Are you on the fence about becoming a pharmacist because you think you’ll spend your working days standing behind a counter in a pharmacy “just” dispensing medicines and counseling patients on drug interactions?
Or have you been working as a pharmacist for a few years and you’re now wondering “what’s next?”
Read below for some options for you as you move through your pharmacy career.
In addition to a career in retail pharmacy (working for a retail chain such as Target, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.), you also could look into working in a clinical setting, such as a hospital. You would be working as part of a medical care team, going on patient rounds with physicians to help ascertain which medications – and at what dosages – would be most effective for patients’ conditions.
As the largest generation in the country, as the Baby Boomers turn 65 and head into retirement, they’re going to need more and more care as they age. Long-term care facilities should see a huge increase in demand for many healthcare practitioners, including pharmacists.
Long-term care facilities include assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Pharmacists who work in these facilities tend not to interact with patients (nurses usually administer the medications to patients), but a pharmacist is responsible for organizing and stocking the nurses’ medication delivery carts, including doing so dosage by dosage, and keeping track of all prescription and OTC medication for each patient.
If you’re good at negotiation, consider a career in pharmaceutical benefit management. These pharmacists work for corporations that negotiate coverage and reimbursement amounts on drugs covered by various health plans. They negotiate between pharmaceutical firms and the insurance companies.
Home infusion and chemotherapy pharmacists accurately mix the chemotherapy drugs for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
If you’re interested in digital imaging, a career as a nuclear pharmacist could be right up your alley. These pharmacists measure and deliver the radioactive materials used in digital imaging tools such as MRIs, CT scans, etc. The one caveat about working as a nuclear pharmacist is the fact that most of the people who work in this sector usually need to arrive at work quite early, as the radioactive materials lose their potency in just a few hours and so must be delivered within mere hours of being prepared.
Of course, many pharmacists move into pharmaceutical and/or medical sales, regulatory affairs and, if you’ve a way with words, medical or pharmaceutical writing and/or reporting.