Job Title: Registered Pharmacist
Type of Company: Our company sells prescription drugs in several towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Education: BS, Pharmacy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (Worcester, MA)
Previous Experience: I worked through college in a retail pharmacy and a Boston hospital . After getting registered, I worked in a retail pharmacy, and later became the owner of a small chain of retail with my husband. I also did volunteer work in a free clinic dispensing prescriptions for the needy.
Job Tasks: As a retail pharmacist, I work directly with individuals who've been given a prescription by a doctor. It's my responsibility to read the written prescription, confirm the medication and the dosage, and then prepare it and return it to the customer with clear instructions for its use.
It's important in this setting to know the customer fairly well: to familiarize yourself with any other medications he is using, and explain the consequences of combining his new medication with the others he's been taking. This sort of counseling becomes more complex and important every day as our understanding of drug interactions increases; nor is it simplified by the growing use of nuclear medicine and the preparation of medications for nursing home patients.
like most retail pharmacists, I work a 12 hour day (usually 9am-9pm). The days are often "staggered" -- I work every other day, but my work week is still 35-40 hours long. I am assisted at busy times by a pharmacy "tech," whose work I have to monitor and supervise. A college education for a pharmacist is 6 years long and the curriculum is heavily weighted towards the sciences and math. A pharmacy tech is required to take similar courses but at a less intensive level, and is then specifically trained by the pharmacist on duty. Pharmacy techs would be more apt to work a regular work week of 6-8 hours a day.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with people directly. A great deal of respect is given to a pharmacist, and living up to that is both challenging and uplifting. But it is difficult keeping up with the paperwork required by the insurance companies and government regulations.
1.During high school and college, get a job in a pharmacy. Speak to the pharmacists about your interest, and try to observe, help and learn as much as possible at this time. It's the best way to find out if you will enjoy this position. 2. Make sure you are taking math and science at the highest high school level. 3. Talk to pharmacists about retail and hospital prescription centers and research. They all offer different opportunities in the field of pharmacy.
Additional Thoughts: This is a field that is always growing and changing, which can make it very exciting. The hours can be long, but that is not as difficult as it sounds. In a busy location, the speed of the work can sometimes make it stressful, but overall, it is still a very satisfying occupation for both men and women. It can also be a fine stepping stone into other medical fields.
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