Pharmacist Career

What does a Pharmacist do?

Pharmacist is a medical professional who dispenses medications prescribed by doctors to patients, and makes the patient understand about how the medicine should be used in safe way. They pay a proper attention about the accuracy of prescription. Now a-days pharmacists are getting more involved in taking decisions regarding drug therapy and also in counseling patients.

A pharmacist advises the patients to avoid the doubts about the way of taking medicine with right timeline so that patients can take them for sooner recovery. He also suggests some extra precautions to lead a healthy life. He advises to conduct health and wellness screenings and answers the patient’s questions about the medicines including how to take medicines, what reactions of the medicines may occur and what things should be avoided during the treatment. They advise medical professionals about some other effective medicines to use. Pharmacists respond to patients' symptoms and advise accordingly to use the medicine. They advise and guide patients about avoiding the harmful habits like as smoking and some harmful things.

Pharmacists appointed in pharmaceuticals or pharmacy companies are responsible for supervision of medicines supply chain and they ensure that pharmacy premises and systems are completely fit for purpose. Pharmacists supervise the preparation and production of medicines and assessments. The pharmacists in quality control labs are responsible to check the quality of medicines before they are supplied in the market from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

How to Become a Pharmacist? (Education and Training)

The candidates, who want to become a pharmacist, are expected to have a post graduate professional degree such as Doctor of Pharmacy Degree with an accredited pharmacy program.

Education required for taking admission in Doctor of Pharmacy programs vary as per the programs, however most Doctor of Pharmacy programs want candidates to have postsecondary courses like as Biology, Anatomy and Chemistry. Most of Doctor Pharmacy programs set 2 years of undergraduate Degree as the minimum qualification, while some others require a bachelor’s degree. Some Doctor of Pharmacy programs set the Pharmacy College Admission Test as the criteria of admission.

Doctor of Pharmacy Programs generally take 4-years to complete while some programs can be completed in 3 years. Apart from that, some schools offer chances for high school graduates to take admission in some Doctor of Pharmacy Programs, but they set 6 years as the duration of program.

Doctor of Pharmacy Program includes different courses like as pharmacology, medical ethics and chemistry. The candidates also have to complete a certain time of duration for working experience what sometimes referred as internship in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

After completing their Doctor of Pharmacy program, pharmacists can further complete a master degree in Public health and some of them can choose a Master’s Degree in business administration. Candidates can also receive additional training in any special area such as geriatric care or internal medicine.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After the candidates finish their Doctor of Pharmacy program, they have to pass two more exams to achieve a license. The first exam is entitled as NAPLEX that stands for North American Pharmacist License Exam. This exam is held to test the pharmacy skills and knowledge of candidates. The second exam which candidates have to qualify is a state-specific test on pharmacy law or MPJE which stands for Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam.

To achieve their advanced level of knowledge, some pharmacists earn a certification. They can become a Certified Diabetes Educator by getting a certification from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. Board of pharmacy also offers certifications in some specialty areas such as oncology and nutritious. Both the organizations require candidates to have degree of work experience. Candidates have to pass exams and pay a fee.

Salary of a Pharmacist

As per education, position, experience and type of organization, the salary of pharmacists vary pharmacist to pharmacist. Some fresher or beginners earn about 90k annually on lower level while experienced and well-paid professionals earn up to 140 K annually. But overall, the job of pharmacist can be considered to be well-paid one. An average salary of pharmacists can be about $110K annually. The earning of pharmacist is affected by the geographical location, employer, and working experience. Most Pharmacists in USA report high levels of satisfaction in their job.

Pharmacist’s career outlook

Both Government and private sectors are open for qualified and licensed pharmacists. Many communities and hospitals, manufacturers and pharmaceuticals, quality control labs hire pharmacists for various positions. The career in pharmacy is and will be bright for skilled professionals.

Work environment of pharmacists is clean, hygienic, lighted and well ventilated. But most of the pharmacists have to spend a big part of their working day on their feet. While working in labs with dangerous or sterile products, pharmacists have to wear masks and gloves for safety purpose.

In most of the places, pharmacists work in a fixed place, but some of Consultant pharmacists have to travel to nursing homes, hospitals or other facilities to monitor or examine patients’ drug therapy. Most of the pharmacists get permanent salaried job, but some of them work part-time.  Most pharmacists work 40 hours a week while some pharmacists have to work longer hours as per the requirements.


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