Over the years, the options for work for professional pharmacists have increased. Pharmacists can choose to work in a number of environments and fields, from hospital facilities to retail or consulting. A retail pharmacist primarily gives the appropriate and prescribed medication for a patient or customer. They also provide guidance and tips in the proper dosage and administration of drugs, as well as side effects or interactions that can take place. At times, general tips on staying healthy and preventing sickness are also sought. A retail pharmacist is like a consultant for the many people in need of advice about medication, which keeps a social aspect with the medical aspect of the job.
A hospital pharmacist, on the other hand, dispenses medicines to the patients and also takes charge of other possible treatments and diagnostics. A hospital pharmacist works with doctors in identifying proper dosage and possible contraindications or side effects for a drug and what medication interactions can take place in a patient’s medication treatment. Sometimes, a pharmacist also does rounds in the hospital, just like the doctors. Unlike in retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacists deal with different medication administration since drugs are used via intravenous or IV and need to be premixed by the pharmacist.
Although they make rounds sometimes, hospital pharmacists don’t have much face-to-face relationships with patients. They are more in contact with the nurses and doctors in the hospital and focus on the stock of medications a hospital pharmacy should have. The hours worked in both retail and hospital pharmacy works come at around 40 hours every week, night shifts, weekend work and holiday work included. Because of their nature, hospital pharmacies are open 24 hours most of the time while retail pharmacies close shop in the evening.
There are also more specialized fields in pharmacy aside from the two more common areas of retail and hospital pharmacy. These areas include oncology and chemotherapy section of the nuclear pharmacy, IV nutrition supplementation and geriatrics. Pharmacists in these highly specialized areas manage the medication plans of patients and cooperate closely with other members of the health care team to fully maximize patient benefits and safety.
Hospital pharmacists are always working with hospital staff and health care providers to make certain of medication safety for patients. They also supervise day-to-day responsibilities of their clinical staff. Like doctors, they may do rounds of the wards and rooms in the hospital to check on patients. Hospital work may also include observing and noting ideas for cases to be presented in conferences and pharmacy programs. A capacity to work and coordinate with other people is specially needed in this pharmacist position and being a good communicator and being sociable are noteworthy attributes of a good candidate.