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How to Become a Pharmacist in the UK

How to become a Pharmacist. Job Description: Pharmacists are persons who are responsible for the safe dispensing of medications and advice to people. They give medicines and advice to patients, monitor them if they have certain conditions, and give advice on medications and conditions when required.  Pharmacists are generally expected to be confident, Level -headed and willing to work at short notice and long hours, and capable of remaining calm in stressful situations. The hours depend on the department you are employed within. Being a Pharmacist is a good job for many people, but the key traits to have are a sociable personality, strong teamwork skills, and ability to work under direction, a keen eye for detail, calm under pressure and caring.


Entry Requirements

Many Pharmacists start their career by attending university. In this setting, you learn textbook skills for four years, and apply them on one year placements in local hospitals. You then qualify with a master’s degree. The entry requirements for this degree vary according to the university but they are usually 5 GCSE grades A to C including English, Maths and Science. And 2 A levels.

Responsibilities and Duties

Standard duties for a pharmacist include ensuring that the pharmacy is stocked correctly to avoid the shortage of medicines. They are responsible for ensuring that restricted medications are treated correctly and stored in a safe and secure manner. Pharmacists take prescriptions and must check them for authenticity, one pharmacist will then prepare the order and then another will check it to ensure the correct items have been dispensed. A Pharmacist must check that the patient knows how to use the medications and are aware of any specific instructions or interactions with the medication. Pharmacists are also responsible for giving advice about certain health issues or medications. They also usually offer to do routine checks for things such as asthma, diabetes and blood pressure.

Working Hours

These may vary depending on the duties and job you are doing. Some hospital pharmacists work on 12 hour rotations; others work in high street pharmacies and may require standard set working hours such as 9-5. This is common in GP pharmacists, where you are only expected to work during practice hours. Hospital Pharmacies are usually 24 hours, and therefore you can expect to be called upon during any required time.

Skills and Training Development

Pharmacists can expect to progress through their careers with improving skills and knowledge as well as time served. Learning about additional health issues, alternative therapies or other clinic duties such as weight management or diet advice might assist you in gaining a promotion or career swap further into your career. Pharmacists can also learn about veterinary medicine which can complement their career opportunities as many pharmacies are now stocking veterinary products in order to gain additional business opportunities.

Average Salary

The average salary for a Trainee Pharmacist is £16,000 PA.
The average salary for a qualified Pharmacist is £21,000 PA.
The average salary for a Matron Pharmacist is £30,000 PA.

photo by: justin

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