Pharmacists

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Also known as:  Apothecary, Clinical Pharmacist, Druggist, Hospital Pharmacist, Registered Pharmacist

ABOUT PHARMACIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
When a prescription is written for a drug or treatment, the next step for the patient is usually a visit to the pharmacist. And while for most people, that often means going to the local drug store, hospitals and community clinics have pharmacies as well.

Typically pharmacists spend most of t ...
he day standing at a counter, dispensing medication. They may also compound the medication, though this is now a much smaller part of a pharmacist's practice. While many of the drugs they handle are pre-packaged by manufacturers, pharmacists are expected to understand the ingredients and how they might interact with other medications.

This is a profession that requires careful attention to detail. Making a mistake and dispensing the wrong medicine could have life-threatening consequences. Part of the job is being able to explain to people how the prescription should be taken or administered, and providing information on drug interactions and side effects. There's also a lot of paperwork involved.

To study to become a pharmacist, you must first prove your aptitude in science and math by passing the pharmacy college admissions test. After earning a doctor of pharmacy degree at a college or university, pharmacists then need to be licensed by the state.

With additional education, pharmacists can move into administration or teaching. They can even do research to develop new drugs. But the goal is the same - helping people get the medications they need to get well and stay healthy.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Teach pharmacy students serving as interns in preparation for their graduation or licensure.
Offer health promotion and prevention activities, for example, training people to use devices such as blood pressure or diabetes monitors.
Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
Refer patients to other health professionals or agencies when appropriate.
Collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review, or evaluate the quality or effectiveness of drugs or drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications or characteristics.
Manage pharmacy operations, hiring or supervising staff, performing administrative duties, or buying or selling non-pharmaceutical merchandise.
Advise customers on the selection of medication brands, medical equipment, or healthcare supplies.
Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
Compound and dispense medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists, by calculating, weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients, or oversee these activities.
Plan, implement, or maintain procedures for mixing, packaging, or labeling pharmaceuticals, according to policy and legal requirements, to ensure quality, security, and proper disposal.
Assess the identity, strength, or purity of medications.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
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