Types of Pharmacists – Who are Pharmacists?
Types of pharmacists jobs- An aspiring candidate looking for the right career path for themself in the field of medicine can also consider becoming a pharmacist. A pharmacist by profession is required to provide quality care to their patients/customers by distributing medicines for different medical needs. Different types of pharmacist jobs may require different specifications in their job roles, but mainly the pharmacist needs to fill prescriptions in retail pharmacies or pharmacies which are attached or within the hospitals or personal clinics. Pharmacists also distribute over-the-counter medications after they’ve evaluated their customer’s needs. For instance, if a customer is having symptoms of a cold or flu, they’ll discuss it with the pharmacist first, before he/she gives them the right medication. Some of the other types of pharmacist jobs include working for pharmaceutical firms, F&D companies, organizations based on research, or even laboratories.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current types of pharmacists employed in the United States is around 3,21,700, and the employment rate isn’t expected to increase between 2019-2029. The existing pharmacists are mostly involved with pharmaceutical research, drug development, and for quality assurance. Another career option is to be a medical writer about pharmacy-related topics, for science journals, newspapers, or other media. Writers can even work as lecturers in universities and research institutions but in all situations, they should comply with the ongoing legal and regulatory requirements. For this article, we will talk about the different types of pharmacist jobs in the US and the responsibilities or requirements to be part of this field.
Different Types of Pharmacists – What are their Tasks?
Different types of pharmacists: The tasks of a pharmacist include distribution of prescribed medication, while also providing any important information, for example – side effects, contraindications with any other medicine, etc. The pharmacists also help the patients figure out their doctors’ recommended dosage and usage instructions to make sure the medications are effectively consumed without any damages. In combination with this, other tasks of a pharmacist include the following:
- Filling of prescriptions, verifying the given instructions from doctors for the proper dosage amounts that the patient needs to take.
- Checking whether the patient’s prescriptions will impact them negatively due to any other medicines they’re taking along with the current medication, or if the patient has any other medical conditions.
- Explaining to the patients when and how to take the medicines and give them necessary details about any potential side effects.
- Giving customers flu shots or any other vaccinations.
- Advising the patients about other necessary health topics, such as their diet, exercise routine, and how to manage stress, etc. As well as what equipment or supplies would be required to treat their health issues.
- Finishing the insurance forms, working with insurance companies to make sure the patients get their required medicines.
- Supervising other workers such as the pharmacy technicians and pharmacists who are still training (interns).
- Keeping the patient’s records and fulfilling other administrative duties.
- Giving information to other healthcare practitioners about the proper medication therapies for the patients/customers.
- Types of pharmacists: There are a few pharmacists who are the owners of their pharmacy or they manage a chain of pharmacies. These pharmacists spend time on business activities such as inventory management. As far as most drugs are concerned, pharmacists use standard dosages which are provided by pharmaceutical companies. Although, some pharmacists do make customized portions of medicines which are done by them only. They mix the ingredients together and this procedure is called ‘compounding’.
Types of Careers in Pharmacy
The following are the types of pharmacists jobs:
1. Pharmacy clerk: They have a variety of responsibilities, which include the following tasks- such as filling prescriptions for customers, completing the transactions for the cash register, and updating the patient’s information in the records. Furthermore, they make sure that the pharmacy area is always clean and well-arranged and also assist the pharmacist in ordering new stocks and listing them down into inventory.
2. Pharmacy dispenser: They select the medical drugs and devices according to a patient’s prescription order and put them in an appropriate container that is labeled. Their job is to also update the patient’s personal and insurance information on the computer system. The pharmacy dispenser also helps assist the pharmacist in managing the inventory, placing bulk orders, arranging the stock across shelves, putting down the paperwork, screening the telephone calls, and communicating with insurance carriers.
3. Pharmacy assistant: Their job is to help the pharmacy managers and coworkers. They put in their work to complete regular tasks related to administration such as storing away the prescription records, maintaining the pharmacy’s inventories, preparing the client invoices and audits, while also ordering new office supplies. Their job is to also keep personnel files and do background checks on newly hired employees. The pharmacy assistants also conduct training for safety and regulatory requirements and make sure that all the areas of the pharmacy, as well as the equipment, are kept clean.
4. Pharmacy technician: They work in a hospital setting or a personal clinic, under a licensed pharmacist. Their job is to help manage the pharmacy’s workstation, which means that they’re involved in ordering the new medications for the inventory and keeping the shelves clean, well-stocked, and in the appropriate order. In addition to this, they also fill the patient’s prescriptions, distribute the accurate amount of medicines according to the dosages, while checking for any allergies or food & drug interactions. The pharmacy technicians go through the patients’ health reports and can suggest over-the-counter medicines for a few of their issues.
5. Pharmacists: They carry an in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical products and know-how to appropriately use them. Their job is to assess and fill medication prescriptions for patients and to also discuss medicinal alternatives with the patient’s doctors and other healthcare workers if required. The pharmacists make the order and keep the stock medications. They arrange them on their counters in a neat and clean manner and also maintain records for medication and patients.
6. Chemotherapy pharmacist: They prepare and distribute the chemotherapy drugs which are used for the treatment of cancer patients. Their job is to assess the quality of these medications and pass on their reviews to cancer hospitals or cancer treatment centers. This helps health providers understand just how effective the drugs will be in treating cancer patients.
7. Nuclear pharmacist: They are responsible for the preparation, testing, and distribution of radiopharmaceuticals. These help to diagnose and treat different kinds of cancers as well as many other diseases. Apart from managing lab procedures and testing equipment during drug production, their job is to also supervise the handling, packaging, and delivery of these radiopharmaceuticals. The nuclear pharmacists are sure to be actively involved in maintaining the work environment safety and for the disposal of hazardous bio-waste products. Furthermore, they keep the production and sales records and abide by company policies and legal rules.
