When people hear the word “pharmacist,” they often picture a genial man or woman in a short white coat behind a counter who counts out medications all day.
While this traditional ideation is not necessarily inaccurate, it is most certainly not the entire picture either.
The career of pharmacy is an amazingly broad one that has areas of practice for every type of interest. A single degree in pharmacy can open up an incredible number of doors. In direct contrast to the common image, some pharmacists might never have face-to-face contact with patients. Perhaps most surprising is that many pharmacists never even physically see or handle actual medications. It really is incredible how many different career paths are available to pharmacists.
This is the prototypical pharmacist working at the drugstore down the street that people associate most with pharmacy. Included are pharmacists that work for an independent pharmacy, a small business often owned by the pharmacist or pharmacists working there, such as supermarkets.
In this practice setting, the pharmacist is ultimately responsible for the care that the patient receives. All prescriptions are checked by the pharmacist to ensure that the right patient is receiving the right medication at the right dose. Any patient questions and issues are assessed by the pharmacist who can make recommendations. The operation of the pharmacy and personnel management are usually part of the pharmacist’s responsibilities too.
Another popular field of pharmacy is working in a hospital or health system setting. These pharmacists may still receive and review prescription orders like a community pharmacist, but there are many other differences. The health system pharmacist usually works within an inpatient pharmacy, managing the prescriptions for the treatment of admitted patients. The medications used in a health system setting are usually for much more acute illnesses as opposed to the management of long-term disease states, such as various antibiotics and the use of IV fluids.
A clinical pharmacist is almost like a live drug information resource right at the fingertips of physicians, nurses, and other providers. The primary role of the clinical pharmacist is to provide cognitive functions, such as recommendations to physicians, educating patients on proper therapy, or even making adjustments to drug therapy regimens based on a protocol without having to receive a new prescription from a prescriber. Clinicians often have very in-depth knowledge of the medications they most often utilize in their practice and can tailor medication therapy regimens to specific patients based on their other diseases or conditions.
Nuclear pharmacy is a very unique and specialized area of practice. Nuclear pharmacists prepare radioactive pharmaceuticals that are most often used in radio imaging. Hospitals and clinics order the isotopes and they are prepared the same day by the nuclear pharmacist. The preparation of these isotopes requires the usage of specific machines and techniques. Safety is also very important, as long term exposure to the radioactive materials can be detrimental. Special regulations apply to this industry compared to other areas of pharmacy to maintain the safety of the pharmacists, patients, and the environment as well.
About Our App – LocumTree
LocumTree is the first all-in-one platform with a dedicated app, that allows locum pharmacists to build a profile and manage shifts. LocumTree is a booking platform, not a locum agency, which means there are no hidden costs. Employers have the ability to handpick their contractors, based on their requirements. Download our app today to jumpstart into a pharmacist locum career.
For further information on locum pharmacists, the tasks they fulfill, and other inquiries about our app, contact our informative team and they’ll be happy to help.