Career Development

What Does a Clinical Pharmacist Do?

Find out what a clinical pharmacist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a clinical pharmacist.

Clinical pharmacists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the field of pharmaceuticals. They work closely with doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to ensure that patients receive safe and effective treatment plans.

Clinical pharmacists may also be responsible for monitoring patient outcomes and reporting any adverse effects or unexpected results back to their physician or other health care provider.

Clinical Pharmacist Job Duties

Clinical pharmacists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing education about medications to patients, including how to take them correctly and any potential side effects that may occur
  • Reviewing patient records to determine whether there are any potential drug interactions or other problems with the patient’s current medication regimen
  • Preparing prescriptions by selecting appropriate dosages, routes of administration, and formulations based on patient needs
  • Maintaining inventory of all medications in the facility where they work, including ordering new supplies as needed
  • Conducting assessments of patients’ current drug therapy to identify any potential problems or deficiencies
  • Performing clinical research related to pharmacology or pharmacy practice
  • Counseling patients about medication use and possible side effects or interactions with other drugs or foods
  • Communicating with physicians regarding patients’ progress or difficulties with treatment plans
  • Communicating with patients to educate them about their medications and treatment plans

Clinical Pharmacist Salary & Outlook

Clinical pharmacists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $163,000 ($78.37/hour)

The employment of clinical pharmacists is expected to decline over the next decade.

As more pharmacists become clinical pharmacists, fewer clinical pharmacists will be needed to provide the same level of services. In addition, hospitals are increasingly hiring pharmacists who specialize in a particular area, such as oncology or geriatrics, rather than hiring general clinical pharmacists.

Clinical Pharmacist Job Requirements

A clinical pharmacist typically needs to have the following:

Education: Most clinical pharmacists have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. The Pharm.D. program takes about three years to complete and includes coursework and clinical practice. The first two years of the program are spent in the classroom, and the last year is spent in a clinical setting.

The first year of the Pharm.D. program includes courses in pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacotherapy, medical ethics and law, and patient care. The second year includes courses in pharmacotherapy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug development, pharmacogenomics, pharmacogenetics, drug metabolism, drug safety and risk management, and drug information. The final year of the Pharm.D. program is spent in a clinical setting, where students gain hands-on experience.

Training & Experience: Clinical pharmacists receive most of their training through internships and residencies. During these periods of supervised practice, clinical pharmacists learn how to work with patients, how to manage medications and how to interact with other healthcare professionals. They also learn how to manage the business aspects of their practice, such as billing and record-keeping.

Certifications & Licenses: Clinical pharmacists must be licensed in their state. The process varies from state to state, but most require pharmacists to have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, pass the Pharmacy Licensing Exam and submit an application with proof of a clinical training program and proof of clinical experience.

Clinical Pharmacist Skills

Clinical pharmacists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another skill that can be useful for clinical pharmacists to have. This is because they often need to communicate with patients and other medical professionals about a patient’s medication. They may also need to communicate with patients about how to take their medications and what to expect from the medication.

Medical knowledge: Clinical pharmacists need to have extensive medical knowledge to help patients and answer their questions. They need to know the effects of various medications and treatments to provide the best care for their patients. They also need to know the side effects of medications so they can identify potential complications and treat them.

Technological skills: Pharmacists use computers and other technology to enter patient information, track inventory and order supplies. They also use technology to communicate with other medical professionals and conduct research. Technological skills can help clinical pharmacists use the latest tools to improve patient care and increase efficiency.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. Clinical pharmacists use empathy to help patients understand their treatment plans and the effects of certain medications. They can also use empathy to help patients feel more comfortable during medical procedures.

Decision-making: Clinical pharmacists use their decision-making skills to make informed choices about treatment plans for patients. They use their knowledge of medications and their effects to determine the best treatment options for patients. They also use their decision-making skills to determine if a patient’s symptoms are a result of their current treatment or if they need to change their treatment plan.

