Choosing to participate in the medical field is a wonderful opportunity. But perhaps you’d rather branch off a little bit from the norm and pick a slightly different career. If that’s what you’re hoping to achieve, then becoming a pharmacist may just be the right choice for you. Here’s what you need to know before becoming a pharmacist and how you can easily pay for your degree.
What Does a Pharmacist Do?
Honestly, it’s surprising to think how many people underestimate the pharmacy profession. Some genuinely think that they’re just people who give you medicine over the counter. And while this is certainly one of their duties, a pharmacist is so much more than that. Believe it or not, pharmacists are trained medical professionals. They have many responsibilities aside from administering medicine. Here’s a short list of the duties:
- Give patients proper health advice
- Ensure they counsel people how to take their medicine and go over the appropriate dosage
- Keeping tabs on the staff and technicians in the pharmacy
- Contacting physicians to learn more about a patient
Their role is just as important as the roles of a doctor and nurse. Without pharmacists, their jobs would be even more strenuous than they already are.
The Education Requirements
It should obviously go without saying you won’t be able to become a pharmacist without the appropriate education. You must first complete a four-year undergraduate degree in fields such as medical chemistry, biology and biochemistry. Once you’ve done that, your next task is to pass the pharmacy college admission test (PCAT). Passing this exam is what allows you the opportunity to earn your doctoral degree. A degree in medicine, however, is one of the most expensive degrees you can earn. The best way to pay for it is to take out a student loan from a private lender. Private lenders are ideal to borrow from thanks to their reduced interest rates. With the already high price of the degree, lower interest rates can make it so much easier to pay back.
Have Plenty of Flexibility
Perhaps the most notable thing about being a pharmacist is that it’s a pretty flexible career. For example, if you don’t see yourself mingling with customers all day, you can look into other places where customer interaction is scarce. There are many types of pharmacies aside from the ones you see in grocery and convenience stores. You can work in a hospital setting, home care and assisted living. Recently, virtual pharmacy careers are starting to pop up around the world, offering even more flexibility.
The Shifts May Be Somewhat Jarring at First
You know how some pharmacies are open for 24 hours? This can lead to you having odd hours when you first start. It can be a bit difficult trying to schedule in your hours because they can fluctuate when you least expect them to. This can be a bit intimidating and disorienting at first, but you’ll get used to your nontraditional schedule after a little while. It just means you have to expect the unexpected.