what is a pharmacist?
As a pharmacist, you are a healthcare professional that is responsible for dispensing medications to patients. You also ensure those medications are used safely and effectively. You are trained to understand how different medications work, including the potential side effects and any reactions they might have with other drugs. Using this training, you advise patients on how to take their medications properly and answer any questions they may have.
In addition to dispensing medications, you also play a key role in the healthcare system by collaborating with other healthcare professionals when necessary. You work closely with doctors, nurses, and other professionals to ensure patients receive the best possible care. You are also responsible for ensuring that medications are safe for patients to use. This involves reviewing prescriptions to ensure they are accurate and appropriate for the patient's condition.
Good interpersonal skills are essential in this line of work, as you deal with patients on a regular basis. You also collaborate with healthcare professionals, which requires good communication and a collaborative nature. Attention to detail is also important, as your ability to notice potential problems with a prescription directly affects the quality of life of your customers.
If the thought of helping people and improving their quality of life appeals to you, read on to find out what skills and competencies are necessary to thrive in a career as a pharmacist.pharmacist roles
average pharmacist salary
According to Talent, the average salary of a pharmacist in India is ₹262,500 per year based on a typical hourly rate of around ₹105. At the entry-level end of the spectrum, pharmacists can earn a little under ₹200,000 per year. Meanwhile, the highest-earning pharmacists in the country make as much as ₹500,000 per year.
factors that affect pharmacist's pay
Your salary as a pharmacist can vary depending on several factors, including the amount of experience you have. Other factors include what level of education you obtained and the location of the pharmacy they work in.
As with many professions, experience is a significant factor when it comes to a pharmacist's potential salary. As you gain more experience and expertise, you are able to negotiate higher pay. Your level of education is also important. A Bachelor of Pharmacy is necessary for this profession, but you may also have additional qualifications. These include a Master of Pharmacy degree or a doctorate. A higher level of education will often help you in negotiating a higher salary.
The location of a pharmacy can have an impact on your salary, too. Pharmacists working in urban areas tend to earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas. This is due to there often being a greater demand for healthcare services in cities, and the cost of living is generally higher in urban areas.
types of pharmacists
The core aspects of your role as a pharmacist are mostly unchanged by the type of pharmacist you are. That being said, there are some differences between the different types of pharmacist roles. Here are the most common types of pharmacists:
- community pharmacists: community pharmacists—sometimes called retail pharmacists—work in pharmacies that are open to the public. In this role, you dispense prescriptions and provide over-the-counter medications, health advice, and health-related products. You may also perform health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, and provide advice on things like quitting smoking or losing weight.
- industrial pharmacist: as an industrial pharmacist, you work in the pharmaceutical industry dealing with the development of medications. You are responsible for researching, developing, and testing new medications, as well as manufacturing and quality control. You may work for pharmaceutical companies, government organisations, or academic institutions.
- hospital pharmacist: in this role, you work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, providing on-site pharmacist services. As with other types, you are responsible for dispensing medications, managing drug inventories, and ensuring that medications are used safely and effectively. You work closely with doctors and other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans for patients in the facility.
- academic pharmacist: academic pharmacists work in colleges and universities. In this role, you teach pharmacy students and conduct research on drugs and medications. You may work in research institutions or government agencies.
working as a pharmacist
The specific duties of a pharmacist include the following:
pharmacist job description
What does a pharmacist do? The specific duties of a pharmacist include:
- dispensing medications: one of your primary duties as a pharmacist is to dispense medications to patients. You ensure that the correct medication is dispensed and in the correct dosage. You also advise patients on how to take their medication correctly.
- patient education: part of your role involves educating patients about their medications. This may include providing information about the proper way to take medications and discussing the potential side effects.
- quality assurance: you are responsible for maintaining the quality of medications that you dispense, which involves conducting quality control tests on medications. Another aspect of quality assurance is the monitoring of drug inventories to ensure that medications are not expired or contaminated. You also report any adverse reactions to medications.
- medication therapy management: you are responsible for ensuring that patients receive appropriate medication therapy. This involves monitoring patients for potential reactions between different drugs, side effects, and other issues related to medication use. You may work with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans for individual patients.
