Not Only Giving Medicine, Here Are Some Pharmacist Duties

by Rachita Nayar
Feb 19, 2023
4min read

If you're thinking about becoming a pharmacist, you undoubtedly already know how much time and effort it will take to get there. You must complete the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, which usually takes six to eight years to complete, before you may become a pharmacist. However, those who finish this demanding education are rewarded with great salaries, job security, and the gratification of knowing that their work makes a difference in people's lives.

What is a Pharmacist?

A healthcare provider with expertise in the use and administration of medications is a pharmacist. They provide patients with their prescriptions after getting a doctor's directions. Pharmacists comprehensively understand how medications interact with the body and function so that patients who take them get the best results possible.

Most pharmacists are local pharmacists operating in private pharmacies, including mail-order services, drug stores, grocery stores, big-box retailers, and pharmacies.

Other pharmacists provide patient care internally at hospitals and healthcare settings. You may help individuals and other healthcare professionals understand how various medications interact or what side effects they might have on the body and ensure that patients receive their prescriptions.

What are some duties of a pharmacist?

Here are some primary duties of a pharmacist. 

1. Counsel patients on medication

Pharmacists can provide information on prescription medications, assist in finding less expensive options, or suggest pharmacy services like script aggregation programs or automatic refills that reduce the number of trips to the pharmacy.

Additionally, through the Pharmacy Advisor program, CVS pharmacists offer counseling to help CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) customers with chronic diseases better adhere to their drug regimens.

Some pharmacists now offer medication reviews to check for potentially dangerous interactions between various prescriptions and ensure the patient's treatment plan is appropriate.

2. Vaccination administration

Since CVS pharmacists have received advanced training in vaccine services, customers have a quick and safe option to stay up to date on all immunizations advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

3. A front-line healthcare worker

Your pharmacist is a front-line healthcare provider because of his availability and abilities. He is always on hand to provide all the medical advice you need or to point you in the right direction.

Promoting his patients' health is just one of his many responsibilities. To enhance your health and lower your risk of contracting diseases, he gives you advice on how to change to a healthier lifestyle and lists the preventative steps you should take.

4. Physicians are pharmacists

When you meet pharmacists at your neighborhood apothecary, they probably introduce themselves by their first name rather than calling themselves "doctors." But they are medical professionals. Since 2004, candidates for the Pharmacy examinations must hold a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.

A pharmacist who graduated from pharmacy school before 2004, when a bachelor's degree in the pharmacy industry was also permitted, would be the only exception.

5. Work in many verticals

In a community pharmacy, a pharmacist can do much more than work behind the counter. Some are lecturers in academic pharmacy programs. Some assist doctors in determining the best course of action for patients while working in hospital pharmacies. Others work for pharmaceutical producers, use their expertise to develop novel therapies, and enhance and improve existing pharmaceuticals.

pharmacist career in the usa

Although pharmacists aren't allowed to alter your insurance company's copay requirements, they can frequently advise cheaper alternatives to the prescription your doctor has recommended (such as prescribing a suitable generic in place of a brand-name medication). So to help reduce the cost of the drug, pharmacists can also offer information regarding discounts and other money-saving strategies. 

Essential Skills To Become a Licensed Pharmacist in the USA

To become a licensed pharmacist in the USA, there are several essential skills that you will need to possess. These skills include:

  • Knowledge of Medications: As a pharmacist, you will need to have a deep understanding of various types of medications, including their uses, side effects, interactions, and dosages.
  • Strong Attention to Detail: Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications accurately and ensuring that patients receive the correct dosage. Therefore, you will need to have strong attention to detail and be able to follow specific protocols and procedures.
  • Good Communication Skills: As a pharmacist, you will need to communicate with patients, healthcare providers, and other members of the pharmacy team. Therefore, it is essential to have excellent communication skills to explain complex medical information in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Pharmacists need to be able to solve complex problems related to medication use and patient care. You will need to be able to identify potential drug interactions, adverse effects, and other complications that may arise.
  • Strong Organizational Skills: Pharmacists are responsible for managing large amounts of medication inventory and keeping track of prescription records. Therefore, you will need to have strong organizational skills to manage these tasks efficiently.
  • Attention to Compliance: Pharmacies must follow state and federal regulations for handling and dispensing medications. As a pharmacist, you will need to have an understanding of these regulations and ensure that your pharmacy complies with them.
  • Technological Aptitude: Many pharmacies use electronic health records (EHRs) and other advanced technologies to manage patient data and medication orders. As a pharmacist, you will need to be comfortable using these technologies and staying up-to-date with new developments in the field.

Overall, becoming a pharmacist requires a combination of scientific knowledge, technical skills, and strong interpersonal abilities.

Pharmacist Average Salary in the USA

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that pharmacists earn a national average annual salary of $123,670, which is significantly higher than the average annual salary across all occupations, which is $51,960.

Forbes has compiled a list of the top 10 states where pharmacists earn the highest salaries, including:

  • Alaska at $139,880
  • California at $139,690
  • Vermont at $135,420
  • Maine at $133,050
  • Wisconsin at $132,400
  • Oregon at $130,480
  • Minnesota at $129,080
  • Missouri at $128,420
  • Washington at $127,360
  • New Hampshire at $127,350.

Are you looking for lucrative jobs as a pharmacist? Look no further than Epicareer, where you can find promising jobs in the pharma industry.

Only Apply for job that matter.

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