Pharmacists are responsible for accurately and safely filling as well as dispensing prescription medications. They monitor their patients' drug histories, ensuring there are no medications that will interact with one another and offer their patients counselling on correct use of their prescription drugs. Additionally, pharmacists advise their patients on the selection of over-the-counter medications for common colds and other illnesses. Pharmacists also provide health information on a wide variety of medical topics such as health and diet and conditions such as asthma and diabetes or offer advice on things like smoking cessation.
Doctor of Pharmacy
The degree pharmacists in the United States earn the Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm D. This graduate-level degree usually takes about six to seven years to complete. This includes three to four years of undergraduate work followed by four years of graduate work in an accredited college of pharmacy.
The Pharm D. has replaced the traditional bachelor's degree in pharmacy, which U.S. schools no longer offer.
The Pharm D. prepares students for all aspects of pharmacy practice and puts additional emphasis on clinical pharmacy, unlike the previous bachelor's degree.
Students graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree have a wide variety of jobs available to them, each with their own distinct salary range. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics predicts the employment of pharmacists will rise by 17 per cent by 2008 to 2018, making pharmacy an excellent career choice for prospective college students.
Retail, or community, pharmacists work in pharmacies that serve the community. Community pharmacies exist in grocery stores, stand-alone drug stores and big-box retailers.
According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a staff retail pharmacist with a Pharm D. is between £65,000 and about £76,050.
The average salary for a Pharmacist in Charge, which is the pharmacist responsible for the operations of the entire retail pharmacy, averages between £66,950 to £79,300 a year.
Clinical pharmacists are pharmacists who have specialised in a certain area, such as oncology, paediatrics or infectious diseases. These specialised pharmacists often work in hospitals or clinics and assist physicians in choosing drug regimens for their patients.
The average salary of a clinical pharmacist in the U.S. ranges from £58,500 a year to £72,150 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.com.
Hospital pharmacists fill and monitor the medications of hospitalised patients. Hospital pharmacists advise the medical staff on the correct selection of drugs as well as monitoring for adverse drug reactions. They often prepare sterile IV medications as well. They may be responsible for counselling patients on the correct use of medications before they leave the hospital.
Hospital pharmacists in the U.S have an average salary of £68,900 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.com.
Currently, many areas of the U.S. are experiencing shortages of pharmacists. This is due largely in part to the length and limited training capacity of pharmacy programs. Because of this, individuals pursuing a career in pharmacy can expect excellent job prospects and will have little difficulty finding work. In addition, because pharmacy is lucrative career, many pharmacists choose to work only part time, and this creates the need for additional pharmacists to help fill the ever-increasing number of prescription drugs that are required for the ageing baby boomer population, according to the BLS.