How To Become a Pharmacist discover more about the requirements to become a pharmacist. Learn about what a pharmacist does, what type of education must be a pharmacist, the potential salaries, and how to become licensed.
The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) coursework includes classes in chemistry, medical ethics, pharmacology, health management, and pharmacy law. You’ll also intern in various settings like community and hospital pharmacies to gain hands-on training from professional pharmacists. The coursework is rigorous to prepare you for your licensing exams.
How To Become a Pharmacist
Interested in learning how to become a pharmacist? Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing controlled medication to patients in the proper doses and explaining how and when to use these medications. They may also discuss possible drug interactions with patients to ensure they use the prescription responsibly.
At many pharmacies, pharmacists will also give flu shots and provide other immunization services. Pharmacists might also offer advice on nutrition, exercise, stress management and other general health issues, sometimes pointing customers to over-the-counter medications that might treat their symptoms.
Pharmacists might work in several different environments. Some work in dedicated pharmacies, often attached to clinics. Others work in hospitals, outpatient centers, or merchandising stores.
Rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, warehousing and storage, and specialty services are common to pharmacists’ work environments. Most of the time, pharmacists work on their feet, organizing and distributing medication as needed. Their work is of the utmost importance, as any mistakes made can result in serious harm to patients if they do not receive the correct medications.
1.Fulfill Prerequisite Requirements
Before participating in a pharmaceutical program, a student must first complete some undergraduate coursework. The prerequisite qualifications for entry to a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program usually consist of about two years of specific undergraduate coursework in social sciences, humanities, calculus, physiology, chemistry and biology. Although it is not required for admission to most Pharm.D. programs, students may acquire a bachelor’s degree. Pharm.D. programs’ specific requirements vary at each college or university, so it’s important to research the various prerequisites from school to school.
2.Attain a Pharm.D. Degree
Most Pharm.D. programs are completed in four years, but some are designed to be finished three years. While enrolled in this program, students participate in classroom discussions, listen to lectures, and perform laboratory work. Besides learning about drug therapy and medication dispensing, students learn how to actively interview and communicate with healthcare providers and patients to determine the best treatment route for a patient or the best use for a new drug.
Preparation for becoming a pharmacist includes completing a training program commonly referred to by pharmacy schools as Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). Similar in format to a residency or fellowship, this occurs during the latter part of a degree program. Depending on the college curriculum, APPEs last one to two years. When participating in APPEs, a retail pharmacist works alongside trained professionals and learns how to perform work duties in a hands-on environment.
3.Complete State Licensure Requirements
Pharmacists need to be licensed with their state to practice pharmacy. To qualify for licensure, a retail pharmacist has to have a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited university. A retail pharmacist also has to complete a series of examinations that usually include the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). The NAPLEX tests proficiency and skills in pharmacy, while the MPJE covers pharmaceutical law.
Prospective retail pharmacists can find positions in a variety of settings. In addition to jobs at drugstores and pharmacies, positions are available in such settings as grocery stores or retail chain merchandise stores. Retail workers can sometimes find full-time employment with residency programs or fellowships.
students who specialize in certain medical areas can earn voluntary certification. For example, a pharmacist can earn certification in diabetes education or oncology to demonstrate their expertise to clients and potential employers. Additionally, pharmacists working in larger organizations can advance into management positions.
To sum up, aspiring retail pharmacists must complete a Pharm.D., or doctoral-level educational program and earn licensure before they can find work in the field.