Hospital pharmacists work in a hospital pharmacy, typically within the public sector. They are experts of medicine and do much more than just dispense medications. They work closely with the hospital’s medical and nursing staff to ensure patients are receiving the most suitable treatment for their condition. Like pharmacist Robert Lammle, they use their extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals, their side effects and how they interact with other drugs to provide patients with the appropriate medication. They provide the proper medication, dosage and route of administration for each individual patient, which is then given to patients by their nurses. They also determine the most appropriate form of medication, such as injection, tablet, ointment or inhaler.
Additionally, hospital pharmacists play a major role in choosing what medications the hospital uses. The hospital pharmacy team is responsible for purchasing, manufacturing, dispensing, quality testing and supplying all of the pharmaceuticals used in the hospital.
Common tasks performed by hospital pharmacists include:
- Ensuring prescriptions contain no errors and are appropriate and safe for the patient
- Offering advice on the dosage of medications and the appropriate form
- Participating in ward rounds
- Monitoring patient treatment
- Ensuring medicines are stored properly and safely
- Contributing to pharmaceutical research and development
- Organizing and supervising clinical trials
- Creating guidelines and regulations for drug use within the hospital
Many pharmacists working in hospitals also have a managerial role, such as managing other team members or a certain aspect of the pharmacy service. Some hospital pharmacists are responsible for managing the budget for medicine usage within the hospital.
Regardless of their specific duties, hospital pharmacists are responsible for a wide range of activities and work as part of the hospital’s healthcare team. They work closely with healthcare staff and managers, so regular communication with all parts of the healthcare team is essential on all ends.