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Pharmacy careers have always been some of the most favorable and rewarding in the medical industry. Different kinds of pharmacists have been around for hundreds of years, as there always has been and will be a need for medicine in our society. Becoming a Doctor of Pharmacy is very demanding schooling wise. Completing the schooling requirement can sometimes take up to eight years. The profession offers many different fields of work and all of them are equally rewarding. The practice of pharmacy started with the first humans to walk the Earth.

When the first person extracted juice from a plant to apply to a wound, the art of pharmacy was already being practiced (“History”). In Greek legend, Asclepius, the god of the healing art, granted Hygieia the duty of compounding his remedies (“History”). She was his apothecary or what is now called a pharmacist. The physician-priests of Egypt were divided into two classes: those who visited the sick and those who remained in the temple and prepared remedies for the patients (“History”).

In ancient Greece and Rome and also during the Middle Ages in Europe, the practice of pharmacy recognized a separation between the duties of the physician and those of the herbalist, which supplied the physician with the raw materials from which to formulate Peterson 2 medicines (“History”). The Arabian influence in Europe during the eighth century A. D. brought about the practice of separate duties for the pharmacists and physicians (“History”). Specialization was later reinforced by a law enacted by the city council of Bruges in 1683, which forbid physicians to prepare medications for their patients (“History of”).

In America, Benjamin Franklin had a large part in keeping the two professions separate when he appointed an apothecary to the Pennsylvania Hospital (“History”). After World War II, the pharmacy industry essentially boomed. The growth of the pharmacy industry led to the discovery and use of new, more effective drug substances. This period of time also changed the role of the pharmacist dramatically. Pharmacists no longer had the daunting task of formulating and compounding medicines by hand (“History”).

The pharmacist continued, however, to fulfill the prescriber’s intentions by providing advice and information; by formulating, storing, and providing correct dosage forms; and by assuring the efficiency and quality of the dispensed and supplied medicinal products (“History”). A career in pharmacy offers several different areas of work within the pharmaceutical industry. The skills required for each of the four main areas of pharmacy do vary somewhat. The most important skills needed to be a pharmacist are in the science field of study. Pharmacists must be able to effectively learn and comprehend the subjects of chemistry and biology.

Other important qualities to have include patience and social skills. The most common type of pharmacist today is a community pharmacist. A community Peterson 3 pharmacist is one that deals directly with people in a local area. Most often, these types of pharmacists work in retail store pharmacies. Most of the pharmacists in the United States today are community pharmacists (“Pharmacists”). They have several responsibilities including compounding, counseling, checking, and dispensing prescription drugs to patients with care, accuracy, and legality (“Pharmacists”).

It is an essential branch of the pharmacy profession and involves a registered pharmacist with the education, skills, and competence to deliver the professional service to the communities around them (“Pharmacist Job”). Another important type of pharmacist is a clinical pharmacist. Clinical pharmacy is the branch of pharmacy in which pharmacists provide patient care that optimizes the use of medication and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacists care for patients in all health care settings but the clinical pharmacy movement initially began inside hospitals and clinics (“Carr”).

Clinical pharmacists often collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to decide what is best for the patient (“Pharmacists”). Most clinical pharmacists have extensive education in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, socio-behavioral, and clinical sciences. Now that it is required, most clinical pharmacists have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D. ) degree and many have completed one or more years of post-graduate training or residency programs (“Carr”). Many clinical pharmacists also choose to become Board Certified through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

Consultant pharmacy is now becoming more popular in the range of pharmacy careers. A consultant pharmacist focuses on reviewing and managing the medication of patients, Peterson 4 particularly those in institutional settings such as nursing homes or hospitals. Consultant pharmacists ensure their patient’s medications are appropriate, effective, safe, and used correctly (“Potter”). They also try and identify, resolve, and prevent medication related problems that may interfere with other drugs and the goals of therapy (“Potter”).

Physicians, nurses, and administrators recognize consultant pharmacists for their clinical and administrative skills and the contributions they make to appropriate drug use and positive patient care outcomes. Consultant pharmacists often work in nursing homes and for other healthcare providers (“Why”). Excellent communication skills are crucial to effective consultant pharmacy practice. Committee participation, recommendations to physicians, administrative reports, interactions with facility staff and patients and educational programs all require strong verbal and written communication skills (“Why”).

