Working in a pharmacy can be a great career opportunity. It’s always a unique working environment, depending on a number of different factors. The experience you have working in a pharmacy could be entirely different to what we’re about to tell you here. However, this post should give you a good idea of what to expect before you get your foot in the door. Take a look:
Working in a Retail Pharmacy
A retail pharmacy usually deals with the public directly. They are usually found in stores such as Walmart, and in some supermarkets. Regardless of where the pharmacy is, you’ll always work with a licensed pharmacist. It’s up to you to prepare prescriptions. It’ll depend on the pharmacy as to the sort of hours you do, but you should expect a 40 hour work week. Some pharmacies like this are open 24/7, so your hours may vary. Expect customers to be in a bad mood or a little hostile; they or a member of their family is ill, so it’s important to be understanding. Keep a cool head and be polite even when your customers aren’t.
Working in a Hospital Pharmacy
Working in a hospital pharmacy can be more interesting and complicated than retail. You could be giving medication directly to patients. Again, you should expect patients and people you deal with to be in a bad mood. Of course, some people you come into contact with will be perfectly lovely, but you definitely need a strong spirit to work with poorly, unhappy people. Good communication skills are a must, because you’ll also liaise with doctors and nurses.
The Role of a Pharmacist
The role of a pharmacist is as follows:
- Medication counselling for patients/customers.
- Interpreting a prescription and making sure it’s suited to the customer.
- Checking records for allergies and medication history.
- Oversee pharmacy technicians and help them when needed.
The Role of a Pharmacy Technician
The role of a pharmacy technician varies slightly. You will:
- Work on the front desk, dealing with customers.
- Answer phones.
- Look at prescription info.
- Create labels for medicines.
- Take inventory.
- Get rid of out of date medicine.
- There will more than likely be more responsibilities you must focus on too.
A pharmacy technician salary will depend on experience. Get an idea here http://www.salarysite.com/medical-salaries/pharmacy-technician-salary/.
Getting Your Foot in the Door
You have a number of options if you want to work in a pharmacy. These skills will help you to start off with:
- Attention to detail.
- Computer skills.
- Mathematical skills.
- Knowledge of science.
- Communication skills.
If you have the above skills, you could make a great pharmacist technician. Good school/college grades can be extremely beneficial when applying for this role. If you want to further your career, you’ll need to get more experience and take on more responsibility. You can use your experience as a technician to become a qualified pharmacist later on. Other medical jobs could also be within your reach if you want a change of scenery!