremendous career growth and great practical application for those looking to challenge and stimulate their minds and knowledge on a daily basis. Pharmacies basically exist in two forms, retail (or community) and hospital. The former can include pharmacy chains and drug stores, independent licensed pharmacies and general store pharmacies. The second kind exist within hospitals, medical and healthcare centers, clinics and so forth and are a licensed part of the larger superstructure that they are in.

Both kinds of pharmacy, retail and hospital, include a clear career path which can eventually lead to managerial or supervisory posts, research departments, human resources and marketing departments. The role of the pharmacist initially includes a few basic jobs such as the prescription and advice on medicine and drug-use, stress management and general health, compounding, (mixing of ingredients to form the medicine) and ensuring that the physician's prescription is inherently sound. They also make recommendations about which medicine to administer after talking with the patient. Pharmacists also keep an eye on the patients that come in regularly and make sure they are doing fine. Most people in pharmacists jobs stay in their positions for two to three years (female pharmacists a little less than that) and then either move up in the same institution or, occasionally, into a different area of pharmacy.

The moving up of the pharmacist in their career path depends on the kind of pharmacy they are working at. If it is an independent store then the pharmacist may eventually own or partly own the pharmacy. If it is a chain store or retail then the pharmacist can expect to rise up through the ranks at the level of chain store manager first, then regional manager and then finally an executive position at the pharmaceutical head office.

A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) is required in certain states to pass some tests in order to enter the profession. Pharmacist’s jobs are not always strictly medicine-related, however. There are managerial, logistical, hiring and filing duties that involve some amount of paperwork. Keeping confidential and detailed reports on patients is also necessary in order to safely prescribe drugs that will not counteract other medication the patient might be taking.

Pharmacist’s jobs and retail pharmacist jobs are expected to grow in the next few years and are not as lengthy or difficult to apply for as other medical professions. However, a good pharmacist must be knowledgeable, patient, have good communication skills and be meticulous, or very attentive to details.
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 general public  patients  clinics  medicines  managers  physicians  Doctor of Pharmacy  industry  the states  institutions

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