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Pharmacist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Pharmacists Career Video



Dispenses drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provides information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reviews prescriptions to assure accuracy, to ascertain the needed ingredients, and to evaluate their suitability.
  • Provides information and advice regarding drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and proper medication storage.
  • Maintains records, such as pharmacy files, patient profiles, charge system files, inventories, control records for radioactive nuclei, or registries of poisons, narcotics, or controlled drugs.
  • Plans, implements, or maintains procedures for mixing, packaging, or labeling pharmaceuticals, according to policy and legal requirements, to ensure quality, security, and proper disposal.
  • Assesses the identity, strength, or purity of medications.
  • Collaborates with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review, or evaluate the quality or effectiveness of drugs or drug regimens, providing advice on drug applications or characteristics.
  • Orders and purchases pharmaceutical supplies, medical supplies, or drugs, maintaining stock and storing and handling it properly.
  • Analyzes prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
  • Advises customers on the selection of medication brands, medical equipment, or healthcare supplies.
  • Compounds and dispenses medications as prescribed by doctors and dentists, by calculating, weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients, or oversee these activities.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Hospital Pharmacist -- Responsible for dispensing and procurement of medicinal products and supplies used in hospitals, health centers, care facilities, clinics, nursing homes and GP surgeries.
  • Industrial Pharmacist -- Participates in the research, development, promotion and manufacture of pharmaceutical products