Pharmacists work mostly in chemists where they dispense prescribed medications to patients and monitor their drug treatments. They also commonly work in hospitals where they provide pharmacological information to other health care professionals.
The pharmacist at the medical store is the most visible to the layman. They do the job of reviewing a doctor’s prescription dispensing medicines, and processing insurance claims.
Pharmacists build relationships with patients that are completely based on trust. This relationship has tremendous potential. Though medical care is offered by a doctor, nurse and other people in a hospital, the pharmacist connects to the patient more as a regular person.
You could do a lot to improve patient health and well-being because a pharmacist seems more approachable and accessible.
What will you do daily
Reviewing drugs prescribed by doctors and preparing medications accordingly.
Monitoring drug therapies and advising on ongoing treatments.
Developing the pharmacological knowledge of other health care professions, like doctors, nurses, and medical students, by providing training and clinical information.
Keep stock records of the medicines.
Set up medical camps along with doctors to administer different vaccines like flu shots.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS A pharmacist has to communicate with different people regularly. You have to possess excellent communication skills to provide the right advice to people. For example, explaining the dosage of medicine is important. If you do not explain it properly, patients may end up taking the wrong dosage which can prove harmful to their health.
ABILITY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS You must accurately follow the instructions given by the doctor in the prescription while handing out the medicines.
KNOWLEDGE OF MEDICINES You should have sound knowledge of different medicines and their possible side-effects. For example, if a medicine has drowsiness as a side-effect, you have to inform the customer so that he/she is aware of this.
COMPUTER SKILLS You have to maintain an inventory or stock of the medicines. You will also need to keep the list of medicines up-to-date.
MANAGERIAL SKILLS Whether you own a pharmacy shop or work in a pharmaceutical company, you will have to monitor the work of your interns and technicians. You have to guide them and ensure that they are handing over the right medicine and dosage to your customers.
Where will you work
You could work in a hospital under a doctor where you will help patients understand their prescriptions, and give them vaccine shots under the guidance of a physician. You can also work in a clinic or a laboratory where you will be handing medicines to the patients, based on instructions given by the doctor.
At a hospital or medical establishment, you will not have set work hours. Your patients may need you at any time so you could end up working at night shifts too. You can also set up your own pharmacy or medical shop where you will sell medicines to customers. If you own a shop, you can hire technicians to work for you. You will need to monitor their work and maintain the stock of medicines.
Medical stores rarely close- even for holidays, so you may end up working all days of the week. Most of the work is on your feet, you could hire people to help you but it's still a lot of work. Sometimes the day of a pharmacist can go on for 12 hours. Be prepared for upset and irritable customers as well.
You can also work as a professor in different medical colleges and teach students about pharmacy. If you opt to become a medical representative, you will visit doctors in their clinics or hospitals, and persuade them to prescribe certain medicines (of the pharmaceutical company that you represent) to their patients. In this case, your work will involve field-work.
You can start as an intern while you are studying, to gain practical knowledge. You can choose to work with a doctor or in a hospital or a medical shop.
You will start your career as a technician. You will learn to give vaccine shots to patients and study the different medicines prescribed by doctors. After becoming a technician, the next step is to become a pharmacist.
As a pharmacist, you will monitor and guide the technicians working for you. You will work closely with the doctor if you work in a hospital or a clinic.
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill set and internship experience. But we can give you a general idea.
A technician can make around Rs. 48,000 - 60,000 per year. A pharmacist can expect a salary of around Rs. 3,00,000 - 5,00,000 per year.
A medical representative can expect to earn around Rs. 3,60,000 - 4,80,000 per annum. There may even be incentives (more money) depending on the number of sales you make each month. The amount of extra money varies from company to company.
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