Updated: Aug 3
Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who practice in pharmacy. They are involved in all aspects of medicine delivery to patients. They will prepare and package medication that a doctor has prescribed and also sell medication over the counter. Pharmacists will explain what your medicine is for, how it works, what to expect when taking the medication and what to look out for. If you don’t understand any aspects of your health condition your pharmacist will be well placed to help you.
If doctors specialize in the examination, diagnosis,of patients than pharmacists are basically the experts on the field of DRUGS; both legal and illegal.
People in the field of pharmacy usually study the following:
· The composition of drugs, substances, salts, and etc. (These are usually tackled in: Inorganic & Organic Pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, physical chemistry, quality control etc.)
· The calculation and dosing of drugs depending on the weight, ethnicity, etc.
· The dosage forms which tackles about the different forms in which a drug could be absorbed in our body (tablets, capsules, syrups,) and the compounding of such. It also discusses different excipients added to a drug. Excipients are substances which do not have a pharmacological effect into the body; some of the excipients add sweetness for the taste of the drug or contribute to the formation of a drug (eg: hardness of a tablet, the coating of a tablet that dissolves.)
· The Pharmacokinetics of a drug which is concerned with the body’s response to the drug. The LADMERT (Liberation, absorption, metabolism, excretion, …)
· The Pharmacodynamics which is concerned with the interaction of the drug to the body.
· Pharmacology which discusses the use and the pharmacological action of a drug.
· The different diseases the people encounter and the cure, as well as the possible hypersensitivity reactions that a patient may incur when taking a drug. (The antidote to different poisoning, overdoses, possible conflicts with other preexisting conditions or drugs taken, and etc.
This is basically the overview of a pharmacist’s curriculum. Other subjects include Anatomy and Physiology also Pathophysiology concerned to broaden the pharmacists' knowledge with the mechanisms of our body, biochemistry, microbiology, clinical pharmacy, pharmacognosy (for herbal medicines) and such.
Pharmacists can be seen in different settings including the hospital, community, government, schools, industry, and even the military. If you aren’t involved in the manufacturing and quality control of drugs, then you’re most likely the one responsible for the monitoring of the drug intake, compounding of the drug and giving out instructions to the patients. This is done while you review their medical history for possible conflicts in the prescription of the drug, over dosage, and misuse especially for antibiotics which are highly abused for example. Occurrences in which an antibiotic was prescribed for flu which by the way highly promotes antibiotic resistance since flu is caused by a virus, not bacteria.
A pharmacist may be based within a hospital or healthcare facility or at a community pharmacy. They will have a degree in Pharmacy which provides them with an understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of drugs, drug uses, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions, and monitoring parameters.
The fundamental role of pharmacists as a healthcare practitioner was to check and distribute drugs to doctors for medication that had been prescribed to patients. In more modern times, pharmacists advise patients and health care providers on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications, and act as a learned intermediary
Between a prescriber and a patient. Pharmacists monitor the health and progress of patients to ensure the safe and effective use of medication. Pharmacists may practice compounding; however, many medicines are now produced by pharmaceutical companies in a standard dosage and drug delivery form. In some jurisdictions, pharmacists have prescriptive authority to either independently prescribe under their own authority or in collaboration with a primary care physician through an agreed upon protocol called a collaborative practice agreement
Increased numbers of drug therapies
, aging but more knowledgeable and demanding populations, and deficiencies in other areas of the health care system seem to be driving increased demand for the clinical counseling skills of the pharmacist.
One of the most important roles that pharmacists are currently taking on is one of pharmaceutical care.
Pharmaceutical care involves taking direct responsibility for patients and their disease states, medications, and management of each to improve outcomes. Pharmaceutical care has many benefits that may include but are not limited to: decreased medication errors
Strong pharmacist patient relationship; and decreased long-term costs of medical care.
Pharmacists are often the first point of contact for patients with health inquiries. Thus pharmacists have a significant role in assessing medication management in patients, and in referring
Patients to physicians. These roles may include, but are not limited to:
· clinical medication management, including reviewing and monitoring of medication regimens
· assessment of patients with undiagnosed or diagnosed conditions, and ascertaining clinical medication management needs
· specialized monitoring of disease such as dosing drugs in kidney and failure, compounding medicines, providing pharmaceutical information, providing patients with health monitoring and advice, including advice and treatment of common ailments and disease states, supervising technicians, and other staff, oversight of dispensing medicines on prescription, provision of and counseling about non-prescription or drugs education and counseling for patients and other health care providers on optimal use of medicines (e.g., proper use, avoidance of overmedication, referrals to other health professionals if necessary, pharmacokinetic evaluation, promoting public health, by administering immunizations, constructing drug formularies, designing clinical trials for drug development, working with federal, state, or local regulatory agencies to develop safe drug policies, ensuring correctness of all medication labels including labels member of interprofessional care team for critical care patients ,symptom assessment leading to medication provision and lifestyle advice for community-based health concerns (e.g. head colds, or smoking cessation. Staged dosing supply (e.g. opioid substitution therapy
If you want to know more, I highly recommend reading “Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy” which basically tackles all of the necessary fields in pharmacy.