The main purpose of pharmacy is to provide convenient and reliable access to essential medicines and devices to the patients. For example, a pharmacy provides necessary items needed for a patient who is in pain. A pharmacy staff can assist the patients by answering questions regarding their prescription needs and offering suggestions on how to buy or prepare their medications. They also can provide basic health care and preventative measures such as regular drug screenings for patients.
A pharmacy technician or pharmacist usually works under the supervision of a pharmacist or doctor. Technicians work with the design and production of medicines in compounding and batch preparation areas. They perform tasks such as filling out forms, counting pills, labeling bottles, mixing ingredients, tabulating and completing drug mixes and verifying identity and quantity of medications. Some pharmacists also perform tasks such as maintaining pharmacy inventory and order processing.
This career is ideal for graduates who have bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy or nursing degree in any degree program. Pharmacy is one of the few professions that does not require a doctoral degree. Most programs in pharmacy offer programs at the associate or master’s level. Pharmacy Technicians who get licensed after completion of an associate’s degree program have more job opportunities and salary. Pharmacy Technicians who obtain national certification have higher starting salaries and increased job security.
Community pharmacists are professionals who serve patients in a local community. A pharmacy technician in a community pharmacy facilitates patient care by dispensing and labeling medication. He or she also interacts with patients and doctors on issues such as questions and problems. Some community pharmacists provide services to uninsured patients and cater to health concerns such as sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes and pregnancy. In some communities, pharmacists collaborate with hospitals on issues such as immunizations and disease prevention.
Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists work in development and production of new drugs. They test products for strength and purity. They measure finished products for contaminants and make necessary adjustments before distribution. Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists work on the development of new drugs by working closely with medical science experts and engineers. They prepare clinical documentation and conduct trials on new drugs for approval by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).