This article pertains to the variety of different types of pharmacists that provide drugs and medications in a specialize field of study. The most common are listed below and each one differs from the next in what their field or setting may be. Pharmacists play a very important role in the healthcare field. They are highly trained in the dispensing of medications which requires an understanding of how drugs work and an understanding of drug interactions with other drugs the patient may be taking, the effects of the drugs on the body, the proper dose and strengths, and the side-affects that each drug may contain.
Clinical – provides direct patient care services with the use of medications and promotes disease prevention, health and wellness. This is a very specialized field of study and accuracy and high knowledge on medications is a must. Each patient has different needs and different medications and a Clinical pharmacist must know drug interactions. Most Clinical pharmacist work in a hospital setting where they are able to meet the patients for direct care if need be and interact with the doctor if needed. A higher education is required in order to pursue being a Clinical pharmacist.
Community or Retail – Retail pharmacists work in a store setting that has a pharmacy. They dispense or sell medications in stores like Walgreens and CVS. A community and a retail pharmacist are similar courses with different work settings.
Nuclear: nuclear pharmacists are the ones who prepare test or diagnostic materials that have radioactive matter. They have no direct interaction with patients and only handle testing and diagnosis.
In general, all pharmacists, whatever the type of work setting or specialization, dispense prescription medication in one way or another. All are required to finish a four-year degree in pharmacy and then to acquire certification as a practicing pharmacist, as demanded by each state. A pharmacist must be keen and focused in every situation so that accidental prescription or dispensing of the wrong medication will be avoided. This is very important since an error in dispensing drugs can lead to complications and even death of the patient. Someone who has attention to detail and is meticulous is a great candidate for study and work as pharmacist.