Career Development

What Does a Hospital Pharmacist Do?

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

A hospital pharmacist is a specialized type of pharmacist who works in a hospital setting. They are responsible for ensuring that all medications used by patients and staff are safe, effective, and properly stored and labeled.

Hospital pharmacists may also be involved in the development of new drugs or drug delivery systems. This can include testing new drugs on animals or humans to ensure they are safe and effective before being released onto the market.

Hospital Pharmacist Job Duties

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

  • Performing drug screenings to identify possible substance abuse problems
  • Ensuring that medications are stored at appropriate temperatures and using methods such as computerized inventory systems to track expiration dates
  • Providing information about medications to patients or their families, including possible side effects or interactions with other medications
  • Consulting with physicians and other healthcare providers to create treatment plans that incorporate appropriate use of medications and other therapies
  • Conducting drug therapy reviews with patients to recommend changes in dosages or treatment plans based on a patient’s changing needs
  • Communicating with insurance companies regarding coverage for specific medications and treatments
  • Performing laboratory tests such as culture and sensitivity tests to identify bacteria or fungi responsible for infections
  • Counseling patients about medication side effects and helping them understand how to take their medications properly to minimize side effects
  • Maintaining accurate records of all drug orders to ensure that the correct medicine is dispensed to patients

Hospital Pharmacist Salary & Outlook

Hospital pharmacists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the hospital, and the geographic location of the job.

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

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

Hospital pharmacists will be less needed to supervise pharmacy technicians as these workers gain experience and knowledge. In addition, hospitals are increasingly using pharmacists in other roles, such as quality assurance or clinical research. As a result, fewer pharmacists will be needed to oversee pharmacy technicians.

Related: Hospital Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

Hospital Pharmacist Job Requirements

A hospital pharmacist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Hospital pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree. The Pharm.D. program takes four years to complete and includes coursework in pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology and other related subjects. The first two years of the program are spent in the classroom, and the last two years are spent in a hospital setting.

Training & Experience: Hospital pharmacists receive most of their training through internships and residencies. During an internship, hospital pharmacists work under the supervision of a practicing pharmacist. They gain practical experience in the hospital setting and learn how to work with hospital systems and computer programs.

Hospital pharmacists who want to specialize in a certain area of pharmacy, such as oncology or infectious diseases, may complete a residency. Residencies last between one and three years and allow pharmacists to gain experience in a specific area.

Certifications & Licenses: A pharmacist seeking to work in a hospital must first earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and then apply for and pass the American Pharmacist Licensing Examination (APLE). Some states also require pharmacists to pass a state licensing exam.

Hospital Pharmacist Skills

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

Medical knowledge: Hospital pharmacists have extensive medical knowledge that allows them to provide patients with the most effective treatment. They understand the effects of various medications and treatments and can provide patients with the right information about their treatment. Medical knowledge also allows them to identify potential drug interactions and side effects.

Communication: Hospital pharmacists often work with a variety of hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, patients and hospital administrators. Effective communication skills can help a hospital pharmacist convey information to others, answer questions and work with others to solve problems.

Technological skills: Pharmacists use computers and other technology to track inventory, enter orders, fill prescriptions and communicate with other hospital staff. Technological skills can help hospital pharmacists use technology to streamline their work and improve efficiency.

Empathy: Hospital pharmacists must have empathy to help patients understand their treatment options and the potential side effects of their medications. They must also be empathetic to patients who are experiencing pain or discomfort. This can help hospital pharmacists provide patients with the resources they need to feel better.

Organizational: Hospital pharmacists often work in teams with other hospital staff, so it’s important for them to be able to organize their time and tasks. They may also need to organize their hospital pharmacy, which requires attention to detail and the ability to prioritize tasks.

Hospital Pharmacist Work Environment

Hospital pharmacists work in a variety of settings, including small community hospitals, large teaching hospitals, and clinics. They typically work a 40-hour week, although they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. They also may be on call to answer questions from doctors, nurses, and patients about drug therapy. Hospital pharmacists typically work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. They may be exposed to hazardous materials, such as chemotherapy drugs, and must take precautions to avoid contact with these materials.

Hospital Pharmacist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how hospital pharmacists work. Hospital 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 look for ways to improve patient care and reduce costs. Pharmacists are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they have the expertise needed to utilize technology effectively.

As hospitals continue to adopt new technologies, pharmacists will need to learn how to use them effectively in order to provide the best possible care for patients. This includes learning how to use electronic medical records, pharmacy software, and other tools that can help streamline the medication process.

Pharmacists as Clinical Specialists

Pharmacists are increasingly being seen as clinical specialists, which means that they are being called on to provide more services than just filling prescriptions.

This trend is likely to continue as pharmacies become more involved in the overall health care system. As pharmacists become more involved in patient care, they will need to develop skills in areas such as disease management and prevention.

A Greater Focus on Patient Care

As pharmacists become more involved in patient care, they will need to focus on providing better customer service.

This trend is evident in the increasing number of chain pharmacies that are opening up in shopping malls and other public spaces. These pharmacies are trying to attract customers by offering quick and easy access to products, as well as friendly and knowledgeable staff members.

In order to compete with these chains, hospital pharmacists will need to be able to provide the same level of customer service. This may include things like helping customers find the right product or explaining the benefits of certain medications.

How to Become a Hospital Pharmacist

A hospital pharmacist career can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of patients and medical professionals, as well as access to cutting-edge research and technology. Additionally, hospital pharmacists often have opportunities for leadership development and mentorship.

To be successful in this field, it is important to have strong communication skills, be able to work effectively within a team environment, and be comfortable with change. You should also be familiar with current trends in pharmacy practice and be willing to keep up with new developments in the field.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of hospital pharmacy. One way is to move into a management position. Many hospital pharmacies are now run by pharmacists, and these positions usually require a master’s degree in business administration or a related field. Other pharmacists may move into teaching positions at colleges of pharmacy or hospitals. Research is another possibility. Many pharmacists with an interest in research obtain a PhD in pharmacology or a related field.

Hospital Pharmacist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. As a hospital pharmacist, you will play a vital role in this commitment by ensuring that our patients receive the medications they need, when they need them. You will be responsible for filling and dispensing orders, as well as keeping accurate records of all medications dispensed. In addition, you will be responsible for providing education to patients and their families on the proper use of their medications. The ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of medications and their effects, as well as excellent customer service skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Dispense medications prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners
  • Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions
  • Supervise the work of pharmacy technicians, clerks, and other support personnel
  • Advise patients on the selection, dosage, side effects, and proper storage of their medications
  • Collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate patient drug therapy regimens
  • Participate in the development and implementation of hospital policies and procedures related to the provision of pharmaceutical care
  • Maintain records of drugs dispensed, stocked, and ordered
  • Prepare sterile solutions and intravenous admixtures
  • Select, procure, store, and maintain a stock of drugs, chemicals, and supplies
  • Conduct quality assurance activities to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations
  • Educate patients and families about the nature and purpose of their medications
  • Participate in continuing education and professional development activities to keep abreast of new developments in the field of pharmacy

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSPharm) or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited school of pharmacy
  • Current state license to practice pharmacy, in good standing
  • Hospital pharmacy experience
  • Strong clinical knowledge and skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Board certification in hospital pharmacy
  • Teaching experience
  • Research experience
  • Leadership experience


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