A pharmacist is a person who is professionally qualified to prepare and dispense medicinal drugs. Pharmacists work in a hospital, clinic or community drug store. Pharmacist duties include constantly studying and learning about the properties and side effects of new drugs and communicating this information to doctors and patients. According to Mike Johnston in “The Pharmacy Technician Foundation and Practices” book pharmacy is the art and science of preparing and dispensing medication().
According to the article “Pharmacists” on the Bureau of Labor Statistic internet site pharmacists dispense patients’ prescription medicine and offer advice on medicine’s safe use. Pharmacists verify instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients and fill prescriptions. They check if the drug will interact negatively with other drugs that the patient is currently taking or the condition the patient may have. When the patient comes to pick up their prescription the pharmacist may instruct the patient on how to take the medication and the potential side effects of the medication.
The pharmacist must complete insurance forms and work with insurance companies to be sure that patients get the medicines they need. Pharmacists also oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and interns. Pharmacists may work with and teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients (Bureau “Pharmacist”). According to the article “Pharmacist Facts and Tools” on the U. S. PharmD internet site, pharmacists participate in multidisciplinary clinical care teams (U. S. PharmD “Pharmacists”).
Pharmacists take continuing education throughout their career to keep up with the latest advances in pharmacological science. According to the article “Pharmacists” on the Bureau of Labor Statistic internet site pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D. ) degree from an accredited school. Pharmacists must also be licensed. In order to become licensed one is required to pass two exams. One of the exams is in pharmacy knowledge and skills and the other is in pharmacy law in the state giving the pharmacy license.
All Doctor of Pharmacy programs require applicants to have taken postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy. Applicants must have two to three years of undergraduate study. Applicants must also have a bachelor’s degree for some programs. Pharm. D. programs usually take three to four years to finish. Courses in pharmacology and medical ethics are included in the Pharm. D. programs. Pharmacists must also have supervised work experiences in different settings, which include hospitals and retail pharmacies.
In order to seek an advanced pharmacy position, such as a clinical pharmacy or research job, pharmacists must complete a one to two year residency following their Pharm. D. While some pharmacists that own their own store may choose to get a master’s degree in business administration others may get a degree in public health (Bureau “Pharmacists”). According to the article “Pharmacists” on the Bureau of Labor Statistic internet site from the year 2010 to 2020 the employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by twenty five percent. The employment as of the year 2010 is 247,900.
The projected employment in 2020 is said to be 344,600. The employment change from 2010-2020 is 69,700. More people are expected to get insurance coverage for medications. Since the number of older people is increasing this occupation is in demand. New pharmacists should expect good job prospects because a significant number of pharmacists are expected to retire in the coming decade. Demand is likely to increase for pharmacists in physicians’ offices, nursing homes, and outpatient care centers as well. This is because older people use more prescription medicines than younger people use(Bureau “Pharmacist”).
According to the article “Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Facts and Figures” on the Department for Professional Employees internet site about 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age every day over the next twenty years (Department “Pharmacists”). According to the article “Pharmacists” on the Bureau of Labor Statistic internet site more pharmacists will be needed to inform patients on how to use their medication safely as health care continues to become more complex and as more people are now taking multiple medications.
The scientific advances will lead to new drug products. More people may get insurance coverage for their medications (Bureau “Pharmacist”). According to the article “Pharmacist Facts and Tools” on the U. S. PharmD internet site, new drugs are appearing at a faster rate. Most of these new drugs have gained almost immediate widespread acceptance. This requires continual updating of the pharmacists’ information base and the need to maintain ongoing skills in counseling patients and other members of health care teams (U.S. PharmD “Pharmacists”).
According to the article “Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Facts and Figures” on the Department for Professional Employees internet site employment for pharmacists between 2008 and 2018 is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. While demand has slowed down the last two years, overall, trends indicate that job openings created by employment growth and the need to replace workers who retire or leave will exceed the number of degrees granted in pharmacy.
