27 Jan5 Steps to for all those who want to become a Pharmacist

To work as a pharmacist, you will need to earn a degree as a Doctor of Pharmacy alongside with a state board’s license.

Pharmacist’s responsibilities

Pharmacists are professional working the field of medicine, who provide the prescribed drugs to the patients.  It is their task to make sure that every prescription corresponds to the right medicine, that dosage is right as well as work with other experts to evaluate new treatments and medicine. In addition, they provide advice to patients, regarding their medication, such as possible side effects, storage and brands. In case with patients with chronic disease, such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure, they often interact with them in order to help them manage their diseases. Experience pharmacists often take on a role of an instructor, training the new pharmacy students and interns how to perform different tasks, such as register substances, keep records of prescriptions etc.

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree or Pass the Pre-Pharmacy Program

A degree in Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharm. D. is needed to obtain the pharmacist license, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to qualify for the Pharm. D. program, you can either complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program or earn a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy science after you have successfully finished a four-year program. You can enroll to a Pharm.D program with both bachelor’s degree and a pre-pharmacy program; however, there are schools that prefer bachelor’s degree applicants. Each program generally covers subjects in physiology and anatomy, chemistry, and biology. The program of bachelor’s degree also covers pharmacology, pharmaceutics, biochemistry, as well as toxicology.

Step 2: Get a Pharm.D. Degree

After you have successfully enrolled a Pharm.D. program, you will spend the next four years studying courses, such as chemistry, biological, and physics, since they are being applied in the pharmaceutical sciences. During your later years of studying, the curriculum changes its focus from science to clinical based program, incorporating courses such as pathology, therapeutics, and pharmacokinetics. The final year is reserved for the hands-on experience gained at the outpatient care centers, hospitals, and community clinics.

Step 3: Get the License for Pharmacist

To be a pharmacist in the United States, a license is a must. After completing your Pharm. D., a test used by all states, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam must be completed. The NAPLEX is a computer-based exam and it consists of 185 questions, which will test your ability of producing and supplying medicine, evaluating health data, and measuring therapeutic results.

In addition, many states require pharmacists to finish a 90-question Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence test, which is designed to test the legal part of the pharmaceuticals knowledge.

Both these tests are administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Depending on your state, you might have to complete an extra exam.

Step 4: Think About Postgraduate Preparation

As a Pharm.D. graduate, you can further your training through pharmacy fellowships or residencies, which usually last from one to two years.  The choice of which program to choose depends on the job you want to perform. For example, if you are interested in clinical settings, you should complete a residency, whereas those interested in research and working in laboratory, should invest their time in fellowship program.

Step 5: Study the Work Settings Probability

Pharmacists can work in different work settings, from grocery and department stores to personal care and retail health stores. In 2008, 65 % of 269,900 pharmacists worked in the retail settings and 22 % worked in hospitals. The rest of them were employed in federal agencies, physicians’ offices, and wholesale industry.