What are your long-term career goals in pharmacy? Most pharmacists expect to find themselves working in an area of medicine where they can help people solve their problems. This is the way that many pharmacists like to picture their ideal career: helping people solve their problems by providing them with prescription medications. When a pharmacist helps a person solve a problem by providing a prescription, he/she feels like they are helping someone in need and have a sense of responsibility.
Long-term goals for pharmacists also include helping people to achieve wellness. The first major goal that pharmacists face is caring for the health of patients while they are under their care. This is a health care profession where a pharmacist will work directly with patients and doctors in providing prescriptions as needed. The most important consideration by most pharmacists before graduation was working environment.
Now that graduation from high school has occurred, the pharmacist has to enter the professional world where there is a great deal of responsibility and organization. Initially, many pharmacists entered the profession by working in a job pharmacy, which is essentially a walk-in facility that offers medications and referral services to pharmacists. Job pharmacies often have different employees assigned to different duties based on the needs of each patient. Once a pharmacist has been in place at a job pharmacy, they usually remain there for the rest of their career unless they are offered another position that allows them more responsibility and freedom.
Many health care administrators decide to move on to a management position once their career path has crossed the threshold of a job in a pharmacy. The best way to make the most out of your career is to find a school that can prepare you for whatever type of position that lies ahead. Pharmacy school does not have to be at a university. Some schools require that you attend class on a scheduled basis over the summer months while others prefer to set up a residential program that allows you to get the necessary clinical training on an as-needed basis. For those students who have an interest in a management position, a career as a pharmacist assistant may be best suited to your long-term goals.
As a pharmacy technician, you will have an opportunity to interact with patients on a daily basis. You will be required to be knowledgeable in the field of medication and its side effects. You will also be expected to assist pharmacists with filling prescriptions, answering billing questions, handling cash and labeling. As a student, you should consider how these tasks play into your long-term career goals. For instance, many pharmacists help educate physicians on the various types of medications and what each one is used for.
Many pharmacists enjoy a salary that easily converts into a mid-career position in health care. If you plan to become a licensed practical nurse or APRN, there will be an increased focus on hands-on patient care. You will also have an opportunity to work in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. However, for those who are seeking a more stable career in pharmacy, the earning power might remain limited to positions in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings.
Many pharmacy students pursue additional degrees in order to broaden their horizons. While additional education and a higher level of employment are certainly positive advantages, it is also important to consider your other options. Many students choose to supplement their education with general studies or electives. This can allow you to fulfill the requirements of your degree while gaining valuable work experience and skills that will prove useful in your future career. Whether you choose to pursue a degree in human services or another area, there are many part-time work experience opportunities available in many areas of medicine.
The majority of pharmacists begin their careers as a sales representative for a small local pharmacy. While this position will provide you with direct contact with patients, it will not provide you with a large amount of long-term career prospects. Successful pharmacists who have achieved their current level of success often find themselves in senior roles within large pharmaceutical companies. Regardless of what your preferred stage of pharmacist employment may be, knowing your ultimate goals will help ensure that your every decision regarding your career path is a sound one.