Pharmacy Jobs – What, Where And How?
What are pharmacy jobs? Where are these jobs available? How do you qualify for these jobs? This article seeks to answer these questions. In the USA, there are more pharmacy jobs than qualified pharmacists. It is thus a good career option.
Medicines can be prepared and dispensed only by qualified pharmacists. In olden times, they used to mix drug products from measured raw materials according to doctor’s prescriptions. These days, they dispense pre-measured tablets and capsules produced by pharmaceutical companies. They also advise patients on the use of prescription and over the counter medicines.
In addition to technical knowledge about the required purity and dosages of many medicinal products, pharmacists also require the human touch and ethical sense to deal with customers in a trust-building manner.
Pharmacists find jobs in numerous settings, such as retail pharmacy outlets, hospitals & clinics, healthcare facilities, drug research and development, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, government agencies and universities.
Pharmacists work as pharmacy managers, clinical pharmacists, IV pharmacists, retail pharmacists and in other roles.
Who Employ Pharmacists?
Some of the major employers of pharmacists are listed below.
- Retail (and Internet) pharmacies need pharmacists and pharmacy managers.
- Pharmaceutical companies need pharmacists for drug research & development, and for sales and marketing.
- Hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities need pharmacists to oversee the formulation, storage and dispensing of medicines at their facilities.
- Government agencies and home care facilities also need the services of pharmacists.
- Armed services need pharmacists in their medical services sections.
- Community and consultant pharmacies are other agencies that need pharmacists.
The demand for pharmacists exceeds supply in the USA.
How Do You Qualify as a Pharmacist?
Pharmacy is the science that deals with collection, preparation and standardization of drugs.
As a preliminary for your course in pharmacy, you need to attend college level classes in such subjects as chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics, for about two years. You might also have to pass a Pharmacy Colleges Admissions Test.
You then have to complete a 6-year (or 5 year) Pharm D. (or B.S.) curriculum prescribed by an accredited college of pharmacy. Internship under a qualified pharmacist and passing a state examination are other typical requirements before you become a licensed pharmacist.
Continuing education is a typical requirement to renew the license.
The skills in pharmacy practice include not only dispensing prescriptions but also communicating with patients and healthcare professionals. (You need to acquire the skill to read doctors’ handwritings!) They also include understanding the responsibilities of professional ethics.
Other important skills include the management of a pharmacy practice, and consulting with other healthcare professionals.
Availability of Pharmacy Jobs
As you would have begun to appreciate by now, pharmacists are trained professionals providing an essential service in healthcare. They are in high demand by many agencies and this situation is likely to continue.
In fact, all the pharmacy jobs are not being filled now for want for qualified pharmacists. A career in pharmacy is thus a promising career.