Community Pharmacist

ANDREW CLOUTIER, PHARMD

Andrew is happy to answer your teen’s questions about becoming a pharmacist. ascloutier@yahoo.com

Also, don’t forget to check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the most up to date information on the field of Pharmacy.

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm

What Pharmacists Do

Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

How to Become a Pharmacist

Pharmacists must first earn a Bachelor’s degree (4-year degree) and then earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a 4-year professional degree. They must also be licensed, which requires passing two exams.

Consider this career if you have:

Analytical skills. Pharmacists must provide safe medications efficiently. To do this, they must be able to evaluate a patient’s needs and the prescriber’s orders, and have extensive knowledge of the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication.

Communication skills. Pharmacists frequently offer advice to patients. They might need to explain how to take medicine, for example, and what its side effects are. They also need to offer clear direction to pharmacy technicians and interns.

Computer skills. Pharmacists need computer skills in order to use any electronic health record (EHR) systems that their organization has adopted.

Detail oriented. Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the prescriptions they fill. They must be able to find the information that they need to make decisions about what medications are appropriate for each patient, because improper use of medication can pose serious health risks.

Managerial skills. Pharmacists—particularly those who run a retail pharmacy—must have good managerial skills, including the ability to manage inventory and oversee a staff.

Learn more about becoming a pharmacist