The last of the major areas of pharmacy is the pharmaceutical industry pharmacists. There are even many categories within the pharmaceutical industry to work in such as marketing, sales, and R&D. In marketing, a pharmacist will create everything but the medicine itself. They will create packaging for the medicine that is cost effective and is appealing to consumers. Also, they will make advertisements for the new medicines. In sales, a pharmacist will go around to several different medicinal companies potentially even around the world trying to market the newly created medicines.

In R&D, (research and development), a pharmacist or group of pharmacists will experiment with many new chemicals and compounds to design new medicines to better address a specific medical problem. Peterson 5 The first step to obtaining a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D. ) degree is to complete the pre-pharmacy requirements. The Doctor of Pharmacy degree requires six years of academic study. The two year pre-pharmacy portion may be taken at any accredited two or four year college (“Pre-Pharmacy”).

The pre-pharmacy requirements of about sixty-eight credit hours include a year each of English, general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, interpersonal communications, biology, microbiology, human anatomy, physiology, and at least nine hours of general studies in the humanities or social sciences (“Doctor”). The total general studies requirement is thirty hours and includes English, calculus, interpersonal communications, humanities, social sciences, and other electives (“Pre-Pharmacy”). A Pharm.

D degree prepares students to become pharmacy practitioners in a wide variety of settings, including community and retail pharmacies, hospitals, managed care facilities, and many more. Students enter the Pharm. D program after they complete the two year pre-pharmacy requirements. The pre-pharmacy classes may be taken at any accredited university or community college. Admitted students spend four years in the Pharm. D program which includes one year of clinical rotations (“Carr”). The curriculum includes instruction in the three basic sciences; medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and pharmacology & toxicology, as well as in the

various aspects of pharmacy practice, including the health care system, law, and the emerging roles for pharmacy practitioners (“Doctor”). The final year of the curriculum consists of nine four week rotations with faculty at practice sites throughout the state of Kansas (“Carr”) These sites include, but are not limited to: K. U. Medical Center in Kansas City and Wichita, and other sites in Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City, Salina, Hays, and Peterson 6 Garden City (“Doctor”). The salary for pharmacists can vary slightly depending on what type a pharmacist a person is practicing as.

For a retail pharmacist, the average salary is about $116,670 per year (“Pharmacists”). The lowest ten percent of pharmacists earned less than $89,280, and the top ten percent earned more than $145,910 (“Pharmacists”). According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of pharmacists is projected to grow fourteen percent between 2012 and 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Several factors are likely to contribute to this increase. As the population is aging, elderly people typically use more prescription medicines than the younger generations.

Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups will also lead to increased demand for prescription medications. In addition, scientific advances will lead to new drug products. As healthcare continues to become more complex, and as more people take multiple medications, more pharmacists will be needed to dispense medications and to counsel patients on how to use their medications safely and effectively (“Pharmacists”). The number of individuals who have access to health insurance will increase as federal health insurance reform legislation is enacted.

As more people have access to health insurance, more pharmacists will be needed to fill their prescriptions and to consult with patients about their medications. Demand is also likely to increase for pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. These facilities will need more pharmacists to oversee the medications given to patients and to provide patient care, performing tasks such as testing a patient’s blood Peterson 7 sugar or cholesterol levels (“Pharmacists”). There are many job options with a pharmacy degree.

There are a least five fields of pharmacy: retail, community, consultant, industry, and even nuclear (“Potter”). They all vary so that there will always be an option that will suit a person’s interests. For each of the different fields, there is also a variety of working environments. The working conditions for pharmacists will vary upon the field of pharmacy they are working in. One of the major benefits of pharmacy is the flexible schedule often offered. In all of the fields of pharmacy, the working hours are somewhat limited.

