Pharmacists- The pills experts

By: Alberto Maciel

Pharmacist

I have always wanted to work in the medical field, and even though sometimes hospitals and pharmacies give me the creeps, they've always fascinated me as well. Pharmacists work with medicine which is something I love, and they deal with a lot of science in their job, specially chemistry and biology. Luckily for me, science has always being my favorite subject.

Career research

Daily Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Provide information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.

  • Advise customers on the selection of medication brands, medical equipment, or healthcare supplies.

  • Review prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.

  • Complete records and do other administrative tasks.


Work Environment

Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in grocery and drug stores. They also work in hospitals and clinics. Some pharmacists work for the government and the military. In most settings, they spend much of the workday on their feet.


Education and Training

Future pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, a postgraduate professional degree. Almost all Doctor of Pharmacy programs require applicants to take postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy. Most programs require at least 2 years of undergraduate study, although some require a bachelor’s degree. Most programs also demand for applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).


Preferred Job Skills

  • Oral Comprehension- The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

  • Written Comprehension- The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

  • Oral Expression- The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

  • Written Expression- The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

  • Problem Sensitivity- The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.


Job Outlook

14%- as fast as average.


Salary

$116,670 annually.

A Day in the Life - Pharmacist

High School Preparation

Courses

Some required and recommended classes for future pharmacists are;

  • Chemistry

  • Biology

  • English

  • Anatomy


In addition to those core classes, it's highly recommended taking Medical Careers since this class offers an extensive perspective what to expect in the different medical careers, including pharmacy.


Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Principia- After School Club that helps students deepen their understanding of science.

  • Key Club- Community service will help me develop and improve soft skills and communicate better with strangers.


Work/Volunteer Experience

Luckily for future pharmacists, there is a Walgreen's or a CVS in almost every corner. Anyone who's interested in this field can find a job in one of these stores to have an idea of what being a pharmacists is like. However, some of these jobs require the applicant to be age 18 or more.

  • Walgreen's Job.

  • Clinic volunteer.

  • CVS job.

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References

Jennifer Casey- Science teacher at East Leyden High school.

Bill Mitchell- Counselor and Theater director at East Leyden High school.

Lauren Dabek- Librarian at Northlake Public Library

Post Secondary Plan

As mentioned before, pharmacists deal with lots of science in their job. Taking courses that expand the knowledge in these subjects is always a good idea. My post-secondary plan includes taking 4 yrs. of college in either Purdue University or Illinois Institute of Technology to major in Pharmacy, or in Pharmacy Administration & Pharmacy Policies.

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Conclusion

The Career Reasearch Project helped me a lot. Before I started the research, I didn't know what I wanted to become after graduating from high school. But thanks to sources like Naviance and BLS I was able to explore all the careers that fit my personality and interests, and find the best carrier available for me- Pharmacist. I also found a variety of colleges that would help me become one. Besides researching, this project gave me the opportunity to talk with some pharmacists and interview them. After hearing their different opinion, I am sure that I want to become a pharmacist.