Before submitting any form of application, do ensure that you know what you are in for. Check to see whether you still want to specialize. Or would you be happier going into general practice? These and other important questions on your future life and career as well as your personal abilities as it relates to academia, the sciences and dealing with people, in this case, patients, do need to be answered honestly before any further ado.
By all means, visit the pharmacy college in Nevada to give yourself an informal aptitude test. If you like the idea of spending hours in a chemistry lab, then you could be on your way. But success in pharmacy could also be determined by just how well you get on with people. Because if you are going to be working as a retail pharmacist, that is what you are going to be doing. Dealing with people on a daily basis as you dispense their prescribed medications.
And yes, there is that too – dealing with the patients’ doctors from time to time, particularly under critical circumstances. Working as a pharmacist does have its risks and there will be burning issues and concerns in relation to what the pharmacist does and what is expected of him. The dispensing of medication is one thing. The quality of those medications still need to be assured. The receipt and supply of all medications also needs to be handled within the confines of the law.
The pharmacist must be acutely aware of his or her patient’s condition. He or she must be able to read patients’ prescriptions. Forget about the old myth that suggests that doctors’ notes are illegible. It is both the medical doctor and pharmacist’s responsibility to ensure that all scrips are exact and the patient’s acute condition has been considered in full. Pharmacists are knowledgeable about their practice.
Without batting an eyelid, they should be able to field all questions of them. But if contentious areas need to be explored further then so be it. Apart from a love for the lab, research work should also be a stimulating field of interest. And like the family doctor, the retail pharmacist is the great educator, always on hand to educate his or her patients and customers. He must enjoy being responsible, always putting the safety and welfare of his patients first.
The pharmacy student may wish to explore working environments other than that of retail. He or she could go to a higher level where he or she can be responsible for the supervision of the production and preparation of medicines and its assessments before they are distributed or supplied to retailers from pharmaceutical manufacturers. There may be those who feel that their work is more vocational.
To this end, they could explore those avenues that lead to them becoming community pharmacists. Here, more than anywhere else perhaps, they will be at the coalface of the health services industry where lives really matter.