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Pharmacists are the medical professionals whose expertise lies in medications. They are responsible for sourcing and quality-checking medications from pharmaceutical companies, managing stock and dispensing medications to patients.
Ensuring patients get the correct medication in precisely the right amounts is another extremely important responsibility of a pharmacist. In order to do this, they work closely with doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
The role of a pharmacist is a client and patient facing one and, often, a pharmacist will advise a patient on various important aspects of treatment, such as recommended dosage and administration of medication. They discuss potential side effects and offer tailored information to more vulnerable patients, such as pregnant women, elderly people or people with histories of heart problems, about any risks associated with medications on offer to them. When talking to individuals about prescriptions, they need to take certain factors into account, including the patient’s lifestyle, their ability to stick to sometimes strict treatment plans and their medical history.
Much of the work will involve researching and keeping up-to-date with developments and news in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry in particular.
Pharmacists with extensive experience might choose to work as a teacher in a higher education institution or move into research or the pharmaceutical industry itself.
Senior pharmacists may adopt a managerial role, training and managing new recruits, working on budgets with hospital administration, organising clinical trials and writing follow-up reports.