How to Become a Pharmacist
Pharmacists advise the public and medical professionals on the best medicine to take and prescribe. Some work in stores, but they also may work in hospitals, pay at home visits, or in medical research centres.
Pharmacists are experts in medicine, and they work with their local medical facilities to dispense prescriptions to the general public. People mainly know pharmacists to work at community pharmacies, however those in this profession could also work in hospitals, clinics, or on a mobile basis, visiting patients in their homes.
Their duties are diverse, depending on where they are stationed, but include:
- Advising healthcare professionals on the correct use of different medicines.
- Taking steps to make sure that new medications are safe for different people.
- Giving patients advice about the best treatment for them, including selling them over the counter medication or referring them to their doctor.
- Providing information about medication dosage, warnings and side effects.
- Supervising other pharmacy employees, including pharmacist technicians and pharmacist assistants.
- Offering some general medical advice.
- Administering vaccinations, including flu jabs and travel shots.
Those working in independent pharmacies may also be partially in charge of the general running of the business, including making decisions about expansion into spheres such as travel clinics.
The road to becoming a pharmacist involves a degree in pharmacy, which is typically accredited by the country’s pharmacy council. How long it takes to become a pharmacist varies across countries, but it generally involves at least four years of studying, plus another year’s vocational experience before qualifying.
To get on to a pharmacy course, candidates are expected to achieve very high grades in secondary education. It is also beneficial to get some work experience, potentially as a pharmacy assistant, while learning, as is doing some supplementary courses to increase pharmacy insight.
Pharmacists working in a store will have mainly 9-5 hours, with some weekend work. Those based in other settings may need to work evenings and weekends.
What degree is most commonly held by a Pharmacist?
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
- Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.)
- Master of Pharmacy
Career Transportability across Countries
What is the Salary of a Pharmacist?
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What skills are needed to become a Pharmacist?
- Medication Therapy Management
- Community Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- Clinical Pharmacy
- Patient Counseling
- Customer Service
- Clinical Research
- Pharmacy Automation
- Pharmacy Practice
- Microsoft Office
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Patient Safety
- Healthcare Management
- Microsoft Excel
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