What Does A Pharmacist Do?
"I want to get into a field where I’ll make a lot of money and feel pretty secure about my job. Since I started college I’ve been taking an interest in chemistry and biology, so I have been thinking about pharmacy. I looked up how much pharmacists make and it’s pretty significant, even with just a four-year degree! Some of them seem to make as much as doctors do. What would my day be like, though? What kind of job duties would I have to do each day?"
asked by Barry from Dover, DE
As a pharmacist, you will be working in a pharmacy, which might be located in a department store or drug store, or inside a hospital or clinic. As you might imagine, the pace of your job will depend a lot on the location where you work. A hospital pharmacy is going to be busier on average than a pharmacy inside a drug store. You also might work nights, weekends, and holidays if you choose to work at a hospital.
A pharmacist dispenses medications to patients that have been ordered by physicians. Pharmacists answer questions about medications, fill prescriptions, give immunizations, and more. They work with customers as well as physicians in order to fill prescription requests. They have extensive knowledge about medicines. In order to become a pharmacist, a person must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and be licensed in their field.
Pharmacists are well positioned to help people. This is a career that involves working with people, often frustrated people. People who are sick and need medication generally want to get in and out of the pharmacy as quickly as possible so they can get on with the business of feeling better.
If you are great at working with frustrated customers, and want to make a difference for people who are going through a difficult situation, this is a great job. You will need to have great attention to detail and be able to memorize and look up a great deal of information, since patients’ lives are in your hands. The pay is excellent, particularly considering the educational track is only four years.
During your work hours, you will be responsible for making sure that patients are able to get the medications they need to treat their conditions. You will need to make sure that they receive the proper amount according to law and to their medical needs, and that the prescriptions which are made are reasonable with respect to their conditions.
Pharmacists work in pharmacies, which may be located in drug stores, department stores, grocery stores, hospitals, and clinics. How fast the pace is will depend on where your pharmacy is located. Pharmacists are needed in urban and rural areas all over the country.
Pharmacists are one of the highest-paid professionals in the medical industry. Those who work full-time can earn six-figure incomes annually but even those who only work part-time get good wages. In addition to the very good pay, the job prospects of pharmacists are projected to be very positive in the next few years. This makes it a very excellent profession to go into for those who would like to work in the medical industry.
Even with part-time hours, you could make a very comfortable living wage as a pharmacist. Pharmacies may be open 24/7, especially in hospitals. In these situations, pharmacists may work overnight or on weekends. This may provide flexible work opportunities for those in search of non-traditional work hours.
You will work alongside other pharmacists, as well as pharmacy technicians. You will need to have advanced knowledge of chemistry and how drugs work in the body in order to do this part of your job correctly. So it’s a good thing you like chemistry and biology.
Part of your job also entails customer service. Pharmacy technicians take care of most of the customer service duties associated with running a pharmacy (answering phones and the front desk, for example), but you may be asked by a patient to explain how a medication works and how to take it. You will need to make sure your patient is aware of any possible interactions between the drug and other medications or health conditions, and answer any questions your patient might have.
You’ll also have a number of other important responsibilities that do not directly involve patients. You’ll need to ensure that the pharmaceutical environment is suitable, clean, and efficient for the job, and that medicines are produced and prepared properly. You may also provide other services to patients, such as help with smoking cessation and other aspects of basic health management. You may also end up advising doctors about different types of medications and how to use them safely.
Pharmacy can be a very rewarding job, not only because it pays very well, as you have already noted, but because it gives you a chance to provide medical help to people in need of it. Your patients’ lives are in your hands when they come to buy their medications.
This is probably one of the highest-paying fields in existence relative to the amount of education needed. You must obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree to become a pharmacist. This is only a four-year degree, though, so no longer than a typical bachelor’s degree program. You must also pass two exams in order to become licensed. With so much growth in this field and such high pay, pharmacy represents a great opportunity for steady, lucrative work.
By applying your expertise and taking great care, you ensure that patients stay safe and use the most effective treatment for their ailment and recover quickly.
Career Spotlight: Pharmacist
A pharmacist dispenses medications to patients that have been ordered by physicians. Pharmacists answer questions about medications, fill prescriptions, give immunizations, and more. They work with cu[...]