10 Nov How to become a Pharmacist
Do you have an interest in the health and wellbeing of people, a keen eye for detail and good problem solving skills?
What is a Pharmacist?
Pharmacists are the healthcare professionals who are responsible for dispensing and distributing prescription and controlled medications. They also offer advice about the safe use of drugs, conduct screenings for health and wellness, provide immunisations and manage stocks in the pharmacy.
As a pharmacist you would look after both the business side and patient care aspect of the pharmacy. Business-wise, you would order, control, distribute and sell different healthcare products and keep up to date with the latest pharmacy practices and the newest drugs. You may also be assigned to train and supervise staff, or share information about medicines to other medical professionals.
Pharmacists organize health programs for monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, screening diabetes and implementing vaccines. They would give general healthcare advice for dealing with minor ailments. Patients and customers may also ask for help with how and when to take their medication, as well as any potential side effects of the drugs.
If you want to pursue a career as a pharmacist, you would need an interest in health and people’s welfare. You would also need to have a high level of scientific understanding, accuracy and attention to detail, and good problem solving and math skills. Pharmacists need to be able to closely follow instructions and be methodical in the way they carry out their tasks.
Hours & Conditions:
Pharmacists are usually employed full time or part time in retail pharmacies, hospitals, government departments and pharmaceutical companies. They may be involved in the regulatory control of pharmaceuticals, or in the research and control departments of drug manufacturing companies.
Pharmacists working in a retail pharmacy usually do a standard number of hours per week which could include weekends and evenings. Self-employed pharmacists would usually work longer hours. If working in a hospital then evening and weekend shifts would be normal.
How to become a Pharmacist: Qualifications
To become a pharmacist you would need to complete a degree in pharmacy at university. These courses will usually require a senior secondary school certificate or an equivalent. Subjects which would prepare you to enter university are English, maths, biology, chemistry and physics.
Prior to practicing in Australia, pharmacists need to register with the Pharmacy Board of Australia www.pharmacyboard.gov.au and comply with the necessary standards. After graduating, before you can apply for a full registration, you must be able to complete the prescribed number of hours of supervised practice whilst undergoing an accredited intern training program. You will also be required to pass written and oral examinations.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as a pharmacist, check out
The job outlook for pharmacists is positive and expected to grow. With the increased demand for prescription medications and greater control of some over-the-counter medication, the demand for pharmaceutical services is projected to increase.