If you’ve ever gotten a prescription filled before, you’ve interacted with a pharmacist. You also could have met with them in a hospital or long-term care setting. Maybe they’ve even given you a flu shot or checked your blood pressure. Pharmacists do many tasks and work in many places!
Healthcare is a growing field and being a pharmacist is a great career option for anyone who is a strong communicator and who enjoys science and math. If you’re looking for a healthcare career that can allow you to assist and educate people in achieving wellness, pharmacy could be an excellent fit for you. Here are three reasons why this field is worth considering.
1. You could help others get and stay healthy.
Pharmacists work directly with patients to help them get healthy as fast as possible. They work with patients to identify and address anything, such as lifestyle or diet, that might impact their ability to take medications as prescribed. (This is why communication skills are so important for pharmacists!) As medication specialists who collaborate with patients and health care professionals, pharmacists can improve medication adherence and health outcomes, while decreasing medication mistakes, harmful effects, and costs.
Pharmacists can provide immunizations and be particularly valuable during natural disasters and epidemics. They can also help patients better manage medication for chronic diseases and provide health services such as:
● Blood pressure monitoring
● Cholesterol screening
● Asthma care
● Smoking cessation consulting
● Bone density scans for osteoporosis screening
● Diabetes disease management
● Anticoagulation management
As the US population continues to age, pharmacists will need to assist elderly patients in navigating complex medication requirements and regimens and in finding ways to lower their prescription spending. Additionally, as researchers develop new medicines, pharmacists will need to aid care providers and patients in understanding differences between medicines and determining which medicine is the best fit.
2. You could pursue a variety of career paths.
Pharmacists can work in a range of settings, including community or independent pharmacies, long-term care facilities, hospitals, the pharmaceutical research and sales industry, mail-order pharmacies, government agencies, academia, and even in patients’ homes.
Depending on what you choose, your roles could include tasks such as
● Dispensing medication, instructing patients on how to take medicines, educating them on side effects, and checking for potential interactions between medications
● Working in a care team to determine effective medications and doses for hospital patients
● Managing medications and advising care providers on nursing home patients
● Measuring and delivering the radioactive materials used in digital imaging
● Preparing intravenous medications for homebound patients
● Teaching pharmacy courses and acting as a preceptor for student rotations
● Helping pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs
● Informing care providers about new medications and facilitating clinical trials
● Supervising staff pharmacists and pharmacy technicians within a retail chain
3. You could start making an impact sooner rather than later.
Some healthcare careers, especially those with higher salaries, require first a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s, and sometimes a doctorate. All that time in school adds up. Pursuing a career in pharmacy offers a simpler path while still leading to a career where the 2021 median wage was six figures. Becoming a pharmacist requires completing pre-pharmacy undergraduate coursework followed by earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Most PharmD programs are 4-year problems. Some schools, like South University, offer an accelerated PharmD program that can be completed in as little as 3 years.
Take the Next Step Today
Our 3-year accelerated PharmD program at South University, Savannah prepares graduates to excel in community practice, hospital practice, residency training, the pharmaceutical industry, and business. The program provides hands-on clinical experience and is taught by experts in the pharmacy field. Learn more now!