What does a Pharmacist do?
Pharmacists prescribe pharmaceutical products, dispense them, and advise and educate customers on the appropriate usage of their medications. They are typically employed in retail and health centre pharmacies (such as hospitals), although they can also be self-employed. Their job is to ensure patients receive their medication in the correct dosage and maintaining the medication profiles of customers.
Pharmacist skills and qualifications
Successful Pharmacists should have a blend of interpersonal skills and excellent pharmaceutical knowledge, all while keeping public safety and confidentiality in mind. Top skills for Pharmacists include:
- Strong communication skills, with the ability to empathize with, consult, and advise patients about their medications and dosage
- Good mathematical and computer skills
- Strong sense of ethics and trustworthiness, as they will work with confidential patient information
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
- Organizational skills and strong attention to detail to ensure medications are dispensed safely and appropriately
- Leadership and coaching skills to effectively manage Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacist experience requirements
Most Pharmacist candidates should have at least two years experience. For senior Pharmacist roles, candidates should have at least five years experience. Entry-level Pharmacist roles do not need previous experience as novice Pharmacists are usually hired under the supervision of a Senior Pharmacist for on-the-job training.
Pharmacist education and training requirements
Pharmacist candidates must have completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy. For roles that require prior pharmacy experience, candidates must have completed practical training under the supervision of a Senior Pharmacist before they can work independently.
Candidates must have appropriate certification in their territory, apart from Quebec, by completing an examination through the Pharmacy Examination Board of Canada. In all provinces and territories, Pharmacist candidates must be licensed through their local regulatory boards.
Pharmacist salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Pharmacist in Canada is $101,889 per year. However, the actual salary may vary depending on location, experience, and the hiring company.
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Pharmacist job description FAQs
What are the most important skills for a Pharmacist?
Strong pharmaceutical knowledge is the key skill for a Pharmacist. As they may be required to compound pharmaceutical products when necessary, strong numeracy skills are required to ensure accurate measurements and dosage. The best pharmacists will also possess excellent communication skills with the ability to problem-solve and make confident decisions. As Pharmacists are often required to supervise Pharmacy Technicians, managerial and leadership skills are important in this role.
What is the difference between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician?
While Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians work closely together, they have different roles and responsibilities. Pharmacy Technicians fulfill many daily tasks such as accepting prescriptions, filing paperwork, and operating the cash register. However, they will look to Pharmacists for guidance and a Pharmacist must review and approve prescriptions before they can be filled. Pharmacists are also legally able to provide advice and education regarding dosage and side effects of prescription and non-prescription medication.
What qualities make a good Pharmacist?
Excellent attention to detail is very important in the role of a Pharmacist. As they’re responsible for reviewing and approving prescriptions, they need to be able to identify abnormalities and follow up with doctors regarding concerns about the prescribed medication. Good interpersonal skills and empathy are also desirable qualities as Pharmacists need to interact with customers. Pharmacists must also have excellent knowledge of pharmacy and pharmacology in order to ensure they’re providing the correct medications at the right dose.