In retail pharmacies, the pharmacy usually will not open until nine in the morning and closes around four or five in the afternoon. Most pharmacists will not have to work nights and some not even weekends, unless working in a hospital setting with doctors, or are an on-call pharmacist, in which they must be available twenty-four/seven. One downside to being a pharmacist is that they must be on their feet the entire day (“Pharmacist Overview”). One other concern for pharmacists is maintaining a clean license. A single error in dispensing medication can have catastrophic results and damage one’s career (“Pharmacist Jobs”).

In 2012, pharmacists held two hundred eighty-six thousand, four hundred jobs (“Pharmacists”). Forty-three percent of those worked in pharmacies and drug stores, while twenty-three percent worked in hospitals (“Pharmacists”). Another eight percent, five percent, and five percent worked in grocery stores, department stores, and general merchandise stores, respectively (“Pharmacists”). Peterson 8 A pharmacy technician profession is very closely related to that of a pharmacist. A pharmacy technician is just a step below an actual doctor of pharmacy.

To become a pharmacy technician, schooling wise, all a person needs is a high school diploma (“Pharmacy Technicians”). Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers and health professionals. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations (“Pharmacy”). Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications (“Pharmacy Technicians”). They may make rounds in the hospital, administering medication to patients. Another similar occupation to that of a pharmacist is a biochemist. Biochemists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, and heredity (“Biochemists”). Biochemists need a Ph. D. to work in independent research and development positions. Most Ph. D.

holders begin their careers in temporary postdoctoral research positions. Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders are qualified for some entry level positions in biochemistry. Biochemists use advanced technologies such as electron microscopes and lasers to conduct scientific experiments and analyze them (“Biochemists”). They use computer modeling software to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins and other molecules (“Biochemists”). They also research the effects of Peterson 9 substances, such as drugs, hormones, and food on tissues and biological processes (“Biochemists”).

A career in pharmacy is one of the best in the medical industry. The career is very demanding mentally and physically, but the rewards and benefits vastly outweigh the negatives of the career. It is a worthwhile investment of time, as the field of pharmacy continues to grow each year. Obtaining a career in the pharmacy industry makes a good living while still being flexible with work schedules. The career caters to a large amount of individuals and offers endless amounts of potential. Peterson 10

Works Cited

  • “Biochemists and Biophysicists. ” U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • Carr, Megan. Personal interview. 16 Jan. 2014. “Doctor of Pharmacy. ” Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D. ) Degree. KU, n. d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
  • “History of Pharmacy. ” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n. d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacist Job Description. ” Healthcare Salary World. Healthcare Salary World, n. d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
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  • “Pharmacist Overview. ” ExploreHealthCareers. org. N. p. , n. d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
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  • “Pharmacy Career Information. ” AACP -. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacy Technicians. ” U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • Potter, Steve. Personal interview. 25 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pre-pharmacy Requirements. ” KU School of Pharmacy. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • “Why Get Started in Consultant Pharmacy? ” American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • Peterson 11 Bibliography “About Pharmacy Careers. ” School of Pharmacy. N. p., n. d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
  • “Biochemists and Biophysicists. ” U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • Carr, Megan. Personal interview. 16 Jan. 2014. “Doctor of Pharmacy. ” Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D. ) Degree. KU, n. d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014.
  • “History of Pharmacy. ” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n. d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
  • ” History of Pharmacy. ” Royal Pharmaceutical Society. N. p. , n. d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
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  • “Pharmacist. ” Job Overview. N. p. , n. d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacist Jobs – Career Overview and Prospects for Pharmacist Jobs. ” About. com Health Careers. N. p. , n. d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacist Overview. ” ExploreHealthCareers. org. N. p. , n. d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacist Salary – How Much Do Pharmacists Make? ” The Richest. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.
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  • “Pharmacy: A Brief History of the Profession.” Student Doctor Network. N. p. , 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacy Career Information. ” AACP -. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
  • “Pharmacy History. ” Pharmacy History. N. p. , 14 Nov. 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. Peterson 12
  • “Pharmacy Technicians. ” U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • Potter, Steve. Personal interview. 25 Jan. 2014. “Pre-pharmacy Requirements. ” KU School of Pharmacy. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
  • “Why Get Started in Consultant Pharmacy? ” American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

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