Becoming a pharmacist requires years of education and training so that you have the needed skills, knowledge and certification for that profession. Those who wish to be pharmacists spend six to thirteen years in completing their requirements, coursework, clinical rotations and national exam. This may seem a straightforward path but anyone who wants to pursue a career in pharmacology should know the details and the process. There are critical questions that must be answered along the way. Only you know the right path for you.
What Does A Pharmacist Do
Pharmacists dispense medication and approved remedies. They follow up on a patient after their visit with their physicians. In addition to understanding the dosage, chemical reactions, regulation and allergens, pharmacists must also know how to guide and manage their assistants in those areas. Pharmacists should also be mindful of their safety and public health. They ensure that everyone under their supervision follow the safety protocols when it comes to the distribution and storage of medication. Pharmacists work in various medical environments that also include private businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals and drug stores.
Pharmacists tend to be analytical and have keen attention to detail which facilitates pharmacy organization and pharmacological accuracy. Pharmacists must also be good in communicating so that they can clearly explain the steps involved in avoiding potentially harmful side effects and taking medications. Pharmacists need to be knowledgeable on computer skills, various electronic health records systems, managerial abilities in guiding assistants and other staff toward the right direction.
Becoming a Pharmacist
The pre-requisites for future pharmacists lie in laboratory sciences, most notably chemistry and biology. The undergraduate level helps lay the groundwork for an advanced pharmacological study in the future. Students aim toward obtaining a degree in Pharmacy have a number of options.
They can get a two-year non-degree laboratory science prep.
They can get a bachelor’s degree in laboratory science. Many aspiring pharmacists opt to have a bachelor’s degree in a related science before transitioning to the Pharmacy program. This allows them to have more flexibility, given the chance that they change their mind about pursuing this as a career.
The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree is the first professional step toward practicing pharmacy. Completing this usually takes four years. The first year focuses on the fundamentals of the trade and this includes reading, understanding and using dosage forms, practicing pharmacy law and ethics, patient counseling, working with physicians, diagnostics, pharmacy calculations and pathophysiology as well as drug action.
The second and third years concentrate on advanced principles of institutional pharmacy, biostatistics, health management, pharmacotherapy and clinical rotations. During the second and third year, pharmacy students hone their pharmaceutical specialty as well as where they would like to work after graduation.
Every Pharmacy student must pass one or more exams in order to receive a license so that she can practice. The exam for pharmacists is the North American Pharmacist Licensing Exam (NAPLEX). It is a 185-question test that measures the candidate’s understanding and knowledge of Pharmacology. At its core is the purpose of the NAPLEX that can also ascertain following abilities.