What’s it all about?
Community Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medicine ensuring that they are distributed in a legal,safe and ethical manner. Your role also includes ensuring customers are aware of how to take precribed medicine and use medical devices correctly.Members of the public will also go to you seeking advice on a variety of health matters, looking for advice and information.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Dispensing prescriptions to the public.
- Ensuring that dosages are appropriate when dispensed and that medicines are clear in their labelling.
- Supervising any preparation of medicine within the pharmacy
- Working with doctors to discuss patients and the prescriptions doctor writes
- Keeping professional stock records
- Giving professional advice to patients and customers
- Dispensing over the counter medicines
- Clarifying any potential side effects of medication for the public
- Managing needle and syringe exchanges
- Fitting compression hosiery
- Providing health checks for certain patients
- Managing the budget of the pharmacy
So how do you get there?
If you want to pursue a career as a pharmacist then you will need to gain a relevant Masters degree accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.
You will then have a one-year traineeship or ‘pre-registration’ in a pharmacy. Here you will learn about the day by day work of a pharmacist. You will also be working on improving core skills like your interpersonal skills.
Then you can register, after passing the General Pharmaceutical Council assessment. This includes meeting special ‘fitness to practice’ requirements.
The Masters can take four years to complete. You will find that there are some institutions that offer a five-year degree, and that extra year will cover the pre-registration training. If you don’t have the educational requirements to take the Masters, you can do a foundation degree, which lasts for two years. This two-year course is the equivalent to year one of the Masters. If successful, you can enter the Masters in the year two stage.
Pharmacists tend to work in high street pharmacies, of which there are a number. As well as established chains such as Boots, there are many independent stores that have built up a presence in towns and cities.
Pharmacists are also employed in GP Surgeries, Health Centers and Hospitals.
Show Me The Money
Pre registration trainees can expect to earn between £16,000 and £20,000. Starting salaries for community pharmacists can start from £30,000 and can rise to £45,000 or up to £70,000 in a specialist management role.