Careers in Pharmacy
If a career in the healthcare industry interests you, then pursuing a degree in pharmacy may be an option. Pharmacy is the process of preparing and dispensing medicines and drugs to patients. An expert in the field of pharmacy distributes medication based on a patient’s prescription from a healthcare professional such as a doctor. Pharmacists can also help patients select the right medication for their health concerns.
There are a wide range of career choices available to pharmacy professionals. They can work in roles such as community or hospital pharmacist. They can conduct academic research and can also find employment as pharmaceutical researchers or pharmacist consultants. Careers in pharmacy can include job titles such as managed care pharmacist. Pharmacists can work at:
- Drug stores
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Mental health institutions
- Nursing homes
- Federal agencies
Pharmacists have the option of specializing in a particular field related to health. Infectious disease, oncology, poison control and psychiatric pharmacy are just some of the areas of expertise that pharmacists may choose. Depending on the level of education and experience, a pharmacist can earn between 82,000 to 117,000 US dollars on average.
Pharmacy Degrees and Programs
In order to work as a pharmacist it is essential to acquire the right education through an academic program related to pharmacy. Pharmacy aides, technicians and pharmacists are all required to have a degree in pharmacy. Pharmacy aides usually work in administrative functions while pharmacy technicians can assist pharmacists in preparing prescriptions. These careers in pharmacy, while not requiring much pharmacy related education can only provide limited success.
In order to make a successful career in the field of pharmacy it is important to acquire at least an undergraduate degree in the field so as to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the subject. Some degrees in pharmacy at the undergraduate level include:
- Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)
- Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
If you wish to become a practicing pharmacist, it is a requirement to complete a graduate degree in pharmacy. Such a program results in a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Most pharmacy related degrees require that students complete an internship at a pharmacy.
Pharmacists in order to practice need to be licensed. This is a requirement of all states. Pharmacists can take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam upon completion of the PharmD degree. Pharmacists may be additionally required to also pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam in some states.
Areas of Study in Pharmacy
Pharmacists have a number of responsibilities assigned to them. They are required to fill prescriptions and dispense medicines accordingly. They also advise patients on the usage of medication and provide feedback to doctors and pharmaceutical companies. During the course of a program in pharmacy, students learn about the field extensively. Subjects such as statistics, chemistry, anatomy and physiology are taught. Biostatistics, bio-pharmaceutics and pathology are also part of the curriculum of a pharmacy program. Other subjects taught include drug interactions, diagnosis of diseases and pharmacy practice experiences.
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