What is a Pharmacist?
A Pharmacist is a part of the healthcare community that is directly involved in patient care. The Pharmacist jobs include to prepare and dispense medication and drugs. The health science and chemical science field are linked together to make sure that the pharmaceutical drugs are safely and effectively used. They usually are in direct contact with doctors and other professionals in the healthcare industry to ensure that the proper medication and dosage are given. The pharmacist will instruct the patient on how to use the medication properly.
What Education does an Individual Need in Order to become a Pharmacist?
Interested parties who are looking at a path in the pharmaceutical field will need to complete at least two years of college or university in order to get accepted to pharmacy school. The core areas of study will include chemistry, biology, and calculus.
In order to become a pharmacist, and individual will need to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which is also known as Pharm.D. Pharmacy programs are generally four years long and must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Some of the courses that may be required are medicinal chemistry, toxicology, drug absorption rates, pathophysiology, patient care, and biopharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical programs will also have aspiring pharmacists observing and training under licensed and practicing pharmacists.
Post graduation from Pharm.D programs, a graduate may choose further training through fellowships or residencies. The purpose of this training will give the pharmacist hands-on training with direct patient care. These programs can last up to two years.
Getting Started in a Pharmacy Career
In order for an individual to become a practicing pharmacist, they will need to obtain a license. Pharmacy degree graduates will need to take and pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. This examination is given by National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. This will allow them to verify that the graduate possesses the knowledge and skills to properly handle and distribute medicine safely. Many states require that Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination is given, which tests the graduates knowledge on federal and state pharmacy laws.
Career Options for a Pharmacist
Once an individual is licensed in pharmacy, they have the option to become a practicing pharmacist in a variety of settings. Pharmacists can work in hospitals, private or chained drug or grocery stores, clinics, and other private or public healthcare facilities.
Career Outlook for Pharmacists
There are many career opportunities for this distinguished profession. Employment of pharmacists is expected to grow rapidly through 2020. The expected growth is due to more baby boomers hitting retirement age and needing medication. Also, new drugs and medication will be on the market and qualified individuals will need to make sure they are used properly. Pharmacists can expect the median salary to be between $98,000 and $113,000 per year.