The Stages of Becoming a Pharmacist That You Might Go Through

by Rachita Nayar
Jan 28, 2023
2.5min read

Pharmacists and medicines are best friends. It is almost impossible to think of one without thinking of the other. They go hand in hand. If becoming a pharmacist is on your career plan, you must know who a pharmacist is, what they do, and how to become one. Let's find out more.

Who is a pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a professional in the field of healthcare. They study medicines, their effects on humans, animals and other living beings, and how they can be stored and preserved. They also play a significant role in researching and conducting experiments on medicines and clinical trials. 

What does a pharmacist do?

A pharmacist plays a significant role in treating patients and helping them lead better lives. They are focused on the well-being of others. Here are some things that a pharmacist does on a day-to-day basis-

  • Pharmacists generally open and run drug stores. They distribute drugs and medicines as prescribed by doctors. 
  • They are responsible for storing and securing the medicines. Different medicines need different types of storage conditions. Therefore, the pharmacist ensures that all parameters, such as temperature, shelf life, exposure to sunlight, etc., are met. 
  • Pharmacists also work alongside doctors and researchers to help conduct clinical trials and research on various drugs. 
  • They help society by educating people about general health care and awareness topics.

How to become a pharmacist in the US?

If you wish to become a pharmacist in the States, follow these steps:

how to become a pharmacist in the us

Education degree

To become a pharmacist, one must have chemistry and biology as their major subjects in their higher studies. Further, you must get the degree of a Doctor of Pharmacy. That means you must do a doctor's course for four years, post your undergraduate degree. Alternatively, you may also do a Pharm. D. course. This course also helps you gain exposure and practical knowledge.

Practical training

As a pharmacist, you would be interacting directly with patients. You are directly responsible for their health, and mishaps may cause serious problems. Thus, having practical training is a must. To gain practical training, you may intern in any hospital or with a pharmacist. You may also do a residency program. This may be a one or two-year program, where you also gain experience with direct patient care.

License

If you wish to practice as a pharmacist in the US, you must have a valid license. Here are the licenses that you must hold-

  • North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam - You can get this after passing a test. The test is done to comprehend your knowledge of pharmacy. 
  • Multi-state Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam -This test is conducted to understand whether you have specific area-related knowledge about pharmacies, such as local diseases and medicines. 

Skills needed

To become a pharmacist, you need to have the following skills -

  • You must be able to pay attention to specific details. This is important as you must follow the prescriptions of the doctors very precisely. Prescription talks about the specific dosage, the number of medicines to be taken in a day, and the duration of the course. Missing the prescription can cause serious troubles for the patient.
  • Be aware and conscious when providing medicines for prescriptions. It is also possible for the doctor or the patient to mess up while bringing the prescriptions. Thus, as a pharmacist, you must critically analyze and think while supplying drugs.
  • Being a pharmacist, you would also need to communicate with your customers. You are required to polish your communication skills. You might need to talk about safe medication use, insurance terms, and details regarding the physician with the patient.

Are you planning on becoming a pharmacist? While thinking of a career plan, it is also important to keep track of the latest job opportunities and the scale at which the industry is growing. Check out Epicareer to get the lead information on all the pharmacist jobs available in the US.

Only Apply for job that matter.

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