A Look into Becoming a Pharmacist

Created by Dakota Anderson

What is a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a person qualified to make and sell medications. A Pharmacist will further assists people with a prescription given by a doctor or physician. A pharmacist may even assist a simple purchase of a medication like Advil. Pharmacist also suggest medication to health practitioners, as well as the recommended intakes and side effects.
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Required Education

To become a pharmacist, you must complete six to thirteen years of college to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree or a specific science Degree. These years include biology and chemistry courses that lay the foundation for pharmaceutical practices. In these six to thirteen years, you have to complete two to four years of pre-requisites or "core classes", which get you prepared and knowledgeable to take a certain class. Pre-requisities include courses like General Physics, Immunology, and Organic Chemistry. These courses must be full of science in order to ready you for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).

When working towards your Pharmaceutical Degree program, you have two options. Your first option is to take two years of laboratory science preparation. This is a "non-degree" option to achieve a Bachelor's Degree. This means you can get college credits, without being enrolled at that university. With this option, you have to take other courses called pathways to fill in the two years time-span.

The other option is to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Laboratory Science. This option is more common in students because of its pliability. It allows students to explore other options besides science or pharmaceutical practices. It also allows an extended time period to learn the material of the PCAT.

If you were willing to take an extra step in becoming a pharmacist, I would recommend you to learn another language. Being able to communicate with a diversity of people make you more desirable to businesses. These businesses need more workers who can assist an array of people.

Exams That Must Be Taken

To become a pharmacist, you must pass one or more exams to receive a practicing licence. One exam example is the NAPLEX exam, which is an 185 question exam. It tests your knowledge of pharmaceutical practices. You can retake an exam if failed, but your state may have a certain number of times you may retake an exam. The retake may include an additional exam fee and a written approval from your state.

Characteristics Required

To become a pharmacist, you are required to have certain characteristics. These characteristics include having strong computer skills, being a leader in case of management position, and being a person who pays a great deal of attention to detail. You must be a person who is aware of public safety when selling and storing medicine. You must also be a good communicator to explain to the buyer the restrictions and requirements of the medication.
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What are You Learning in These Years?

The completion of a Pharmacy Degree usually takes about four years. So in these four years, what are you doing? What are you learning or practicing?

In the first year of college as a student becoming a pharmacist, you learn the basics. You learn about Pharmacy Law and the ethnics of pharmacy. You learn how to work with Physicians and Doctors, while also being able to counsel patients. You also learn how to read prescription labels, use dosage forms, learn pharmacy calculations.

In your second and third year, you add onto the knowledge you accumulated in year one. This includes pharmacotherapy, health management, and beginning clinical rotations. In your second and third years, you also begin deciding on where you would like to work after graduation. For example, you have to chose whether you want to work in a drug store, hospital, or a care facility.

In your final year- year four, you begin practical experience, like clinical rotations, to put your new knowledge to use. You complete seven to ten rotations, which last four to six weeks. You also learn how to interact with patients and give medicine recommendations to Physicians.

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A Pharmacist's Salary

Pharmacists' median pay in 2012 for the U.S was $56.09 an hour, which adds up to $116,670 per year. The North seems to be payed less than the South in the U.S.A- keep that in mind while choosing a place to work. In Georgia only, the current salary for pharmacists are $106, 560 a year. This number ranges across Georgia- from $73, 900 to $133, 630.

Demand for Pharmacists

The demand for pharmacists is rapidly growing. More children are being born and more diseases/illnesses are being found in the United States. More people are always aging, and needing medicines to keep their heart beating. Another reason why demand is so high is because obesity in the U.S is becoming more common, so more of these obese people are craving weight-loss pills. Pharmacists will always be needed, because a robot could never create new medications for new illnesses.