Would I Be A Good Pharmacist?
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Pharmacists are medication therapy experts. They work closely with patients and other members of the healthcare team to maximize patients' health outcomes.
Pharmacists must be interested in helping people.
The cornerstone of any healthcare providers' duties, not unlike pharmacists, is patient care. Patient care is achieved by continuously monitoring, assessing and getting feedback from the patient regarding healthcare needs. Therefore pharmacists must have excellent communications skills. Pharmacists are also constantly interacting with other health care professionals about their patients. The team approach to health care delivery requires pharmacists to communicate specific patient care needs, solve problems, give recommendations and consider suggestions and feedback from other healthcare team members. A future pharmacist must have exceptional communication skills.
Patient care practice is constantly evolving and improving. Therefore, pharmacists have an ethical duty to their patients to become life-long learners. Every year new drugs are being discovered, previously discovered drugs are given new indications, side effect profiles change and disease management improves. Pharmacists are required to stay educated and up-to-date on all the latest patient care options.
Pharmacy practice is constantly evolving to meet patient care needs. At one time pharmacists were trained primarily for drug distribution. But over the years, pharmacists' roles have changed to patient-centered care that includes medication therapy management and working on teams to provide optimal health care delivery. Therefore, pharmacists have an obligation to embrace the evolution of pharmacy in order to put their patients' healthcare needs first.
The desire to continuously learn, and the ability to adapt to new situations is imperative to someone considering pharmacy as a career.
A pharmacist is constantly challenged. Pharmacists must be efficient and creative problem solvers. Pharmacists find personal and professional rewards in helping people manage their health problems through medication therapy management. Pharmacists also find rewards by managing health departments, pharmacies and working with other health care professionals. A future pharmacist must be able to work in a dynamic environment and find personal satisfaction in problem solving.
What Do Pharmacists Do and Where Do They Work?
Pharmacists are primarily known for their work in community pharmacies, hospitals or health care facilities. Pharmacy has undergone tremendous evolution in the past several years from drug distribution roles like counting tablets to patient-centered care and comprehensive medication therapy management. Pharmacists are now responsible for identifying, resolving and preventing medication related problems, or providing "pharmaceutical care" to their patients.
Many pharmacists upgrade their training to provide specialized clinical service for paediatrics, oncology, geriatrics, renal (kidney) failure, oncology and many more. Some pharmacists work in the pharmaceutical industry to create and discover new drugs and educate other health care professionals on their indications. Pharmacists can work in universities educating students or researching drug therapies and patient care experiences. Government careers in pharmacy include researching drug products, developing technology associated with health care delivery and developing laws, patient care programs, drug distribution procedures and many more. Pharmacists can work in pharmacy regulatory or advocacy associations or a range of other non-traditional fields where their medication therapy expertise can be utilized (i.e. health journalism or consulting).
Education and Mentoring Programs For Pharmacy
In Canada, pharmacists graduate from universities with a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy that can take as long as five years of full-time study. Once graduates have completed a national exam administered through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada and completed their mentorship experiences, they are ready to practice pharmacy on their own. Pharmacists can also choose to further their education by enrolling in a Master's or Ph.D. program.
For more information on pharmacy programs in Canada visit the canadian pharmacy schools and faculties as well as the training and accreditations programs listed below.