Pharmacists Job Description video

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When a prescription is written for a drug or treatment, the next step for the patient is usually a visit to the pharmacist. And while for most people, that often means going to the local drug store, hospitals and community clinics have pharmacies as well. Typically, pharmacists spend most of the day standing at a counter, dispensing medication. They may also compound the medication, though this is now a much smaller part of a pharmacist’s practice. While many of the drugs they handle are pre-packaged by manufacturers, pharmacists are expected to understand the ingredients—and how they might interact with other medications. This is a profession that requires careful attention to detail. Making a mistake and dispensing the wrong medicine could have life-threatening consequences. Part of the job is being able to explain to people how the prescription should be taken or administered, and providing information on drug interactions and side effects. There’s also a lot of paperwork involved. To study to become a pharmacist, you must first prove your aptitude in science and math by passing the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. After earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at a college or university, pharmacists then need to be licensed by the state. With additional education, pharmacists can move into administration or teaching. They can even do research to develop new drugs. But the goal is the same: helping people get the medications they need to get well and stay healthy.

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