For a pharmacy to run well while serving the needs of their community, they need to have several roles filled. All pharmacies have more than just pharmacists working behind the counter. To bring better health to all those they serve, a pharmacy team is made up of several people in different positions. This team of people must collaborate and communicate effectively to serve the medicinal needs of their area. These are some of the different kinds of roles within a pharmacy:
Many pharmacies, from hospital to community and all in between, have multiple pharmacists at one location. This ensures that patients have access to their medication information and education whenever they need it. Not only that, but pharmacies have other healthcare personnel working to provide for the community. This brings in a Pharmacy Manager to ensure there is a supervisor leading these teams. Many pharmacy managers have years of experience working within their field, as well as having organizational, leadership, and communication skills. They often work with their teams to ensure proper scheduling, quality control of medications, and staying in legal and regulatory compliances. This role requires a Pharm.D. and typically several years of experience of leadership. Many pharmacy managers have earned MBAs or certifications in supervision.
No pharmacy can even run without a licensed pharmacist working alongside the other roles. Pharmacists earn their doctorates in Pharmacy and are key to many patients’ healthcare. The expertise they have in medications – from dosages and side effects to drug interactions and essential information – proves intrinsic to the medical field. Pharmacists counsel patients on their medications, they review patient profiles to learn of allergies or drug interactions to keep their patients safe, and they promote healthy living through immunizations and education. Without a pharmacist to guide patients and teams of healthcare professionals, pharmacies cannot exist. This role requires a Pharm.D.
On-the-job training is important in any field, but especially in a healthcare role like pharmacy medicine. Pharmacy Interns are students, or recent graduates, pursuing their Pharm.D. degree and licensure. Many pharmacy interns work within a pharmacy under licensed pharmacists to prepare for their future roles. They assist with prescription processing, patient counseling, and administrative tasks required by a pharmacist. With the hands-on experience they get from working within a pharmacy, they get to apply their classroom knowledge and practical skills to help better the healthcare of their community. This role is specifically for those Pharm.D. students or recent graduates looking to gain experience before they earn their licensure.
The community most interacts with the pharmacy technician. Pharmacy Technicians earn licenses and work under pharmacists. They are an invaluable role within a working pharmacy. They receive and input prescriptions from patients, count and fill medications, labeling, and manage internal inventory. In community pharmacies, they provide customer service and answer basic medical questions. They are crucial to the workflow of the pharmacy as they count, fill, and dispense medication to the patients they see every day. The role typically does not require more than a high school diploma/GED certificate with on-the-job training and licensure required by their state. However, many pharmacists are hiring those technicians with education from an accredited institution for their education and skills.
Due to the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nurses were needed in so many ways. When the Covid vaccine finally was distributed to the masses, pharmacists could barely keep up with their normal workload when patients were seeking their immunizations. Many retail pharmacies began to contract roles for nurses to lift some of the demand from pharmacists during this time. With their education, nurses provided essential immunizations to patients so that the workflow of the pharmacy remained uninterrupted. They provided critical care during a time when the world practically came to a stop. In this role, nurses are required to have at least their associate degree in nursing and hold licensure within their state.
This role is important to every pharmacy. Pharmacy Schedulers work with pharmacy personnel to make sure there are professionals of every role needed within the pharmacy. These professionals work to fill pharmacist roles within a chain pharmacy, medical clinic, or hospitals. They work with pharmacists and traveling/floating pharmacists to fill in the gaps of staff pharmacists calling in sick or taking vacation. Pharmacy schedulers ensure that every pharmacy has a licensed pharmacist there to assist their community and team. This role does not require more than a high school degree/GED certificate, however, many schedulers have on-the-job training in pharmacies, like being a former pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy Roles at ANU
At American National University, we offer students the programs they need to break out into the healthcare field. Our 100% online Pharmacy Technician programs provides students the education they need to work in a pharmacy. With our diploma or associate degree programs, students will learn the skills they to count, fill, and dispense medication as well as the PioneerRx system, the technology most pharmacies utilize. We offer at-home lab kits, so students learn hands-on experience needed in a pharmacy. As current Pharmacy Technician student, Evanne Rakers, says, “I think it’s a lot better to go through the courses so that you can learn at your own pace. When you go into the pharmacy world, you learn stuff, but you don’t get a thorough learning of everything… I think going into a pharmacy after having the training is a lot better than being thrown into the mix.”
ANU also offers a hybrid Nursing program at our Pikeville, Kentucky campus. Students attend a mix of online and in-person classes to earn their Associate of Nursing degree. Our program teaches students the skills they need to be an RN, like an understanding of the human body, development, pharmacology, and technology needed to succeed as a nurse. Students will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEXRN) leading to licensure as a registered nurse. Recent graduate, Shane Hurt, says this about our program and his externship at Pikeville Medical Center: “You can actually do nursing skills you get on the floor, you see the patients, and the interactions with patients have just been invaluable in my future nursing career.”
Become an invaluable role within a pharmacy team. To learn more about our eLearning platform and the programs you can join to take your next step into the medical field, go to an.edu/elearning.
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