Pharmacy services are still in demand due to their structural importance in the health care delivery system, despite the tough economic times and decreasing sales growth. In the year 2008, independent and community pharmacies represented an $88 billion marketplace. They sold thirty-seven percent of all nationwide pharmaceuticals (Department “Pharmacists”). Pharmacists have very well salaries. According to the article “Pharmacist” on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics internet site the median annual wage as of May 2010 for pharmacists was $111,570. Pharmacists receive $53.
64 per hour. Pharmacists in the lower ten percent earned less than $82,090 while pharmacists in the top ten percent earned more than $138,620. The majority of pharmacists work full time. This is due to the fact that pharmacies are often open at all hours. Some pharmacists may work nights and weekends (Bureau “Pharmacist”). According to the article “Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Facts and Figures” on the Department for Professional Employees internet site median earnings vary minimally for pharmacists when the specific type of employment is considered.
In the year 2010, the median wages for pharmacists ranged from $107,530 to $112,860 in places such as drug stores, grocery stores, department stores, general medical and surgical hospitals, and other general stores (Department “Pharmacists”). Prescription drugs have their place in our medically advanced society. According to the article “The Pros and Cons of Prescription Drugs” on the Livestrong internet site there are a large number of disease that people would die from if it was not for prescription drugs.
An unspecified amount of prescription drugs seem to make life easier when you have a small ailment such as the flu or a cough. Prescription drugs have a dark side as well. From too many prescription drugs dealt by the hands of responsible pharmacists and doctors can stem serious misuse, dependency and addiction. The pros and cons of prescription drugs must be carefully weighed before making a decision of whether or not to take them (Livestrong “Pros”). One advantage for prescription drugs are for cures and remedies.
According to the article “The Pros and Cons Of Prescription Drugs” on the Livestrong internet site prescription drugs can often be the answer for life-threatening conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure or even cancer. There are a number of people whose lives are saved daily because of prescription drugs because these drugs help stimulate and mimic a well-functioning body. Without prescription drugs they would have a lower quality of life and even risk death (Livestrong “Pros”). Another advantage of prescription drugs are for short term solution.
According to the article “The Pros and Cons Of Prescription Drugs” on the Livestrong internet site not all prescription drugs are used to treat serious illnesses. From time to time an unspecified amount of prescription drugs are used to treat small ailments with excellent success. Prescription drugs that are only used while the patient is sick includes antibiotics for infections, flu medication and prescription cough medicine. An unspecified amount of prescription drugs cure ailment, while other prescription drugs make it easier to live with so that the patient can tolerate the sickness.
When dealing with short-term illnesses prescription drugs make life simply easier (Livestrong “Pros”). According to the article “The Pros and Cons of the FDA Drug Investigation” on the Fox News internet site an advantage of the Food and Drug administration is that public awareness may grow about drugs that are commonly misused. The Food and Drug Administration is now being held to a higher standard of disclosure, and this way the public can track its thinking and investigate processes rather than just being shocked by news reports of unpredicted black box warnings.
This may lead to physicians being more cautious when prescribing new treatments without considering the potential adverse effects (Fox “Pros”). A disadvantage of prescription drugs is their potential to be addictive. According to the article “Prescription Drugs” on the National Institute on Drug Abuse internet site prescription drug abuse means taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for a person, or a person taking prescription drugs for reasons or in dosages other than as they are prescribed. Abuse of prescription drugs can produce serious health effects, including addiction (National “Prescription”).
According to the article “The Pros and Cons of Prescription Drugs” on the Livestrong internet site an unspecified amount of people who take prescription drugs that were only meant for a short amount of time find themselves dependent upon them unfortunately. Dosages, length of time on the prescribed drug and the type of prescribed drug can all contribute to the chance that the patient can become addicted to the prescribed drug. Drugs prescribed for insomnia and pain that are also narcotics especially put patients at risk for dependency.
Unfortunately not all health professionals are as cautious and as careful as they should be when prescribing these drugs (Livestrong “Pro”). According to the article “Prescription Drugs” on the National Institute on Drug Abuse internet site commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. Opioids are prescribed drugs used for pain. Opioids include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin), oxymorphone (Opana), propoxyphene (Darvon), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) (National “Prescription”).