Clinical Pharmacist Work Environment

Clinical pharmacists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, and the pharmaceutical industry. They typically work a 40-hour week, although they may have to work evenings or weekends to meet the needs of their patients. Clinical pharmacists often work with a team of healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, and other pharmacists, to provide the best possible care for their patients. They may also be required to travel to various healthcare facilities to provide pharmacy services. Clinical pharmacists must be able to handle the stress of working with sick patients and their families and be able to make quick decisions in a fast-paced environment.

Clinical Pharmacist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical pharmacists work. Clinical pharmacists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in Healthcare

The use of technology in healthcare is becoming increasingly common, as hospitals and clinics look for ways to improve patient care. This trend is having a particularly large impact on the role of the clinical pharmacist, who is now responsible for more tasks than ever before.

As technology becomes more prevalent in healthcare, clinical pharmacists will need to learn how to use it effectively in order to provide the best possible care for their patients. This includes using electronic medical records, prescribing software, and other tools that can help streamline the pharmacy process.

Pharmacogenomics Will Become More Important

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genetic variations affect drug response. As this field continues to develop, pharmacists will need to become familiar with its principles in order to provide better care for their patients.

Pharmacogenomics has already begun to have an impact on the pharmaceutical industry. For example, some drugs are now being developed specifically for certain ethnic groups, which can lead to more effective treatments. In the future, pharmacogenomics may play an even larger role in the development of new drugs.

More Collaboration Between Pharmacists and Other Health Care Professionals

Pharmacists are increasingly collaborating with other health care professionals in order to provide better care for patients.

This trend is most evident in the growing number of team-based pharmacy models, where pharmacists work together with nurses and doctors to provide medication management services. By working together, pharmacists, nurses, and doctors can provide a more comprehensive level of care for patients.

How to Become a Clinical Pharmacist

A clinical pharmacist career can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of patients and healthcare professionals, as well as a chance to make a real difference in people’s lives. However, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before embarking on it.

One of the most important things to think about is where you want to work. Do you want to work in a hospital, clinic, or other setting? What hours are you willing to work? Are you willing to travel for work? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when planning your career as a clinical pharmacist.

Another important consideration is your education. Most clinical pharmacists have at least a master’s degree in pharmacy. Some also have additional training in areas such as toxicology, pharmacotherapy, or patient care.

Advancement Prospects

Clinical pharmacists may advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some pharmacists become pharmacy owners or open their own consulting firms. Many clinical pharmacists choose to specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, or nuclear pharmacy.

Clinical pharmacists also may become involved in research. They may conduct research on the effects of new drugs or on the best ways to use existing drugs. They also may develop new methods for manufacturing drugs or for dispensing them. Clinical pharmacists may move into teaching or writing positions.

Clinical Pharmacist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are passionate about providing the best possible care for our patients. We are looking for a clinical pharmacist to join our team and help us provide the highest level of care possible. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a hospital or clinical setting and will be able to provide expert advice on the selection, dosing, and administration of medications. He or she will also be responsible for monitoring patients for drug therapy problems and communicating with physicians and other healthcare providers as needed. The clinical pharmacist will be a key member of the healthcare team, working to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide direct patient care services in the inpatient and outpatient setting
  • Perform clinical pharmacy services such as medication therapy management, disease state management, and pharmacokinetic dosing
  • Serve as a preceptor for pharmacy students and residents
  • Participate in multidisciplinary rounds and committees
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures related to the provision of pharmaceutical care
  • Maintain knowledge of current literature related to the practice of pharmacy
  • Manage drug inventories and participate in formulary management
  • Prepare and dispense medications according to prescription orders
  • Counsel patients on the proper use of their medications
  • Monitor patients for therapeutic response and adverse reactions to medications
  • Keep abreast of new developments in the field of pharmacy through continuing education
  • Perform all duties in compliance with state and federal laws

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy (BS Pharm) or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
  • Current state license to practice pharmacy
  • Hospital pharmacy residency training preferred
  • Board certification in clinical pharmacy preferred
  • 5+ years of experience working as a pharmacist in a hospital setting
  • Strong understanding of pharmacology, medication safety, and evidence-based medicine

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Teaching experience in didactic and/or experiential settings
  • Research experience
  • Active participation in professional organizations
  • Leadership experience

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