(Source: Creative Commons)
Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer
Pharmacists seeking career opportunities beyond traditional pill-dispensing roles at the local drugstore or hospital have many options available to them. From education and research to pharmaceutical production and consulting, the pharmacy field encompasses many disciplines, all of which relate to knowledge of drug therapies.
Here’s a look at some of these pharmacy specialties:
These specialists work in colleges of pharmacy as teachers, researchers and consultants for industry organizations.
An ambulatory pharmacist’s responsibility is to manage patients at risk for drug-related problems, such as adverse reactions. They also supervise patients with chronic diseases, including diabetes and asthma, and those unlikely to take their medication or to take it as prescribed. Ambulatory pharmacists work in outpatient clinics, psychiatric wards and in specialties such as HIV or renal transplantation.
Compounding pharmacists prepare customized prescription medications to meet individual patient needs. They also prepare, mix, assemble, package and label drugs and devices.
Also known as long-term-care pharmacists, these professionals make sure residents of extended-care facilities get the correct dose of medication at the right frequency. Consultant pharmacists also work in subacute care, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and in home- and community-based care.
These pharmacists play a major role in hospital intensive-care units, working with lifesaving drugs. They optimize each patient’s drug therapy and go on rounds with doctors to ensure patients don’t experience adverse reactions. They also help doctors choose the most beneficial, cost-effective medication.
Drug Information Pharmacists
These pharmacists help hospitals answer queries about the best use of drug therapies. They also write and compile articles for scientific journals and continuing-education materials.
Home-care pharmacists are similar to their hospital counterparts in that they prepare medications and educate patients on medication use and storage at home.