Pharmacist Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Pharmacist, or Chemist, is responsible for dispensing prescribed pharmaceuticals, and providing consultation and advisory services to clients and health care providers. Their duties include checking prescriptions for proper dosage, dispensing pharmaceuticals to customers, and advising them of side effects, drug interactions, and dosages.

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Pharmacist duties and responsibilities

Pharmacists are responsible for compounding and dispensing the correct dosage of pharmaceuticals to customers. They’ll check prescriptions for a correct dosage and tell patients how and when to take their medication. A Pharmacist’s duties may include:

  • Advise customers on the selection and usage of non-prescription medication
  • Ask patients about other drugs they are taking or if they have existing medical conditions to prevent negative side effects
  • Educate patients on the possible side effects of their medication and answer any questions they may have
  • Maintain medication profiles of patients, including registering narcotics, and controlled drugs
  • Compound pharmaceutical products when necessary, including calculating and measuring correct quantities of drugs and other ingredients to fulfill prescriptions 
  • Order and maintain stock of pharmaceutical supplies and medication
  • Ensure pharmaceuticals, including vaccines, are properly packaged, distributed, prepared, and stored
  • Supervise pharmacy technicians preparing and dispensing medications
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Pharmacist Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Nova Scotia Health employs professionals in all corners of our beautiful province. We believe there's a place here for everyone to call home, from vibrant cities with exuberant nightlife to quaint towns with picturesque trails. The work-life balance that comes with an Nova Scotia Health role means you'll have the time to explore, discover, and participate in that coveted Atlantic lifestyle. Visit us today and check out [website] to see why more people from across the globe are moving here. *Responsibilities* Reporting to the Director of Pharmacy, this position is responsible for quality and co-ordination of all Drug Evaluation Unit (DEU) activities specifically funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (DHW). Activities include: managing assignments and work flow of drug evaluation pharmacists, administrative assistants and students; managing the Atlantic Common Drug Review co-ordination activities; continuous quality improvement of the process utilized to evaluate medications based on the critical appraisal of scientific literature; liaise with pharmaceutical services staff at DHW to ensure the DEU meets DHW requirements and knowledge is transferred effectively and efficiently; providing drug evaluation and critical appraisal expertise to the Drug Evaluation Alliance of Nova Scotia (DEANS) and the province-wide Academic Detailing Service (ADS); and educating various health professionals on critical appraisal of medical literature as its applies to evidence-based decision making. The DEU Team Leader will liaise with NSH Pharmacy committees to promote consistency with hospital and publicly-funded, community-based formularies and other educational initiatives. *Qualifications* * Graduate from a recognized university program in Pharmacy * Completion of a Pharmacy Residency Program preferred * Licensed or eligible for licensure with the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists (NSCP) * Minimum five ([phone number]) years experience as a hospital Pharmacist * Experience managing and motivating staff * Experience with direct patient care in a clinical pharmacy practice setting * Responding to drug information requests from health care professionals; using medical literature computerized search strategies; completing systematic reviews using principles of critical appraisal of scientific literature (includes knowledge of clinical trial design, methodology, appropriateness of outcome measures and biostatistics) * Experience preparing evidence-based drug evaluations; knowledge transfer to support drug policy development; preparing budget impact estimates; medical writing; formal presentations * Ability to perform various administrative duties of the position * Competencies in other languages an asset, French preferred Please Note: Candidates will not be considered for an interview if applications are incomplete or missing information. Applicants relying on education and experience equivalencies must demonstrate such equivalencies in their application. *Hours of Work* * Permanent Full Time; [phone number]hours bi-weekly *Salary Information* $[phone number][phone number]$[phone number][phone number]hourly *Once You've Applied* Thank you for your interest in this position. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Some opportunities may be eligible for our Employee Referral Program. If a Nova Scotia Health employee refers a candidate who is not working for the organization and the candidate is hired, the employee who made the referral may be eligible to earn up to $[phone number]For more details and instructions, please visit please visit Recruitment - Incentives This is a Healthcare bargaining unit - NSGEU position. Preference is given to bargaining unit employees for unionized positions. Employees are encouraged to view their seniority hours and dates in their SuccessFactors online profile. Successful applicants changing unions, bargaining units or employment status, are advised to seek clarification regarding their seniority, benefits, and vacation entitlement and/or usage, prior to accepting the position. As per the COVID-[phone number]Mandatory Vaccination Protocol in High-Risk Settings, Nova Scotia Health requires all team members to be fully vaccinated by November [phone number]th, [phone number]Nova Scotia Health is committed to being a workforce that is free of discrimination, values diversity and is representative, at all job levels, of the people we serve. Our priority groups are Indigenous People, African Nova Scotians, People of Colour, Persons with Disabilities, [phone and Immigrants. Members of these groups are welcome to apply and self-identify if they wish to be considered under our Employment Equity policy. *Follow Us!* [website] [website] [website] Job Types: Full-time, Permanent

