Most pharmacists are employed with local pharmacies. Some work in retail stores owned by various drugstore chains or by pharmacists. There are pharmacists who work in the nursing homes and hospital pharmacies. Some pharmacists work in pharmaceutical companies that conduct research, manufacture and sell medicine.
Pharmacist's Job Profile
They receive orders for medicine and store prescriptions to keep it safe and effective. Pharmacists keep records of all prescriptions fulfilled for their customers. It is essential a pharmacist understand the level of salt that are contained in the particular medicine given to customers. Their main responsibility is to buy, store, inspect and distribute prescription medications. Also pharmacists must maintain their medicine information library along with advising nursing and other medical staff regarding new prescriptions that arrive to the pharmacy.
Pharmacists provide information and services related to prescription drugs given to individuals who suffer from asthma, high or low blood pressure and diabetes. The information is provided to guard their customers' health and safety. A pharmacist can also choose to specialist in a particular area such as geriatric pharmacy and nuclear pharmacy.
There are pharmacists working for health insurance companies that provide discounts on prescriptions. Pharmacists who work for insurance companies are responsible for cost and benefit analysis for medications that are purchased by policy holders.
Set Skills Required
A pharmacist must have knowledge of many prescriptions in order to proficiently distribute medicine prescribed by physicians. It is essential for a pharmacist to have excellent communication skills to provide customers counseling sessions. A pharmacist must be able to answer questions related to dosage, possible side effects, duration and the uses of a prescription. Besides counseling, they also give advice to the patients regarding their diet, methods for stress management, exercising and many other aspects. A thorough knowledge of the field and all prescriptions is required. A pharmacist must be able to properly guide a prescription buyer when distributing prescription medications. The information received must be accurate to maintain a person's health.
Training and Qualifications
To become a pharmacist, it is essential that the person has an education that consists of a minimum of six years after high school. Some colleges offer a four year program for recent high school graduates who wish to major in pharmacy.
For entering the course, it is essential for the candidate to have mathematics, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences as their subjects. A person studying to be a pharmacist must fulfill prerequisites prior to attending college. Some courses that need to be complete include high level mathematics, social sciences, humanities, biology, chemistry and other natural sciences. A candidate applying for a pharmacist job should have at least a Bachelor's degree. Besides having degree in pharmacy, it is also essential for the pharmacist to have an experience in pharmacy.
It is important for a pharmacist to have excellent communication skills, scientific aptitude be detail oriented. A pharmacist must have the ability to accurately maintaining various records, therefore being organized is important. Pharmacists work with many people with different personalities. A good pharmacist must know how to appropriately handle “tough” customers who visit a pharmacy.
Job Prospects and Salary
Advancement depends on various factors such as type of work, job location, experience, performance and business skills. More than half of the people who become pharmacists work in various community pharmacies while some pharmacists that open their own pharmacy practice.
There are increasing job opportunities for pharmacists working in pharmacy chain stores for the opportunity to become a pharmaceutical manager. Pharmacists working in hospitals and nursing homes can advance to a pharmacy service director position.
A pharmacist's earnings depend on skill level, location of work, education level and experience that he or she has. The average annual salary earned by pharmacists was $84,900. Pharmacists who owned their own pharmacies or those working in higher managerial positions earned more than this figure.
The need for pharmacists will grow in the next few years. Various pharmaceutical enterprises will need to hire pharmaceutical professionals.