Pharmacist Job Description | Duties and Responsibilities [Updated for 2024]

While growing up, I never really understood the pharmacist job description. And I remained Ignorant until I was about to decide what career to venture into and was considering pharmacy.

I decided to know more about what pharmacists do.

If you are reading this article, it is either you are also considering a career in pharmacy. Or you want to know more about what pharmacists do as I did a few years ago.

Although after understanding a pharmacist job description, I didn’t become one.

I really hope this article helps you make the right choice.

I may not be a pharmacist, but I know it is a very wonderful career choice. And I believe you have all it takes to make a good pharmacist.

Like I became a good copywriter, I believe you can be a good pharmacist if you desire to.

Who is a pharmacist?

Pharmacists are certified health care providers who have studied pharmacy and are licensed to issue drugs that have been prescribed by doctors or other health care providers.

They also have the responsibility of educating people about the use and misuse of medications.

It is also important to know the difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacologist.

They may sound alike but do not carry out the same function.

Pharmacologists are professionals that carry out research on the effect of medication on humans.

Why pharmacy?

If you are considering a career path in the medical field, and you have ruled out being a doctor or nurse, pharmacy is something you should certainly consider.

Here are some reasons why you should consider a career path in pharmacy.

  • Doctors are humans, and sometimes they are also prone to mistakes. As a pharmacist, you are in position to help check for accuracy in the doctor’s prescription. And by so doing, you can save a life.
  • Because it will be your duties to dispense drugs, you will always stay current on any new medication in production.
  • Unlike other medical fields, as a pharmacist, you do not necessarily have to come in contact with blood or other body fluids.

If you understand how important drugs are in the medical field, and how right prescription and usage can save a life.

Just as wrong prescription and usage can take one, you will certainly see reasons why pharmacy is a good career option.

Is pharmacy the right profession for you?

Although the work of a pharmacist is very important, it doesn’t mean every one can do it.

The fact that you know and understand the job description doesn’t mean you can.

Before going on with a career in pharmacy, here are some questions you should consider asking yourself.

  • Am I willing to spend years to undergo the necessary training to become a pharmacist?
  • What is my financial status? Can I fully fund the training?
  • How good is my communication skill?  can I communicate the technical and non-technical information about drugs effectively?
  • Do I give proper attention to details?
  • And how good are my problem solving and observation skills?
  • Can I work well as part of a team?
  • Is my numerical skill good enough? 

After answering these questions, you may also have to decide on what type of pharmacist you want to become.

Pharmacist Duties and Responsibilities

Although there are three main areas a pharmacist may work in, the job description and duties are similar.

Pharmacy is an applied medical science that is concerned with the supply and control of drug quality, safety and usage.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a pharmacist;

  • Issuing of drugs prescribed by a doctor or other medical practitioners.
  • Properly reviewing drug prescriptions to ensure that they are accurate and suitable to handle the patient’s treatment.
  • In a position to educate Individuals and other health care providers about drugs. It’s usage, storage and possible side effects.
  • Keep necessary records that concern their field. Such as patients’ medical history.
  • In charge of quality control during drug production. They ensure that drugs are mixed using the right proportion of components.
  • They work as a team with doctors and nurses to ascertain the effectiveness of a drug on patients.
  • Sensitize patients on what brand of medication to buy.
  • In charge of handling and storage of drugs and other medical supplies.
  • Keep a record of purchased medical supplies.
  • Evaluate the strength, purity and effectiveness of medications.
  • They purchase medication in a large quantity and sell them as prescribed to patients.

What skills and personality suits a pharmacist

Considering all the above listed duties, you can tell that there are special skills required to do the job effectively.

Some of which include;

  • Ability to pay attention to delays
  • Good numerical skill
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to multitask
  • Great communication skill

What areas can a pharmacist work in?

Basically, there are three main areas a pharmacist can work in.

But, like I said, the duties and responsibilities are similar.

Hospital pharmacist

They work in the hospitals with doctors and are in charge of ordering, purchasing, issuing and storage of drugs.

It is their responsibility to ensure that there is constant supply of medication and all medical supplies in the hospital.

Industrial pharmacist

Industrial pharmacists work in pharmaceutical companies, they make research to discover new drugs and test the drugs for effectiveness and side effects.

After developing the drugs and ascertaining how effective and safe the drug is, they supply the finished product to hospitals.

Retail and community pharmacist

I guess these are the pharmacists we are all used to.

They are the local chemists we know who sell drugs to the public in their location and sensitize them on the uses and possible harmful effects.

Where can pharmacists work?

Every organisation or business that involves the production, sales and usage of drugs or medical supplies are employers of a pharmacist.

Such organisation or business include;

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Independent pharmacies (local chemist)
  • Supermarket pharmacies

Of course, you cannot practice as a pharmacist or own an independent pharmacy without the necessary qualifications.

On that note, let’s see the qualifications required to become a pharmacist.

What are the qualifications required to become a pharmacist?

Different countries have different requirements, but one thing that is common is the fact that you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.

This bachelor’s degree program may take up to five to six years to complete.

To learn more about How to become a pharmacist, click HERE.

Although it is not possible to become a pharmacist without proper university education.

A high school leaver may become an apprentice by working under the supervision of  a certified pharmacist.

During the course of this apprenticeship, he may learn how dispense prescribed drugs.

Apart from a certificate, employers also prefer to employ people with a level of working experience.

Therefore every little experience you can obtain would be a plus to you.

How much do pharmacists earn?

According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, a pharmacist earns up to $124,170 yearly.

Although this figure may differ depending on your level of qualification and experience.

Another factor that may determine your pay is your location.

Pharmacists who work in more developed countries receive better pay.

Of course, your employer also determines your pay too.

Government employed pharmacists do not receive the same pay as pharmacists who work for private firms.

Conclusion; Pharmacist Job Description 

If you have read this article to this point, I believe you have a full knowledge of the full job description of a pharmacist.

Not everyone will become a medical practitioner, if you feel you are not ready for such job.

At the end of this article, you will find a list of other careers and their full job description.

But for those who believe that pharmacy is what they want, I believe you can make a good one.

Get the required qualification, develop all necessary skill. You have all it takes to become  good pharmacist.

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