8. Long-term care pharmacists: They supervise the medical services for patients in a long-term care facility. Their job is to work in collaboration with other doctors, nurses, and medical staff equipped at the facility to evaluate the patient’s health, give them the necessary medications, and resolve any pharmacy-related issues. The long term care pharmacists update the patient medication information in a medical database. They also monitor and record the patient’s medication routine results and prepare reports of drug utilization, along with making recommendations to improve the patient’s clinical care.
9. Pharmacy manager: They keep a check on the pharmacy’s daily operations and tasks. Their job is to provide effective services to their patients, handle their medications accurately, and maintain a database for patient medication. The pharmacy managers always consult with other healthcare professionals before filling prescriptions and counsel their patients about how to intake their medication and what are the possible side effects to them. Along with this, they also prescribe over-the-counter medicines for any minor injury or ailment and abide by the departmental and legal policies and procedures.
10. Pharmacy specialists: They help organize and maintain records of patient’s medical histories and review them to evaluate their self-care needs. Their job is to monitor their patients using electronic health records or digital systems, which informs them about self-care medication, products, and services. In addition to this, they let their patients know about any available medication assistance programs and how to enroll and schedule their interaction with the appropriate medical staff committee or with a financial counselor. The pharmacy specialist makes sure to work in sync with other healthcare workers, such as physicians, nurses to help manage the patient’s health condition and tend to his or her medical requirements.
11. Clinical pharmacist: They work in collaboration with other physicians and clinical health workers to review and distribute the medicines to their patients. Their job is to evaluate a patient’s medication routine and to recommend any alternatives in case those medications have any allergic reactions. The clinical pharmacists also educate their patients about the usage of proper medication and monitor them for health-related issues.
12. Health outcomes pharmacist: They plan and keep many clinical pharmacy patient care programs. The programs include immunization services, programs for medication therapy management, as well as disease state management. Their job is to ensure that the pharmacy adheres to US FDA regulations and follows the standard operating procedures. With the use of pharmacy system information technology, the health outcomes pharmacists support and connect with their patients and other pharmacy staff. They keep themselves updated about the developments in the field of pharmaceuticals by reading appropriate content as well as attending the training sessions.
13. Pharmacologist: They work in collaboration with hospitals or biopharmaceutical companies, as well as other organizations, in order to discover and develop therapies which can help treat cancer and other conditions. Their job role is to often work with research scientists in different clinical development programs to have quantitative modeling, clinical trial simulations, and safety tests. They study, test, and analyze pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics data about their patients.
Pharmacist Occupations – Education and Skills Necessary
Aspiring candidates who are interested to become a pharmacist must have the following educational requirements and certifications:
- Firstly, a college degree – The candidate must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, also known as a “Pharm.D.” This degree is from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The programs usually last for six years, but those who have already completed two years of college can apply for a four-year pharmacy program. Almost all the schools require that the candidates take their Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).
- Second is the courses – The curriculum would include pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutics, toxicology, pharmacology, and pharmacy administration.
- The third is training – After the graduation of the candidate from a Pharm.D. program, the pharmacists seek an advanced position, like a clinical pharmacy or research job. They may also need to complete 1-2 years of residency. The pharmacists who choose to complete their two-year residency program will receive additional training in a specialty area, like internal medicine or geriatric care.
- The fourth is licensing – For every US state licenses pharmacists, there are selective requirements. All the candidates must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) keeps the examination. Also, almost all the states require aspiring graduates to clear a pharmacy law test known as the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). Furthermore, the pharmacists who administer vaccinations and immunizations to their patients need to be certified in most of the US states.
The aspiring candidates for types of pharmacists jobs should make sure that they possess the following skills:
- They should have reading comprehension, which is the ability to understand written information.
- They should have active listening abilities, which is the ability to understand patients, medical staff, and coworkers.
- They should be good at verbal communication, with the ability to provide clear and concise instructions for administering medication to patients, caretakers, and other healthcare workers.
- They should be critical thinkers with the ability to solve problems and understand the merits of different possible solutions.
- They should pay attention to details, to carry out tasks with granular precision.
- They should have the physical stamina to spend the majority of their shift standing up if required.
- They should be compassionate and provide friendly consultations, vaccinations, and services to their patients.
Types of Pharmacy Careers & What They Should Know
Types of pharmacy careers & what they should know: The candidate who’s willing to make the pharmacy field their career choice should first consider the level of education they will require for different types of pharmacy careers. If they have a high school diploma, then they can become a pharmacy clerk at the entry-level, but for an advanced level or position under types of pharmacy careers, they are required to have a professional or doctoral degree.
With their personal choice of pharmacy role that the aspiring candidate decides to pursue, this particular career would require their strict attention to detail with a strong and accurate understanding of the effects and consequences of pharmaceuticals. This is why pharmacists are supposed to fill the prescriptions accurately and they need to make sure that the medications they prescribe are safe for the customer and that it does not aggravate any current allergies or conditions they might have. It is also expected from them to treat their customers/patients with a compassionate attitude, to counsel them on their medicinal routine, and also inform them about any side effects from the prescription that may occur.
Because the role of a pharmacist requires them to have frequent interactions with their patients, staff members, medical professionals, and medical suppliers, etc, it’s ideal that they have excellent communication skills. Along with which they also require strong managerial skills to supervise their staff employees. They must also have the skills to manage the finances and budget and maintain dispensary accounts and be able to manage the inventory, go over their storage, and procure new stock as required.
Content for MD: Types of pharmacists jobs in the healthcare industry. Pharmacy jobs for qualified graduates & types of pharmacist career occupations.