Pharmacist Career – Is It For You?

Choosing the career you would like to pursue is clearly much more important than choosing what clothes to wear for that big party or what cake you want for dessert. It’s definitely much harder and complicated and it’s one that will directly affect your life to next five, ten or even twenty years so it must be done with care and wisdom.

The healthcare industry has continued to grow over the past decade and it will continue to do so with as the American population continues to age and therefore an in demand career will definitely be that of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Becoming a pharmacist is a noble profession but it certainly doesn’t have the prestige of a brain surgeon or other medical professional titles but it’s a solid career and one that more and more are turning to help ensure a good living and job security.

Although pharmacists makes a decent living most pharmacists don’t make what would be considered a high salary unless that attain a position in a top-level research project undertaken to make innovations in the drug industry but the responsibility and importance of a pharmacist must be underestimated and undervalued.

To become a pharmacist, you must first earn a pharmacist degree from a college or university which is recognized by the Educational Board in your state and accredited by the American Council on Pharmacy Education or ACPE. Upon graduation, you must then pass certain examinations in order to receive a license to practice in your chosen field.

The major pharmacist examinations are the North America Pharmacist License Examination or NAPLEX and the Multistate Pharmacist Jurisprudence Examination or MPJE – both are administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. You may also be required to pass additional examinations, depending on the rules in your state so it’s better to check with the state authorities regarding their particular requirements. In addition, if you plan on moving to another state, you may also be required to pass that states’ pharmacist examinations.

A pharmacist is usually given the job of managing a pharmacy or drugstore. They are assigned to provide drugs to patients that have been prescribed by doctors and other healthcare practitioners. A pharmacist is also required to supply information to patients regarding other drugs, like the best brands when it comes to over the counter drugs. The pharmacist is also responsible for supervising others workers in the pharmacy like pharmacy technicians and pharmacist aides. In many instances, a pharmacist must double check the work of his subordinates in order to make sure that no error has been committed.

In hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other healthcare facilities, the responsibilities and degree of authority given to pharmacists goes a notch higher. A pharmacist advises doctors on the selection of medicine, the side effects of each particular drug and the optimal dosages.

Pharmacists are expected to have an extensive knowledge on the composition of drugs, their uses and potential patient side affects. With all the questions a pharmacist receives regarding medicines they distribute they must be very knowledgeable and attentive to what advice they offer because of the potential consequences of offering poor advice.

The role of a pharmacist takes on a more social context in small town pharmacies. The pharmacist can sometimes be tagged as some sort of guardian towards the younger generation, advising on issues such as pre-marital sex, birth control pills and the proper use of sleeping pills or tranquilizers. Pharmacists may also play the role as counselor towards those who request information and maybe be asked to make personal healthcare suggestions.

Another career path that some pharmacists take is that of Research and Development with the drug companies. The reason behind this is normally financially based because they have the opportunity to earn a much higher salary. However, in order to secure these types or job one must have exceptional skills and total commitment.

On the other hand, some pharmacists prefer to work for insurance agencies and work as a consultant for health concerns. Other pharmacists however prefer what they say is the most noble of all professions and teach classes in high school and college.

If the allure of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician career appeals to you, check out the links below.