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    I'm not trying to stir up trouble with ppl studying pharmacy or anything, but nearly everything that i've heard about this job is negative. Two of my friends did work experience in a pharmacy and they said the job was basically labeling bottles, stacking and handing out prescriptions. Rarely the pharmacist would have to advise someone about medication. The pharmacist actually told my friends it was a dull job as well as the biology teacher at college (well she might not know very much about ti really). I also had a little talk with my chemist when I went to pick up some prescriptions and he too said he found it dull (he said he was fed up of getting his hands dirty lol), he said if he had the chance again he would have gone into orthoptics.

    So what im asking is what is the day to day job like? Surely you don't spend 4 years learning all this science just to be handing out prescriptions?
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    To quote "abbey 07" http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=435286


    i work in a pharmacy im am soo lucky otherwise i would have applied to do pharmacy and made the worse decision of my life...(personal opinion).

    google optometry to find out info. personally i think optom is a WAY better option. i dnot think theres any job satisfaction in pharmacy...a dispenser can do a prescription and assistants can give out advice, i still ont get why its a four year ccourse????????
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    I often say as a joke to people that being a pharmacist is like being on a plane. You feel 3 emotions, fear, boredom and the buzz when you make it to your destination i.e. when you've sorted out a particularly difficult query or patient. Great tracts of being a pharmacist are routine. Yes, you spend a lot of time checking that labels are stuck on boxes without directions that are going to kill someone, and you wonder when you are going to use your knowledge. Or worse, you have a sleepless night because you are worried you made a mistake and you imagine horrific scenarios where people end up in hospital because you told them the wrong thing or didnt spot a dangerous interaction. A lot of the work you do is thankless and goes on in your own head and unseen by others- when you are doing work exp you see the pharmacist signing the label on a box, but what is actually going on in your own head is something else entirely. "Is the dose right? Will the fact that they are on oral contraception cause a problem" "Oh no, I've just opened up the record to type the label and noticed they are epileptic, there is no way they can take this, what should I do?" "There is a mistake on this how do I let the patient know tactfully when they are already afraid of taking these tablets?". I do this for every single prescription that comes in but it is rarely something that anyone notices, because this is the legal responsibility of the pharmacist. This is no mean feat when you consider that some chemists do 9000 plus prescriptions a month and you have legal responsibility for the clinical and technical accuracy of every one of them. I do give people advice, yes, but not every minute of the day. Sometimes they are grateful, other times they are downright rude and dont take what you are saying seriously. But this is the same with GP's who also spend most of their time prescribing simple linctus and Calpol for desperate mothers, and have to refer if anything more specialised comes up. Pharmacy is NOT a sexy job. Most of the time it is completely thankless. But not ALL of the time. And when you make a dispensing error as everybody does at one point or another it can really **** you up. You have to be a stickler for paying attention to detail, you have to be thorough, perfectionist and calm, otherwise you cant do it. But you also have to want to help people without expecting the status that doctors get. And I can honestly say there isnt a day when I dont use the knowledge I learnt on my course, even the preclinical stuff. Sometimes I even have to dredge up first year biochem to work out if someone is going to have side effects, or second year dose form design to work out if someone who is lactose intolerant can take a certain brand of tablets. Noone doing a week of work exp will be exposed to the range of situations you get as a pharmacist as its the sort of thing that accumulates over years. However, I have never had one day when I havent been proud of the contribution I have made. I consider that I can probably tell both sides of it as I have been qualified for years but have decided to do something else. But I would say that I have never been disappointed with Pharmacy as I was with my chosen career in scientific research, which is considered a much more sexy job, which is why I will be staying on the register despite the huge hike in registration fees! Hope this helps! And dont forget to try get work exp with a hospital or PCT pharmacist, as nobody ever does but so many pharmacist s will be doing it on the future!
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    Thanks for the reply, it makes interesting reading. I was under the impression that nearly all of the medicines are pre-packaged and you just hand them out according to the doctors prescription.

    I noticed in your signature you're now going to do veterinary science How long have you been a pharmacist?
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    11 years! Yes they are prepackaged but that makes the technicians job more routine, not the pharmacists, and with the sheer volume of prescriptions I'm glad that I no longer have to stop and make an ointment (though it did give me the skills to be a very good cook!). You see the prescription should be viewed not as an instruction but a suggestion.....as a pharmacist you have to be the final gatekeeper for potentially harmful prescribing, and also be aware of ways that a prescription could be made better e.g. thinking "this patient is only on this (a) stomach medicine because she's being prescribed this (b) antiinflammatory, how do I suggest to the doctor that something should be done about this?"
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    That is probably the best description of what we do. Sums it up just perfect. So how come youve decided to go into vet sci.? Is it something you've always want to do, or have you just got fed up with pharmacy?
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    (Original post by drmm)
    That is probably the best description of what we do. Sums it up just perfect. So how come youve decided to go into vet sci.? Is it something you've always want to do, or have you just got fed up with pharmacy?

    Funnily enough you're the first person that's asked me that! Well I'm a third generation pharmacist so its in my blood.....I wanted to be a vet but it was taken for granted that I'd be a pharmacist so at 18 I never really had the guts to go against that. So by the time I graduated I wanted to do something different than go into the family business so I ended up doing a PhD and making a career out of research which I did quite well in and somehow ended up in America at a medical school there. So to cut a long story short I really hated it there and got totally disillusioned with research after working in it for 10 years and started working in an animal shelter just to take my mind off it and do something I enjoy. Well it sort of took on a life of its own and the thought about being a vet just wouldnt go away. I think had I not gone into research I would have been happy to work my way up the pharmacy ranks and perhaps worked in hospital pharmacy where I did my pre-reg, or been a PCT pharmacist, but I wouldnt be able to do that so easily now cos I've been qualified so long and not got on a career ladder like the rest of my uni mates did! So sometimes things dont turn out how you expect. I'm hoping to set up a vet practice and employ the first veterinary clinical pharmacist (they may even write about me in the PJ LOL! I'm staying on the register though, just for the fun I'll get when a pharmacist comes in with a pet and questions my Rx, and I say "I'm a pharmacist too!"
 
 
 
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