If you are a pharmacist who wants to really test your skills and knowledge, a hospital pharmacy career may be for you. Here are some aspects of the job that might be considered pros and others that may be cons.
Less Interaction With Patients
Whether something is an advantage or disadvantage often depends on your perspective. If you happen to like working with people, for example, hospital pharmacy may not be for you because you generally have limited contact with patients. On the other hand, if you prefer not to deal with people and handle complaints, this might be an advantage.
Another advantage of hospital pharmacy, compared to retail, is you do not always have to deal with insurance companies or give vaccinations. Additionally, hospital pharmacists sometimes have shorter workweeks than retail pharmacists, with more vacation and sick days.
More Technical Expertise Needed
Another advantage of working in a hospital is it presents a more challenging environment in which to practice. In a hospital pharmacy you are dealing with more complex and varied situations that may demand more of your technical skill and knowledge acquired through your training, rather than just filling prescriptions. You may do work preparing sterile products, interpreting lab values or medical notes or working with intravenous medications, all of which you are unlikely to encounter in a community pharmacy.
You work with a much broader range of medications than a retail pharmacist would, including things like feeding solutions and diagnostic agents. You deal with drugs that are given intravenously and require more sophisticated calculation, preparation.
Another incentive to practicing in a hospital is you get to work more with other medical professionals, sometimes having significant input on therapy. Also, hospital pharmacy offers the opportunity to work as part of a healthcare team in developing treatment plans and caring for patients. Working in a hospital, you become the resident expert on medications, sought after for advice by other medical professionals.
You may talk with physicians about dosages, the best times to administer medications and routes of administration, as well as side effects and adverse drug interactions.
The work in a hospital can be fast paced with varied work schedules, which some may see as a drawback, and hospital pharmacists need to spend more time staying current with their clinical knowledge.
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