The role of the pharmacy in the daily lives of many people throughout the UK is as important as any other consumer institution. After all, the increase in ailments owing to age, lack of exercise, and general poor health means, for many, a regular trip to see the pharmacist. The old pharmacy, where the friendly pharmacist works with you to meet your health needs, has given way to a more bureaucratic system that is effective in dealing with a wide range of customers but lacks the human touch.
However, for pharmacists and those graduating with pharmaceutical degrees, this bureaucratisation of the pharmacy means a better jobs market. Hospitals and doctors' offices are beginning to hire more pharmacists for their in-house pharmacies. These pharmacies, which feature both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, are designed to provide immediate point-of-prescription convenience for patients, especially those who have mobility problems. Pharmacists in these types of offices have the luxury of working directly with billing professionals and health workers alike to remedy health issues quickly.
However, in other ways the in-house pharmacy may prove restrictive, as administrators and senior partners are often within walking distance. There is, however, still room for the traditional pharmacist in the current bureaucratic system. Older style pharmacies are utilising information technology in order to improve the services they provide; patients with repeat prescriptions are often able to have these monitored by pharmacies who will collect them for the patient from the general practitioner and ensure their availability.
In many high street outlets, major chains and independent pharmacists are investing heavily in order to compete. Facilities are often brand new, which means the best resources and working conditions for pharmacists. Also, members of the public can build a strong relationship with their pharmacist as they get regular prescriptions.
The problem with working at these facilities is that there is sometimes little immediate resolution of administrative or prescription problems, which need to be resolved by phone or post. The pharmacy jobs market in the United Kingdom and Europe is growing strongly, although its public face is becoming much different from what it was a generation ago. Pharmacists need to remain versatile in the workplace by maintaining accreditation, taking continuing educational courses, and staying well-versed in regulations and medical knowledge alike; after all, to many of the public, the pharmacist is often more accessible than the doctor, and acts as a resource for medical knowledge in the marketplace.
As such, pharmacists have a public duty to stay updated and informed on the changing nature of their world. This challenge and the challenge of optimising one's potential in a dynamic job market, means that a pharmacist needs to stay on his or her toes throughout their professional life.
About the Author:
Stephen Trigg is the CEO of Quanta Consultancy Services, a Resource Management Company specialising in SAP Jobs and Oracle Jobs