Your work environment as a pharmacist can vary depending on the type of pharmacy you work in. As mentioned above, common types of pharmacist roles include community pharmacies, hospitals, industrial settings, academic institutions, and regulatory bodies.
If you work in community pharmacies, you typically work in a retail setting. This may mean an independent pharmacy, a chain pharmacy, or department stores that have a pharmacy section. The work environment of a community pharmacist is fast-paced, and you may have to deal with multiple customers at once.
Working in hospital pharmacies can mean a variety of settings, including inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, or central pharmacies. The common theme of this type of environment is a clinical building in which healthcare professionals work. This is different to an industrial setting, which may see you working in manufacturing plants, research and development facilities, or quality control departments.
Working in academic institutions, such as colleges and universities, may involve classrooms or research facilities. As an academic pharmacist, you are often focused on teaching and research.
who are your colleagues?
You typically work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to ensure your patients and customers receive safe and effective medication therapy. Doctors are among your most important colleagues, as they diagnose patients, prescribe medications, and work closely with pharmacists to develop treatment plans.
Nurses also play a vital role, and you work closely with them to ensure that medications are administered correctly, as well as to monitor patients for potential side effects or adverse reactions.
Of course, you also work with other pharmacists, either in a retail setting or in a hospital or clinical setting. You may collaborate on medication management, patient counselling, or quality control of the medications you dispense.
Your work schedule as a pharmacist can vary depending on the specifics of your role, but it will generally be within the typical business hours of 9 am to 6 pm. You may work weekends or evenings, particularly if you are working in a retail setting. Hospital pharmacies can be open twenty-four hours a day, which often means shift work if you work in this setting.
Your job outlook as a pharmacist is positive, with a strong demand for qualified professionals in the field. As India's population continues to grow and age, the need for healthcare services is increasing. As a pharmacist, you play a critical role in ensuring that patients receive safe and effective medication therapy.
advantages of finding a pharmacist job through randstad
Finding your pharmacist job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as a pharmacist is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
Some of the academic qualifications for pharmacists include:
- 12-standard: being a pharmacist requires at least a degree, which in turn means reaching a 10+2 level of education in school. This should be in a science stream.
- bachelor's degree: having a bachelor's degree in pharmacy is a minimum requirement for becoming a pharmacist. Other qualifications are acceptable as long as the Pharmacy Council of India approves them.
- master's degree: while not essential for becoming a pharmacist, a master's degree may help you command a better salary.
pharmacist skills and competencies
Some of the qualities of a pharmacist include:
- communication: you are able to communicate effectively with patients, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. You can explain medication instructions clearly and answer any questions that patients may have.
- attention to detail: you have good attention to detail, as even small errors in medication dosages or administration can have serious consequences. You review medication orders carefully and ensure that the correct medication is dispensed at the correct dosage.
- clinical knowledge: you have a deep understanding of the clinical aspects of medication therapy. You are able to interpret medical orders and understand the underlying pharmacology.
- interpersonal skills: an important part of your role as a pharmacist is the ability to work effectively in a team environment. You are able to collaborate with other healthcare professionals on treatment plans.
FAQs about working as a pharmacist
Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a pharmacist.
what does a pharmacist do?
Pharmacists handle and store various medicines, review prescriptions and dispense the right dosage to patients. They also check patients' medical histories to ensure the drugs administered don't cause dangerous interactions.
how many hours does a pharmacist work?
The specific hours you work as a pharmacist may vary, but typical hours for this profession are around 40 to 48 hours per week.
are pharmacists in demand in India?
Pharmacists—like many healthcare professionals—are in high demand. This trend is likely to continue as India's population grows and ages.
what are pharmacists paid?
Pharmacists in India typically earn between ₹200,000 and ₹500,000 per year, with the average being around ₹262,500.
what are the requirements to be a pharmacist?
To become a pharmacist in India, you need at least a bachelor's degree in pharmacy or an equivalent qualification approved by the Pharmacy Council of India.
how do I apply for a pharmacist vacancy?
Applying for a pharmacist job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!