Job Title: Pharmacist
Type of Company: A large tertiary-care hospital.
Education: Doctor of Pharmacy, Northeastern University
Previous Experience: none
Job Tasks: My primary responsibilities are related to safe and cost-effective medication use in a hospital setting.
On a typical day, I spend most of my time with a medical team that takes care of patients. This team includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. My job is to evaluate every medication the team requests to ensure that it is safe and appropriate before the patient takes it. If any of the medications are unsafe, or if there are others that are better suited, it is my job to suggest them and make changes. Sometimes that requires long conversations with the team about the best route to take to assure that the best possible outcomes are reached.
Taking care of patients in the hospital is very complicated and every medication comes with certain risks and benefits. And the other part of my job is being a teacher about these risks and benefits. This helps doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of medications.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best Being able to teach a variety of healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Being part of a team that works toward improving peoples lives. Helping patients understand their medications so that they are able to take care of themselves. Being able to learn something new every day and always being challenged to be innovative.
Worst Sometimes looking into everything about every drug gets tiring. You need to work evenings, days and weekends and that can be difficult if you have a family.
Job Tips: Pharmacy school takes six years to complete. So you want to make sure that being a pharmacist appeals to you before you commit to it. Try to get a job in a hospital or pharmacy to expose yourself to the field before making any decisions. In school, focus on math and science, especially chemistry. They'll come in handy.
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