Pharmacist Facts & Tools – Pharmacy Careers Summary

Health Care Professional

  • Each year countless new medications and medical products are placed on the market. Both the patient and the physician expect the pharmacist to be knowledgeable about them.

Drug Experts

  • Pharmacists are experts in drugs developed to treat and prevent human diseases. They advise doctors and patients on which prescription and over-the-counter drugs, medicines and therapies are appropriate for treating certain health conditions. They also prepare medications; fill prescriptions; and teach patients how to take the medication.


Most Accessible

  • Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals and know more about medications, prescription and over-the-counter, then any other member of the health care team. In 1998 — for the 10th consecutive year — America’s pharmacists topped the Gallup Poll list of businessmen and professionals for their “honesty and ethical standards.”

2004 Gallup poll

Honesty and Ethics in Professions:
Nurses (79%)
Druggists, pharmacists (72%)
Military officers (72%)
Medical doctors (67%)
Police officers (60%)
Clergy (56%)
Judges (53%)
Day care providers (49%)
Bankers (36%)
Auto mechanics (26%)
Local officeholders (26%)
Nursing home operators (24%)
State officeholders (24%)
TV reporters (23%)
Newspaper reporters (21%)
Business executives (20%)
Lawyers (18%)
Congressmen (10%)
Advertising practitioners (10%)
Car salesmen (9%)


Vital Role

  • Pharmacists play a vital role in the health care system through the medicine and information they provide.
  • While responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well. Pharmacists responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize their response to the medication. Pharmacists also educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on drug decisions. Pharmacists also provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity and strength and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are drug experts ultimately concerned about their patients’ health and wellness.
  • The pharmacist is a key health care professional in helping people achieve the best results from their medications


Drug Information Provider

  • Pharmacists work in a hospital, clinic or community drug store. Pharmacist duties include constantly studying and learning about the properties and side effects of new drugs and communicating this information to doctors and patients.


Typical Pharmacist Traits

  • To be a good pharmacist
  • You should have a good memory and enjoy learning about new medicines and treatments
  • You should also be trustworthy and detail-oriented and have good communication skills.
  • Also, you should have good problem solving abilities to help or guide patients through proper medication regiment or treatment.


PROS:Good salaries, Wide variety of career options
CONS: Long hours, Potential restlessness
PERSONALITY MATCHES: Analytical, Detaill, Focused
PERSONALITY MISSES:Creative, Emotional, Disorganized

Expanding Professional Role

The pharmacist practicing today provides a much broader range of services than was offered even ten years ago. The profession has embraced the concept of pharmaceutical care which extends the pharmacist’s role to providing medication therapy that continues through to the goal of improved patient outcomes. Pharmacists are engaged in efforts to improve the quality of the drug use process and to identify ways to reduce medication errors. The expanding role of pharmacists increases as medications become increasingly complex and diverse, and the potential for their misuse continues to grow. In addition to counseling patients on the proper use of medication, the role of today’s pharmacist includes

  1. drug monitoring and disease management for defined conditions;
  2. participating in multidisciplinary clinical care teams;
  3. consulting on drug utilization programs,
  4. supporting health services research on outcomes of care;
  5. providing drug information;
  6. patient education;
  7. formulary management; and furthering public health initiatives such as smoking cessation programs, diabetes education
  8. and immunizations.

New drugs are appearing on the market at a faster rate. Some of these new drugs have gained almost immediate widespread acceptance, requiring continual updating of the pharmacists’ information base and maintaining ongoing skills in counseling patients and other members of health care teams. Studies have shown that pharmacists can contribute to reducing the cost of healthcare while at the same time improving patients’ use of medications and health outcomes. The savings have been demonstrated both in the hospital and ambulatory settings. Studies have also shown that pharmacists have an important role in preventing medication errors.

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