What is pharmacist?
Pharmacist is the vital part of the healthcare team who provides prescription medications to individuals. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010-2011) Their responsibilities cover few essential areas.
Firstly, the main role of a pharmacist is to dispense medicines to their patients according to the prescription given. Before this, they have to ensure that they delivering the right drug, the strength and dosage of the medicine are appropriate, as well as ensuring the medication is safety and can work effectively in the human body. (Swanson, 2005)
Secondly, they advise their patients in assuring the appropriate use of medications. It is important to tell the patient about the name of the drug, what is it for, when to take the drug, how many times per day, whether it should be taken before meals, after meals or with meals, the method of taking the drug and its side effects and possible drug-drug interactions. (Swanson, 2005)
Pharmacists often work together in a team with other healthcare professional like physicians and nurses. In the process, pharmacists will give advice to them on the selection of medication, by providing the evidences based on the dosage form, the side effects and possible interaction with food of the medication. On the other hand, pharmacists also take part in research and clinical studies. Recently, pharmacists are recruited to conduct pharmacy-based research in pharmacies. (Swanson, 2005)
Nowadays, there is increasing number of people take pharmacy as their profession. As everyone knows, there is many practice area for pharmacists like community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, industrial pharmacist and academic pharmacist. Other than that, there are few specialties in pharmacy which include oncology pharmacy and nuclear pharmacy.
Community pharmacists are responsible in maintaining and improving people’s health by offering advice to their patients and dispense prescription medicines. Their jobs are always related to retail pharmacists as they are selling over the counter medicines and the other healthcare products to public such as supplements, toiletries, skin care products and hair care products in their pharmacy. (Pharmacareers.co.uk, 2011) Nowadays, some community pharmacists are offering specialist health checks which have been traditionally undertaken by doctors. For example, they perform diabetes screening, blood pressure monitoring, weight loss program and minor ailments service in their pharmacy. (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, 2011)
Besides that, there are many other typical work activities for the community pharmacists. Firstly, they have to ensure that they supply the medicine correctly because they are responsible for any dispensing errors. It is also important for them to keep up to date with pharmacy practice, new medicines and their uses. Furthermore, they are responsible to manage the stocks to...