A pharmacist isn’t just the person who fills your prescription once you’ve been to the doctor. As far as their job description goes,
- prepare or supervise the dispensing of medicines, ointments and tablets
- advise patients on how their medicines are to be taken or used in the safest and most effective way in the treatment of common ailments
- advise members of the public and other health professionals about medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter medicines), including appropriate selection, dosage and drug interactions, potential side effects and therapeutic effects
- select, give advice on and supply non-prescription medicine, sickroom supplies and other products
- develop legally recognised standards, and advise on government controls and regulations concerning the manufacture and supply of medicines
- work in the research and development of medicines and other health-related products
- be involved in the management of pharmaceutical companies.
Community pharmacists dispense prescriptions, provide advice on drug selection and usage to doctors and other health professionals, primary healthcare advice and support, and educating customers on health promotion, disease prevention and the proper use of medicines..
Consultant pharmacists are either employed by community pharmacies or hospitals, or are self- employed and contract with community pharmacies to provide medication reviews for residential care or ambulatory care patients and/or other medication-related cognitive services.
Hospital pharmacists operate as part of a healthcare team and are involved in monitoring medication usage, counselling patients, providing drug information and advice to health professionals and the community, conducting clinical trials and preparing products for patient use. They usually have a lot of contact with other health professionals and members of the public.
Industrial pharmacists undertake research and the development, manufacture, testing, analysis and marketing of pharmaceutical and medical products.
Outside the square and going places: Pharmacists also work as locums (A locum is a person who temporarily fulfils the duties of another) and in fields such as the military, law, journalism, academic teaching, research, pharmaceutical policy and in rural and remote areas, and even abroad.
If you’ve decided that Pharmacy is for you, these are the five steps you need to follow from high school: