A career in pharmacy holds several options for you. Depending on the amount of schooling and training that you have, you can look at a career as a pharmacy aide, a pharmacy technician, or a pharmacist.
Becoming a pharmacy aide requires the least amount of training. There is no actual specific training for this position. As with most jobs, your chances increase for employment if you have your high school diploma or GED. Pharmacy aides don't handle any drugs or medications, but they assist with such things as stocking shelves, cashiering, preparing forms, maintaining files, and answering phones. Pharmacy aides can work wherever there is a need for this position.
A pharmacy technician has more responsibilities than an aide. They may perform the basic pharmacy aide duties, but also take in prescription orders, then verify the orders are accurate and complete. They may prepare, price, label, and file prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians do not need specific training, but employers prefer those who are certified and have completed pharmacy classes. Employment can be found wherever a pharmacy technician is needed.
In order to become a pharmacist, you should plan on attending school for four years. Classes you should expect to take include postsecondary biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Specific classes included in the PharmD programs include medical ethics and pharmacology. In addition to the required courses for pharmacology, there are some certain qualities needed. Pharmacists should have good computer skills, analytical skills and be detail oriented. Good communication skills are also a must, as pharmacists need to describe prescriptions and the side effects from them to patients. They advise on other home health care items and a wide variety of health topics.
To progress farther in the pharmaceutical field, you might have to enter into a one or two year residency program. Advanced pharmaceutical positions can be in a medical specialty such as geriatric care, internal medicine or pediatrics.
Pharmacists are responsible for each and every prescription they fill. After filling the script, they will distribute the prescription and discuss the medications with their client. They oversee the operations of the pharmacy. They may also be in charge of hiring personnel and supervising them.
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