When one considers a pharmacist, the first thing he or she may think of could be a person in a white lab coat who hands out medicine to those who are given special requests for them. Although this idea may not sound quite glamorous, pharmacy has always been a complex area of study and numerous famous figures in history also had the title of a pharmacist. For instance, Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers, has also been described as being the founding father of Pharmacy for establishing one of the first pharmacy hospitals.
Furthermore, John Pemberton was a pharmacist who is best known for his invention of the worldwide famous brand: “Coca-Cola”. Pharmacists are the health professionals in the world who focus on the effective usage of medicine and offer expertise in the usage of medicine along with advice on a patient’s healthy lifestyle. With all the education and training required, one can become a pharmacist where the pay is outstanding, and the job is widely available in any local area and is on the rise in employment.
A pharmacist’s main duty is to provide medication and advise patients regarding prescription and medication use. “They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles” (United States Department of Labor).In addition, pharmacists tend to give flu shots in most states, advise patients about general health, keep records, and teach proper medication therapies.
This would be just the basics of what nearly every pharmacist would perform, because of the many varieties of pharmacists in the world.
For instance, a pharmaceutical industry pharmacist is one who rather design and conduct trials regarding new drugs and medications or even develop new ones. There are numerous branches of pharmacy; nevertheless, they all come from the same heritage, since pharmacy was an early practice. The practices which pharmacists conduct to this day can be traced back to the dawn of history. Cavemen were said to have soothed injuries with various items such as lneefront-liaves or mud, and they would share their knowledge based on whichever worked best for their community. The first modern western society’s pharmaceutical practices are claimed to have started “since King James I established Western Society’s first independent pharmacist guild in the early seventeenth century” (Zebrowski). In this guild or organization, the members would dispense remedies and offer front line medical advice, much similar to the practices of pharmacists today. This tradition would eventually spread when England would colonize various areas, such as America, around the world. Since then, the American Pharmacists Association (a professional society for American pharmacists) was formed in 1852, and important figures such as William Proctor Jr, known as the Father of American Pharmacy, have paved the way for modern pharmacists in today’s world. To some, the job of a pharmacist appears amazing and something one may be interested in. Nevertheless, the educational and training process to become a pharmacist is very challenging and requires commitment and determination. “Pharmacists are required to complete four years of undergraduate studies, and pharmacy programs which take around four years to complete with required post-secondary courses being chemistry, biology, and physics” (“United States Department of Labor”). Before entry into a pharmacy program, applicants are required to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test or PCAT, which determines one’s eligibility to enter. “The PCAT is scored on a scale from 200-600 with the median being a 400. The 90th percentile is typically a 430.
Many pharmacy schools require that you score above a particular level on your exam to be considered as a candidate for admissions” (“All About the PCAT”). After these eight tedious years, pharmacists are required to pass the “North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam” and “Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam” or a state-based test on pharmaceutical law. These two exams are necessary for a pharmacist to get his/her license, which is required by all states. They have to complete a certain number of hours as an intern which varies by every state in the United States as well. For more advanced positions in pharmacy, the prospects need to receive certification depending on whether or not the state considers it a requirement. For example, pharmacists who administer vaccines and immunization may need to be certified depending on their state requirements. Regarding the extensive years of education and training required to become a pharmacist, it can be very challenging. However, those years all spent studying are superbly rewarded by the worthwhile salary and plentiful benefits. The average annual salary of a pharmacist in 2017 was about $124,170; they make $59.70 per hour on average (“United States Department of Labor”). Furthermore, there are numerous benefits along with this high salary pay. Regarding hours, pharmacists claim to have flexible hours usually. Moreover, pharmacists can be eligible for medical, dental, and vision coverages along with retirement benefits and assistance with education such as helping pay off debt. Pharmacists can be hired and are in demand in the most region around the United States. Job opportunities are widely available in traditional retail settings such as Walmart or CVS. Other settings include a local clinic or hospital where pharmacists are wanted to help dispense medication to certain patients and give advice regarding these medications and a patient’s lifestyle. The job availability is very open for those coming out of the programs. Today, the employment of pharmacists is predicted to extend by six percent from 2018 to 2026, which is similar to the average job growth in the United States. Pharmacists will be in escalating demand, because “the large baby-boom generation is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people” (“United States Department of Labor”). The demand for pharmacists to work in hospital settings would largely increase from the aging generation compared to the lesser young population.
The inventions of new medications and drugs can increase the demand for pharmacists as well. As new medications are made, there would be a need for more pharmacists to be able to test and conduct trials based on the innovations. Although the demand for retail pharmacists is projected to downfall because of innovations such as mail order, the outlook is still high in all other work settings Pharmacists are those in the medical health science field who specialize in medication and advice on lifestyles based on a person’s diet. The training and education required to become a pharmacist can be very challenging; however, the job outlook, benefits, and pay are more than encouraging. Regardless of the challenging education or mass salary, the most important thing should be the commitment one dedicates to providing those in need of assistance.