Whenever a doctor writes a prescription for a drug or treatment, a pharmacist is the person who measures out the medication and makes sure a patient knows how to take it safely. And while filling a prescription often means a visit to the local drug store or grocery store, pharmacists also work in hospitals. Typically, pharmacists spend most of the day standing at a counter, preparing and dispensing medication. They may also personalize or “compound” the medication, though that is now less common than it used to be. Pharmacists are knowledgeable about medication ingredients and how they might interact with other medications. This is a profession that requires careful attention to detail. Making a mistake and dispensing the wrong medicine could have life-threatening consequences. Pharmacists also maintain patient records, inventory their supplies, and keep up registries of controlled drugs. Some pharmacists conduct research to develop new drugs. Most work full-time, and since the timing of medications can be crucial, they may work nights and weekends. If you want to become a pharmacist, you’ll need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, then pass two licensure exams. For some, the demanding education and ongoing learning needed to stay current might be a hard pill to swallow, but knowing you help people get the medications they need to be healthy, can help the medicine go down.
What they do:
Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.
On the job, you would:
Review prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.
Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
Maintain records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, or registries of poisons, narcotics, or controlled drugs.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
teaching people how to do something
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Computer records systems
Label making software
RxKinetics UD Labels for Windows
Analytical or scientific software
TTP LabTech comPOUND
professional degree or doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.