Pharmacists Career Video
Description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.
Whenever a doctor writes a prescription for a drug or treatment, a pharmacist is the person who measures out the medication and makes sure a patient knows how to take it safely. And while filling a prescription often means a visit to the local drug store or grocery store, pharmacists also work in hospitals. Typically, pharmacists spend most of the day standing at a counter, preparing and dispensing medication. They may also personalize or “compound” the medication, though that is now less common than it used to be. Pharmacists are knowledgeable about medication ingredients and how they might interact with other medications. This is a profession that requires careful attention to detail. Making a mistake and dispensing the wrong medicine could have life-threatening consequences. Pharmacists also maintain patient records, inventory their supplies, and keep up registries of controlled drugs. Some pharmacists conduct research to develop new drugs. Most work full-time, and since the timing of medications can be crucial, they may work nights and weekends. If you want to become a pharmacist, you’ll need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, then pass two licensure exams. For some, the demanding education and ongoing learning needed to stay current might be a hard pill to swallow, but knowing you help people get the medications they need to be healthy, can help the medicine go down.