What does a pharmacist do? Most people only think of pharmacists as the people who dispense medication at the pharmacy, but there is so much more to this profession. If you are curious about what they do all day, read on!
As a pharmacist, you might work behind the scenes, researching and developing new medications. Or you could be on the front lines, dispensing medication to patients and providing them with advice on how to take it. What does a pharmacist do on a daily basis? Let’s find out more about this career!
What Does a Pharmacist Do? Job Description
Let’s try to answer the question: what does a pharmacist do? Pharmacists are the healthcare professionals who dispense prescription medications and provide information to patients and physicians. They also advise patients on using drugs and monitor the effects of drugs on patients. They take responsibility for overseeing other pharmacy staff, filling prescriptions, maintaining patient records, dispensing medications and providing counseling on the use of medications.
Pharmacists may work in a variety of settings, including independent drug stores, retail chains and hospitals, and they are a very important part of a healthcare team. Most work in community pharmacies, which are located in stores or supermarkets. They also work in hospital and clinic pharmacies, where they distribute medications for patients and advise doctors on medicine therapy.
Some pharmacists work as pharmaceutical consultants to doctors by providing information about various types of drugs, their side effects, and interactions with other medications. In addition to dispensing medication, pharmacists also review prescriptions to ensure that there aren’t any problems with the dosage or drug interaction (with other medications). They also answer questions from customers about side effects, appropriate drug use, and general health issues. Many pharmacists are also responsible for developing new drugs.
What Does a Pharmacist Do? Day-to-Day Duties
When most people think of a pharmacist, they typically think about filling prescriptions and helping customers get their medicines. While this role is important, and you will spend much time doing it as a pharmacist, the day-to-day duties of a pharmacist are complex and varied. What does a pharmacist do? These tasks may include:
- Compounding medications. This involves mixing together different ingredients to create a custom new drug for a patient. This is often done when a patient cannot take a certain medication in its standard form or when a standard medication is not available.
- Counseling patients. As a pharmacist, you will be the last line of defense for patients when it comes to their medications and immunizations. You will need to be able to explain how a medication works, what the side effects are, and answer any other questions a patient may have.
- Dispensing medications. This is the process of filling a prescription and giving it to the patient. This task requires a great deal of accuracy and attention to detail.
- Educating patients. Many patients do not know much about their medications. As a pharmacist, it will be your job to educate them on what the medication is for, how to take it, and what the potential side effects are.
- Maintaining records. You will need to keep accurate records of all the medications you distribute. This will include the patient’s name, the medication, the dosage, and how many pills are in each prescription.
- Ordering medications. When a medication is needed that is not in stock, it will be your job to order it from the manufacturer or supplier.
- Supervising pharmacy technicians. You may be responsible for supervising pharmacy technicians and other staff members. This will include training new employees, scheduling work shifts, and handling customer complaints.
- Supervising inventory. You will need to maintain an accurate count of all medications and supplies in stock. This task can be complicated when you have multiple locations; it is especially important to make sure the correct medications are being sent out to each store.
How to Become a Pharmacist in the U.S.? Pharmacy Program
What does a pharmacist do? Since you know that already, let’s talk a bit on how to become one. Pharmacists in the United States play an important role in the healthcare system, and their career path is straightforward. The following steps explain how to become a pharmacist in the US and what to expect along the way.
In the U.S., pharmacists must have a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy, and earn a Pharm.D (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree. Undergraduate students typically spend two years on prerequisites before applying for admission to an accredited pharmacy school, which takes another four years.
During this time, students take comprehensive coursework on subjects like pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, physiology, anatomy, and biochemistry. In addition to classroom study, students are required to fulfill clinical rotations at pharmacies and hospitals, where they gain practical experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed pharmacists.
Once you’ve completed your pharmacy program, you must pass two standardized exams: a Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), which tests your knowledge of state and federal laws that apply to pharmacy practice; and an exam administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy that assesses your knowledge of basic patient care practices, drug therapy plans and other topics related to your field. Now you can get a licensure in your state.
Career in Pharmacy – Job Outlook
Pharmacists are respectable health care professionals. As a pharmacist, you will prepare and distribute drugs, and advise your patients on the correct use of medicines. You may also be responsible for managing and operating the pharmacy.
The job outlook for pharmacist is good. It is expected to grow faster than average for all the occupations. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that job opportunities for pharmacists should be excellent due to the retirement of baby boomers who are pharmacists and the increased number of people having health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
What does a pharmacist do? Now you know the answer. Thanks for reading!