How to become a Pharmacist


Basic Job Description of Pharmacist

Pharmacists are medical professionals who are charged with the responsibility of dispensing prescription medication to patients. These medical professionals, also provides information concerning the patient’s drugs, that their doctors have ordered for them. Another important role they play is that they also explainthe instructions of doctors to patients, so that they can effectively make use of their medications. Pharmacists, primarily works for different pharmacies as well as drug stores. Some hospitals, and medical clinics go for their own pharmacists to take up the responsibility of dispensing drugs directly to patients. Generally,pharmacistsmost especially those who work for hospitals, ensures the accuracy of filled prescriptions verifying them. Apart from filling prescriptions received from medical doctors, pharmacists must also have the ability to decide the type of medication that is appropriate for each patient. They should also be able to spot any error by the physicians in prescribing medications to patients. They must also review other medications which patients under their care are taking, prior to filling new prescriptions to make sure that there is no occurrence of harmful drug interactions between medications.These medical professionals are also charged with the responsibility of contacting physicians, regarding any concerns about the medication of patients.

The pharmacists must have good computer as well as interpersonal skills. They should also have excellent written and oral communication skills, to relate well with patients. Pharmacists must also be very polite, clear and concise when speaking with patients.They should also be able to work with or without supervision, as well as in a team settings. Pharmacists are also encouraged to always read journals, relating to their jobs and also stay up to date with new drugs that are coming into the market. Some pharmacists may also be directed to train, coach or mentor new pharmacists.

What Degree is required to become a pharmacists

Bachelor’s degree of pharmacy was first considered to be the first professional degree, for one to practice as a pharmacist. Nowadays, individuals aspiring to be pharmacists are required to earn Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm. D.). Prospective students who wants to become pharmacists must first of all pass through an undergraduate program for about 2-3 years for them to be able to enroll in a Doctor of Pharmacy program. Before students can enter the doctor of pharmacy program, they also need to complete some prerequisite courses such as biology, physics, mathematics, humanities, chemistry as well as social sciences.A lot of students also work towards obtaining a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, as required by most doctor of pharmacy programs.A Pharmacy college Admission test (PCAT) score, is also a requirement for admission, for some colleges and school of pharmacy.

The number of years to complete a doctor of pharmacy program also differs. During this program, prospective students will learn about drug information as well as how to properly communicate with patients. They will also learn public health concept, business management and professional ethics. Laboratory work is also not an exception in this program.

Required classes for the Pharm D. degree program

  • Bio-pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacy law
  • Therapeutics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacy practice
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Healthcare systems
  • Pharmacy management

Is there any requirement for Certification or License?

For any individual to practice legally as a pharmacists, he or she must obtain a license. The license is issued by the state pharmacy board, before they can be allowed to fully practice both in the retail and hospital pharmacies. Before prospects can obtain their license, the individual must first of all complete the 2-4 years of the necessary undergraduate prerequisite courses. They will also need to accomplish four years of pharmacy school, from an institutionthat is accredited and also attend the required internship hours. After going through all this, they also need to write and pass a test. It is not just enough to obtain a license, once this license is obtained, the pharmacist needs to renew them every year by simply taking accredited classes as well as other requirements that are laid down by the state licensure.

How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

Pharmacy is a highly professional course and those that study it, face a demanding educational program. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is just the starting point for any individual aspiring to become a pharmacist. Once these prerequisite courses are dealt with, prospects still needs to complete their graduate degree as well as licensing examination. In all, becoming a pharmacists can take up to six years after the individual has completed the prerequisites. About 2-3 years of undergraduate course work is required. Prospects may also choose to complete a 4 years bachelor’s degree program in courses like chemistry or other related subjects.

Pharmacists Job Location and Prospects

Pharmacist have different work settings. There are various job opportunities that he or she may choose to work in, once the license has being obtained. They can decide to work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, corporations, retail pharmacies and lots more. The work schedule and duties may differ in each position, but there are not much variation in salary from one setting to another.  With these different opportunities and job locations available to the pharmacists, some individual may adapt better to some roles than others. These medical professionals after receiving their licenses can also work in companies that manufactures medicines and other drugs. They can also work in research centers, where work on new and more effective medicines are being carried out.

According to the projections made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for pharmacists is expected to grow by 26% from now till 2020. It is projected to grow much faster than the overall job market. This result is due to the aging population of the baby-boomer generation, who will have an increased need for medication as they grow older. Pharmacy is a very lucrative profession, the resultant growth is also attributed to the increased use of prescription drugs by more people, who are receiving prescription drug insurance coverage.