My reasons for the choice of pharmacy as a career choice include the high prospects for the improvement in standing and working areas. These include work in the private and public sector such as pharmaceutical centers, hospitals, long-term care centers, among other prospective employment avenues (Kelly, p. 2011). Due to the high number of employment facilities, there is high demand for pharmacist in all cycles of the economy or even during times of disaster, such as quakes, floods and fires when there is a possibility to get a high salary. Pharmacy is a trusted career and offers outstanding chances for growth from graduation to be the best in the sphere as one continues to advance in the pharmacy training. Pharmacy also offers a close interaction with people hence, makes the career choice an exciting adventure and it offers me an opportunity to help the community. Job security and the desire to be there for people in the society give other reasons for the choice of pharmacy.
Requirements to be a pharmacist
The achievement of my choice as a pharmacist involves various requirements by the profession, which has to be met in order to be a professional pharmacist. The requirements fall into various categories according to the level of education: from college to university.
The present- College
It is required that three years of undergraduate be completed, mainly covering physics, calculus, biology, and chemistry to serve as a strong basis for superior pharmacy classes. The college education forms an introduction to the requirements and education needs for pharmacists and the understanding and excellence in the college level makes away for success in proceeding levels. To pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), to complete an application form and to pass an interview are the requirements for admission to a pharmacy school. Interviews for candidates in a pharmacy school is based on PCAT score, competitive science GPA, at least 50 hours experience of work or as a volunteer in a pharmacy setting, three strong recommendations, and participation in a community service (Kelly, 2011). Pharmacists carry out their duties in relation to their areas of specialization, which could be intravenous nutrition support, pharmacotherapy, psychiatric disorders, nuclear pharmacy, and oncology. Since pharmacists have close and frequent interaction with patients, they are considered the most accessible healthcare personnel in the World.
Near Future- the University
A degree in pharmacy takes 3-4 years for the completion to get a bachelor degree in Pharmacy. A doctorate degree in Pharmacy from an accredited pharmacy school, as well as passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), which is the state examination that allows the accessing of a practicing license, gives the last requirement to be a pharmacist (Abood, 2010). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacists (NAPB) administers the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination as a measure to ensure high safety in the medicine distribution. After obtaining a practicing license, one has the leeway to start practicing pharmacy or seek employment as a pharmacist. The doctorate degree takes four years and covers scientific, technical, and patient related aspects of the pharmacy profession. The American Council in Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) does accreditation of the pharmacy schools. Further training in pharmacy that lasts between one and two years for pharmacists forms the postgraduate training. Pharmacists have the option of taking the postgraduate training through fellowships or residences.
Ten years later- Career
A pharmacist has the responsibility of drug distribution and drug information dissemination for the proper drug use (Abood, 2010). Limited capacities for training pharmacists ensure that there is high demand for pharmacy as a career, which translates to a high salary payment for pharmacists. Pharmacists are mainly on their feet due to movements as they dispense drugs and have close interaction between them and the patients; therefore, they have to have good communication and interaction skills to be successful. A pharmacist gives pieces of advice for patients as to the use of the drugs, the side effects and counsels patients on the purpose of the drugs (Brown, 2006). Pharmacists receive assistance from pharmacy assistance and aides in carrying out their duties but they have total responsibility for the prescriptions made. Pharmacists are generally on their feet for at least 40 hours, but at times could be more than 50 hours in a week. Precision and detail are the main requirements for pharmacists due to the grave effects on the lives of the patients when dispensation of the wrong prescriptions or medicines happens (Brown, 2006). Pharmacists earn high salaries ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 118,000 depending on the location and the industry.
Pharmacy is a career of my choice owing to increasing demand for professional pharmacists, a high salary, and job security as well as getting the opportunity to help people, the society. The other reason is that pharmacy has excellent job improvement opportunities and close interaction between the pharmacist and members of the community. To achieve the dream to be a pharmacist, there are various requirements starting from college all through to the completion of a doctorate degree in pharmacy. One can only practice pharmacy in both - the public and private sector after achievement of the doctorate degree and passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination where he/she is awarded the practicing degree. Pharmacists perform different roles including drug prescription and dispensation, side effects, and purpose of the drugs, advise patients on drug use,. There are various skills necessary for a pharmacist’s performance of duties, which include good communication skills, interpersonal skills and interaction skills. Despite the high requirements demanded to achieve the dream of being a pharmacist, I have the dedication and trust that I will be in a position to achieve the dream through hard work, loyalty and perseverance.