Job Title: Pharmacist, Pharmacy Manager
Type of Company: I work for a pharmacy chain that has stores throughout the United States.
Education: BS, Pharmacy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences
Previous Experience: Before entering pharmacy school, I did well in my high school chemistry class. I knew that I wanted a career that involved chemistry, but I was unsure what. My high school chemistry teacher suggested that I look into pharmacy school. I did, as well as volunteer at the pharmacy in my local hospital. I liked what I saw and decided to follow that career path.
Job Tasks: I am a pharmacist and pharmacy manager at a chain pharmacy. My primary job is to make sure that prescriptions are filled accurately and that my customers' health is well taken care of. In order to make sure that a prescription has been filled accurately, I have to check it against the original prescription that was given to the patient by the physician. Then I have to make sure that the correct medication is in the correct prescription bottle. I verify that prescriptions are filled accurately according to doctor's orders and that they do not interfere with other medications that the patient may already be taking.
I also answer phone calls from doctor's offices and patients alike. Doctor's offices call in prescriptions while patients call with questions. It is part of my job to answer patient medication and illness questions. I also spend a good part of my day calling doctor's offices for refill requests, as well as insurance companies to find out why a patient's insurance may not be working or why a certain medication is not being covered.
It is also part of my job to control medication inventory and staffing at the pharmacy. It is very important to make sure that we have enough medication in stock to serve the needs of the community, while not having so much on the shelves that it will outdate before we can dispense it.
Additionally, it is also a top priority to make sure that my employees are productive and happy. It is a full day's work.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is helping to make people feel better, and giving them advice on how to lead healthier lives.
The worst part of my job is stress and time constraints. Being the manager of the pharmacy is very stressful, and when people don't feel well, sometimes they can be impatient. A lot of people don't realize how many steps and how much time goes into making sure that a prescription is filled accurately.
Job Tips: Before investing the time at pharmacy school, work in one first. It is very stressful, and may not be the career path that you want to take. Pharmacy school is itself a lot of work, and I would suggest stretching the school year out into the summer instead of trying to cram everything in during two semesters. Summer classes are smaller and more help is available if you need it. The course load is lighter over the summer too, so you will be able to put forth more effort towards each class.
Work part-time during your schooling; it'll keep you focused and teach you time-management.
Additional Thoughts: If one is looking to be a pharmacist, you need to be able to multi-task, handle stress and be very patient. If you do not possess these qualities, community pharmacy may not be for you.
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