According to the article “Prescription Drug Abuse” on the Kidshealth internet site opiods abuse can lead to vomiting, mood changes, decrease in ability to think, and even decreased respiratory function, coma, or death (Kidshealth “Prescription”). According to the article “Prescription Drugs” on the National Institute on Drug Abuse internet site central nervous system depressants include pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), diazepam (Valium), and aplrazolam (Xanax) (National “Prescription”). According to the article “Prescription Drug Abuse” on the Kidshealth internet site central nervous system depressants have risks too.
When a person abruptly stops or reduces the drug too quickly can lead to seizures. When a person takes these central nervous system depressants with other medication, such as prescription pain killers, some over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, or alcohol can slow a person’s breathing and heartbeat and even kill the person (Kidshealth “Prescription”). According to the article “Prescription Drugs” on the National Institute on Drug Abuse internet site stimulants include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and Methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta) (National “Prescription”).
According to the article “Prescription Drug Abuse” on the Kidshealth internet site abusing stimulants like most attention deficient hyperactivity disorder drugs may cause heart failure or seizures. These risks are increased when stimulants are mixed with other medications. When a person takes too much of a stimulant it can lead a person to develop a dangerously high body temperature or an irregular heartbeat. If a person is taking several high doses over a short amount of time may cause a drug abuser to be aggressive or paranoid.
Even though stimulant abuse might not lead to physical dependence and withdrawal, the feelings these drugs give people can cause them to use the drugs more and more often so they become a habit that is hard to break (Kidshealth “Prescription”). Another disadvantage of prescribed drugs are misuse. According to the article “The Pros and Cons of Prescription Drugs” on the Livestrong internet site prescription drugs are subject to misuse by those who were not intended to take the prescribed drug. Once the prescription has been written out and filled, it is no longer in the doctor’s hands.
In an effort to feel some of the side effects of the prescribed drug adults and teenagers take prescription drugs that were not intended for them. Having these prescription drugs in the home means easy access and pill-sharing among friends. Easy access to these prescribed drugs can cause serious injury and even death from misuse and overdose (Livestrong “Pros”). According to the article “Prescription Drug Abuse” on the Kidshealth internet site some people experiment with prescription drugs because they think the drugs will help them have more fun, lose weight, fit in, and even study more efficiently.
In a 2009 survey from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that prescription drug abuse is on the rise, with twenty percent of teenagers saying that they have taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription. Abuse may also be because an unspecified amount of people believe that prescription drugs are safer and less addictive than street drugs. But prescription drugs are only safe for the individuals who actually have prescriptions for them because the doctor has examined these people and prescribed the right dose of medication for their specific medical condition (Kidshealth “Prescription”).
The bottom line is that there is a time and place for prescription drugs. When a person takes the prescribed drug properly, the drugs can enhance a person’s life and make ailments easier to deal with. On the contrary when a person misuses prescription drugs it becomes a problem in a society with a general attitude that if a doctor prescribes it, it must be suitable for anyone to take it. The usage of prescription drugs should be carefully monitored by health care providers.
When prescription drugs are in a person’s home the drug should be secured without easy access. The only person who should be taking a prescribed medication is the person whose name is on the prescribed bottle in the correct dosages. Works Cited Covington, LeAnn Personal interview. October 2012. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Pharmacists. ” Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition. U. S Department of Labor. Web. 19 Sep 2012. “Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: Facts and Figures. ” Department for Professional Employees.
Web. 8 Oct 2012. “Pharmacist Facts and Tools-Pharmacy Careers Summary. ” U. S. PharmD. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. “The Pros and Cons or Prescription Drugs. ” Livestrong. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. Johnston, Mike. The Pharmacy Technician Foundations and Practices. Upper Saddle River: Julie Levin Alexander, 2009. Print. “The Pros and Cons of the FDA Drug Investigation. ” Fox News. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. “Prescription Drugs. ” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Web. 14 Sept. 2012. “Prescription Drugs Abuse. ” Kidshealth. Web. 14 Sept. 2012.