When most people think of pharmacists, they think of retail pharmacists. Retail pharmacists work in community pharmacies, such as pharmacies in department stores or grocery stores. Pharmacists in the retail sector perform a wide range of duties. They fill and dispense medications, offer patient care, and provide advice on over-the-counter drugs.
Retail pharmacists are experts in pharmaceuticals and have a deep knowledge of all types of drugs and their uses, as well as their side effects, how they are administered and how they interact with other drugs. These pharmacists also get the opportunity to work with patients one-on-one. Because retail pharmacies are located in convenient places, such as near neighborhoods and in shopping centers, people can walk in at their convenience and speak with a pharmacist. They can ask the pharmacist about particular over-the-counter medications and get their advice on their symptoms. Innovations in pharmacy automation have allowed pharmacists to spend less time filling prescriptions and more time engaging with patients.
In addition to providing pharmaceutical advice and dispensing medications, retail pharmacists also offer a variety of clinical services. They administer immunizations, including vaccines for the flu, meningitis, HPV, shingles, Hepatitis, chickenpox and pneumonia. They also conduct health screenings and provide medical reviews.
A retail pharmacist meets the same qualifications as a hospital pharmacist and performs similar duties. Some common responsibilities of a retail pharmacist include:
- Filling and dispensing patient medications
- Administering health screenings and immunizations
- Accessing the appropriateness of a medication in accordance to a patient’s medical history
- Ensuring pharmaceuticals are stored properly and securely
- Monitoring a patient’s treatment
- Maintaining confidential records of all patients
- Processing invoices and maintaining balance sheets
- Providing excellent customer service
Robert Lammle is a pharmacist in Utah who loves being a retail pharmacist. He enjoys being able to interact with patients directly and help them get well.