What does a Pharmacist do?
Pharmacists are a vital element in healthcare. In community settings, they maintain a supply of medications in order to fill prescriptions from General Practitioners, Hospital Consultants and other healthcare practitioners. They also provide community healthcare advice and information, offering treatment suggestions for many minor ailments that can be treated with non-prescription drugs. They can also deliver a range of healthcare services directly, such as vaccinations. Hospital Pharmacists fill prescriptions for patients who are under the care of the hospital.
Pharmacist skills and qualifications
Pharmacists are highly regulated and a successful Pharmacist candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications in order to practice effectively, including:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Exceptional attention to detail
- High-level customer service knowledge
- Computer skills including using specialist software
- Strong numerical and mathematical skills
- Diplomacy, discretion and the ability to manage sensitive situations effectively
- Good problem-solving ability
- Strong leadership and management skills
Pharmacist experience requirements
Experience in a medical setting is an advantage for Pharmacists, so a previous role in medical, retail or administration or as a Pharmacy Technician is desirable. Candidates with experience of working in a patient or customer-facing role will have an advantage when it comes to working as a Pharmacist. Many Pharmacists gain work experience while they are studying for their qualifications, so candidates that have worked in a community, high street or hospital pharmacy as a Pharmacy Assistant or Retail Associate are preferable.
Pharmacist education and training requirements
Pharmacists need to complete a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree from a training provider that is approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). They also need to complete a pre-registration course in pharmacy. Some candidates may complete a two-year foundation degree, including work experience in a pharmacy, to qualify for a degree programme. Pharmacists need to be registered with the GPhC and meet their requirements for training and continuous professional development in order to maintain their registration.
Pharmacist salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Pharmacist in the UK is £43,197 per year, but this can vary depending on the setting in which the role is based, the area of the country and the level of experience required.
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