In recent years, pharmacist has consistently been ranked high on the list of best jobs in the United States. Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications as prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners.
Pharmacists assist with monitoring patient health by advising physicians and other health care providers on the selection, interactions, recommended uses, suggested dosages and potential side effects of medications.
A pharmacist is expected to understand the use of drugs, the clinical effects that can be expected and the composition of medications.
Pharmacists’ knowledge extends to the chemical, biological and physical properties of medications. In short, pharmacists are the medication experts of the medical field.
They are charged with protecting the public by ensuring drug purity and potency.
Pharmacy care has as its goal the maximization of positive health care outcomes and the improvement of the quality of life of their patients while maintaining risk at a minimum level.
Most pharmacists are found working in a community setting, such as retail drug stores or in hospitals and clinics.
You must know, and be able to recall, information hundreds of drugs and their uses. You must remember what side effects certain drugs have and possible interactions. You must be able to recall everything you learned in school and keep current on relevant Pharmacy topics and new drugs.
Attention to Detail
You must pay attention. If you get a prescription wrong, you could kill somebody. It's important that you strive for perfection and are methodical about your practices.
Math & Science
This should be understood, because you have to make it through many hours of advanced math and science classes before you can even dream of being a pharmacist. You must use your knowledge to calculate doses and know interactions.
Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one.
Knowledge of a variety of drugs, how they work, what they interact with, their side effects, their generic names, how they are taken, their alternatives, and allergic reactions to them.
Know why people act the way they do and be able to distinguish red-flag behavior.
You have to deal with people everyday, so you need to know how to interact with and communicate to them. You will also, more than likely, be over a team, so you need to know how to properly manage and interact with employees and maintain a good rapport.
It's good to know how to pass on knowledge and teach those under you so that prescriptions go out safely and your employees are knowledgeable and intelligent. It's always good to be able to teach a beneficial skill to those who strive to know it.
The common locations in which pharmacists work are usually clean, well-lit and well-ventilated areas. The nature of the work requires the pharmacist to spend most of the day on their feet.
Pharmacists must sometimes wear gloves, masks and other special protective equipment when working with a sterile or potentially hazardous pharmaceutical product.
Community and hospital pharmacies may be open for extended hours, or even around the clock. This means pharmacists may be required to work evenings, nights, and weekends and holidays.
Pharmacist consultants that travel to nursing homes or other facilities to monitor drug therapy for a population of patients may be required to spend travel time away from home.
On average, a full-time, salaried pharmacist usually works about 43 hours a week.
Some work as many as 50 hours a week, especially if they are self-employed pharmacists. Part-time employment is also attractive to about one out of five pharmacists.
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