Example 2

Company Biography: Across our three hospitals and eight satellite sites, Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is shaping the future of care. Our many programs and services are designed around the needs of one of Canada’s most vibrant and diverse communities. We are home to North America’s largest nephrology program, as well as the designated cardiac care and spine centre for Scarborough and surrounding communities to the east. We are proud to be a community-affiliated teaching site for the University of Toronto and partner with a number of other universities and colleges, helping to train the next generation of health care professionals. Learn [email address] Position Overview: Reporting to Manager of Pharmacy, the successful candidate will be responsible for assessing, planning implementation and evaluating patient care and practice activities in a environment. The Pharmacist is responsible for order processing, dispensing and formulation, evaluation of patient therapy, provision of medication, patient Other duties as assigned. This Job Posting is posted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act - Bill [phone number]Company Vacancy/Request for Transfer: The completion of this online form serves as your application and will be used to determine if you meet the requirements of this position. Please ensure that you have provided all pertinent information necessary to be considered for this vacancy by the close date. Requirements:
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
  • Licensed to practice with the Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • Completion of a hospital residency or previous hospital dispensing and clinical experience
  • Evidence of sound organizational and prioritization skills. Ability to work well in stressful situations
  • Demonstrated good communication skills including strong documentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with patients, families, all levels of staff and the community
  • Exposure to Lean principles, an understanding of methodologies and tools and a commitment to the use of these in support of providing the best healthcare experience possible to our patients
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and commitment to SHN's comprehensive safety programs and practices including staff safety, patient safety, environmental safety and participates in regular in-service education in this area
  • Demonstrates a commitment to customer service when dealing with patients, colleagues, volunteers and other members of the community and public
  • Demonstrates values consistent with SHN’s Code of Conduct and is committed to fostering a healthy and positive work environment in accordance with Health & Safety policy and legislation.
  • Utilize protective equipment provided and identify and reports hazards
  • Engages in ethical conduct and strives to understand and appreciate the diversity of our patient/staff population and community
  • Excellent work performance and attendance Asset:
  • Trained to administer injections, as per Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • Experience with an automated unit dose drug distribution system and IV Admixture services including provision of neonatal and adult TPN is preferred
  • Oncology experience with chemotherapy preparation and clinical monitoring is preferred
  • Exposure to Lean principles, an understanding of methodologies and tools and a commitment to the use of these in support of providing the best healthcare experience possible to our patients.
  • Ability to speak another language Accommodation Statement: Scarborough Health Network (SHN) embraces and celebrates our community’s unique multicultural heritage and diversity. SHN is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a culture of inclusiveness and diversity reflecting our diverse patients, staff and community alike. We are committed to providing barrier-free and accessible employment practices in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Should you require accommodation through any stage of the recruitment process, please make them known when contacted and we will work with you to meet your needs. Learn more about our exciting opportunities by following us on Twitter at: SHNCareers
  • 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.

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