Growing up, I always enjoyed taking those trips to the pharmacy with someone from my family. It could of been my mom, my dad or any of my grandparents, it didn’t matter to me as long as I go the opportunity to go. In today’s world, several people take daily medications more than they did a few years ago, which means pharmacys are much more needed now than ever. I was always curious to know what occurred through those pharmacy walls and why they wear those long/large white lab coats while they’re working. I was always interested in pharmacy and that’s the career I want to get into once I have completed school.
There are several different types of pharmacists. Depending on where you get your medicine, you might see different pharmacists. The several different types of pharmacists are community pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, consultant pharmacists and pharmaceutical industry pharmacists. All pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) from an accredited pharmacy program; this takes about 4 years to finish.
Prior to getting a (Pharm.D.), you also need a postgraduate professional degree. Each program has their different enrollment requirements. Some programs require a bachelor’s degree, a certain amount of hours as an intern or some may even require applicants to take postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and physics.
All states are permitted to license pharmacists and in order to receive it, you are required to pass two law exams during your program such as The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam, and The Multistate Pharmacy Exam. After graduating from your (Pharm.D.) program, any pharmacist that wants an advanced position may be required to complete a 1-2 year residency. Another requirement by law, is any pharmacists giving out any shots such as the flu shot, will need to be certified in most states to be able to do so.
Pharmacists make good money; most pharmacists work full-time and their salary can range from $120,000-$127,000. Pharmacy employers hold about 312,500 jobs currently. The top pharmacy employers are drug stores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS), hospitals (state, local and private), general merchandise stores and grocery stores (Walmart, Target, Giants). As for pharmacists who work in general merchandise stores they make about 126,400 a year. As for pharmacists that work in hospitals, they make about 122,820 a year. As for pharmacists that work in grocery stores they make about 122,670 a year. As for pharmacists that work in drug stores they make about 121,730 a year. They might even make more than that accumulating overtime hours working long nights and weekends.
Pharmacists are also required to have several skills. Pharmacists are required to have skills such as: analytical skills, communication skills, computer skills, managerial skills and they also must be detail oriented. Analytical is an important skill for a pharmacist to have because the pharmacist must be able to analyze what the patient needs and what the doctor prescribes based on his/her knowledge on the certain effects for the appropriate medicine. Another important skill is communication. A pharmacist must have good communication skills; they have to communicate with pharmacy technicians and interns and they also must be able to communicate with patients; offering any advice or answering any questions the patients may have.
Computer skills is an important skill but it’s also minor as well. Pharmacists will need to have access to their organizations database containing health records. They may need to look up a patient’s health records to evaluate if it’s appropriate to give that patient a certain medication. Pharmacists are also responsible for monitoring the technicians and interns which requires them to have managerial skills. Pharmacists must also be detailed oriented; they must be able to find information on medications when necessary, and keep track of each prescription they fill. Anyhow a patient uses the wrong medication, it can cause a serious health risk and it will hold the pharmacist accountable.
Pharmacists have a very busy work shift. They spend their shifts filling prescriptions for patients, figuring out what prescriptions will interact negatively with others and instructing patients on how much and when to take an prescribed medicine, also informing them on the side effects. They also complete insurance forms and keep in contact with the insurance companies to make sure that patients are receiving the medication they need. They also communicate with patients informing them on how to get rid of stress, eating healthier and/or exercising.
If I was applying for a job to become a pharmacist, I would be a good candidate because I’m great at multitasking. This skill would be good because a pharmacist has to do a lot of things at once. I would be able to monitor technicians and interns and keep track of every prescription filled. I would also have time for talking/helping patients if needed. I have experience with computers, I have previously took an computer class, and currently own a computer myself. I also have good communication skills. I have had jobs previously where I had to provide customers service.
There is a job posting in my area as well for a local drug store CVS pharmacist. The key components for this current job posting is patient safety, pharmacy professional practice, regulatory requirements, quality assurance, customer service, personnel management, inventory management, financial profitability, loss prevention, and workflow management.
Qualifications needed for this job posting is a pharmacy license in the state that your working in, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree or Pharm.D. and a immunization certification through an accredited organization. This job posting also states that you can’t be on the DEA excluded parties list and you can’t have any pending felony charges or convictions for criminal offenses involving controlled substances.
Some possible interview questions the interviewee might ask if your interviewing to be an pharmacist are “What would you do if a consultant or GP does not want to change a medicine you believe is not appropriate for a particular person?”, “Can you tell me about a time things happened in a way they were not supposed to?”, “How would your friends describe you?”, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, “What salary are you expecting?” and “If you were a drug, what drug would you be and why?”
Pharmacists uses interpersonal communication, organizational communication, mediated communication, mass communication and public communication. Language has a power dimension. Language can be helpful, influential and can inspire. Pharmacists may get asked advice from patients that can be helpful for their health. Language is rule governed. Pharmacists uses rules of language everyday such as: quality, relation, manner, and quantity. They use these rules of language just by filling a prescription. Pharmacists also interprets data by adding meaning and making predictions, they evaluate what prescriptions will interact negatively with others and evaluate medicines based on the patients needs; the patients health influences the pharmacists decision.
In conclusion, pharmacists have a lot on their plate to deal with each and everyday. They also have to complete several years of school and training because of all the responsibilities they have to take up. They work long shifts just to make sure each and every patient gets and take their medication carefully and as needed.
- Page, Emma. “Seven of the Hardest Pharmacy Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.” Pharmaceutical Journal, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 15 Aug. 2016, www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/careers-and-jobs/careers-and-jobs/career-feature/seven-of-the-hardest-pharmacy-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them/20201520.article?firstPass=false.
- “CollegeGrad.” Jobs, Career, Salary and Education Information, CollegeGrad LLC, 2018,
- “Join #TeamCVS – We’re Hiring! | Pharmacist – Staff Job in York, PA | CVS HEALTH.” Investors, CVS Health, 2018, jobs.cvshealth.com/ShowJob/Id/376759/Pharmacist-Staff/.