Pharmacy is an evolving profession in the field of medical science. This results in pharmacists becoming in expert in certain field of pharmacy. Pharmacy has a wide scope and pharmacists can engage themselves in different fields, each specializing in certain area. There are different types of pharmacies and your skills, qualification and experience can help you decide your career choice. Here is a brief description of some jobs and career opportunities that may help you in deciding your career choice as a pharmacist.
Ambulatory Care Pharmacist
This is primarily related to care of ambulatory patients and management of medicines for them, which implies that you should provide health care to the patients in clinic. To be an Ambulatory care pharmacist, you should have at least Bachelor of science in pharmacy and a board certification in ambulatory care. The practice site is commonly community clinics.
To be an academic pharmacists you should possess a PhD degree or Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD). An excellent verbal and written communication skill is a must. You must also have knowledge of computers and, able to produce research papers and comfortable with teaching job. The upside is that you don’t need an active license in pharmacy and you will be working in an office.
The practice site are commonly Universities or School of pharmacies.
As a community pharmacist, your job is to fill the prescriptions. Additional responsibilities include management of drug inventory and supervision of pharmacy technicians. To be a community pharmacist, you should have BS in pharmacy along with an active pharmacy license.
Common practice site include community pharmacies, Drug stores and supermarkets.
The hospice pharmacist job is commonly related to providing care to the patients in a home or in hospice along with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. To become a hospice pharmacist, an active license to practice pharmacy is a must. You should be comfortable in end of life discussion and managing pain.
The practice site is hospice or patient’s home.
Hospital staff pharmacist:
Hospital staff pharmacists commonly work in a hospital. They are responsible for implementing drug administration protocols, providing clinical care to the patients, management and distribution of drugs in hospital and providing counsel to the patients. To be a hospital staff pharmacist, you should possess BS with pharmacy license, good communication and teamwork skills
The practice site for this type of pharmacist is hospital.
Geriatric pharmacist or consultant pharmacists can dispense drugs just like regular pharmacist but they specialize in more consultative role to the patients and reviewing medical charts. Their role is also to ensure proper management of medications for patient’s betterment. For Consultant pharmacist, you should possess PharmD or BS, with active license in pharmacy and certification in geriatric pharmacy.
You should be prepared for working in assisted living centers, long term care facilities, Psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes etc.
Infectious disease pharmacist
Infectious disease pharmacist is a challenging subject. It is generally related to setting up and overseeing anti-biotic use, assisting in the selection and administration, dosage optimization and drug selection on disease and outpatient management. you should possess PharmD with active license in pharmacy, fellowship in infectious disease and excellent knowledge in microbiology.
Common practice site includes hospitals, Research centers and governmental bodies.
Nutrition support pharmacist
Nutrition support pharmacist specializes in enteral and parenteral nutrition in collaboration with other health care professionals. Their key role is to treat or prevent malnutrition to maintain or restore health status.
You must have either a PharmD or BS, with active license in pharmacy and board certification in Nutrition support pharmacy, ability to work as a team and experience in IV admixture.
The common practice sites are patient’s home, ambulatory clinics and acute health facilities.
Nuclear Practice Pharmacist
A nuclear pharmacist specialises in dispensing and compounding of radioactive materials for use in medical procedure and maintains their quality standards. The responsibilities include ordering, receiving and storage of radiopharmaceuticals drugs, along with compounding radiopharmaceuticals that are not easily available and handling of hazardous chemicals safely. To practice nuclear pharmacy, you must possess PharmD or BS, with active license in pharmacy and board certification in nuclear pharmacy.
The practice site commonly includes hospitals, specialised pharmacies and diagnostic centres.
An oncology pharmacist dispenses chemotherapy or other medications especially for cancer patients. Medications used in cancer have to be handled and stored in specific ways. Oncology pharmacist mostly specialize in handling and administration of drugs primarily related to cancer.
To practice Oncology, a pharmacist needs PharmD or BS, with active license in pharmacy and residency or board certification in Oncology. You must also possess experience in critical care.
The practice site is commonly cancer centers, hospitals and universities.
There are many other job and career for pharmacist like pediatric pharmacists, pharmaceutical industry pharmacists, Pharmacy Benefit manager, Drug specialist, poison control pharmacists, etc. Each of these specialise in a certain aspect of pharmacies and each requires specific qualifications and expertise to master. I hope this list will help you in pursuing your career as a student of pharmacy.