Careers in Pharmacy
Pharmacy is an integrated field of medical science which brings together pharmacy and medical science. It is an administrative science concerned with the preparation and dispensation of medicines for human or animal use. It also involves the conduct of activities such as development of drug formulation, design of pharmaceutical products, manufacture of therapeutic products, and distribution of finished medicines. Pharmacy involves chemical processes involving chemical agents for preparing and dispensing medicines. These chemical processes are used to improve the quality of the constituents of medicines and to improve their efficacy and usefulness for various diseases.
In spite of its multifaceted role in providing healthcare services, pharmacy is not a branch of science that is commonly taught in colleges. Most of the health professionals prefer to enroll in programs that focus on other medical sciences including nutrition and nursing homes. For pursuing a career as a pharmacist, he/she must complete a four-year degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and pass an approved Pharmacy Technician Certification test. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board accredits courses in various areas and certifies graduates on subjects like pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmaceutical calculations. Pharmacy graduates can apply for jobs in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, hospitals and nursing schools.
Pharmacy job roles are categorized into two major groups- primary health professionals and secondary health professionals. Primary health professionals are responsible for providing medical assistance to patients. Common primary health professionals include dentists, physicians, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals. Secondary health professionals are those who support primary health professionals in their professional responsibilities.
Pharmacy dispensing involves the routine process of providing medication to healthcare practitioners and patients. A pharmacist needs to be properly trained to perform different tasks involved in dispensing medication. Some of the important activities that a pharmacist needs to perform include preparing, dispensing, mixing, storing and disposing medicine ingredients. Other activities in pharmacy involves billing, quality assurance and audit in pharmaceutical units. In addition, some of the tasks in pharmacy involves giving advises concerning medical conditions, diseases and medicines to patients and educating customers about drug safety and taking precautions when using certain medications.
The main objective of every pharmacist is to provide high quality services and medicines to patients. If the service provided by a pharmacist is poor, it will affect the reputation of the pharmacy. Pharmacy graduates should have the skills to deal with different kinds of people. Pharmacy graduates can select from various career opportunities ranging from sales staff to managers. With skills and knowledge in pharmacy administration, the pharmacist can choose from various jobs such as drug reps, pharmaceutical manager, pharmacist manager, pharmacy technician and pharmacist.
The job roles of a pharmacy manager depends on the scope of his work. He is usually the head of a larger group of pharmacists or a group of pharmacists working under him. A pharmacist in large organizations has his own department that performs several specific functions. Other pharmacist job roles include dispensing physician orders, clinical project management, clinical order entry and managing the pharmacy inventory. A dispensing physician order form must be prepared by a pharmacist or he can’t give out medication.