An integral element of the healthcare system is the study of drugs and medications that help to treat and, in certain cases, cure, different diseases, or alleviate the effects derived from an injury or an accident.
This multidisciplinary field is better known as Pharmacology, and it involves continuous research to improve medications as well as to keep up with new side effects or diseases that might appear.
In the next few sections, we’ll focus on one of the most common professionals involving Pharmacology, which is Pharmacists.
How to become one and the cost of Pharmacy School will be analyzed too.
Table of Contents
What Is a Pharmacist?
A Pharmacist is a healthcare professional that is able to dispense prescribed medications to patients and advised them on how to use them.
As experts on drugs and medications, they can additionally guide patients about the adverse effects a treatment might have and offer recommendations based on a patient’s needs and characteristics.
What Does a Pharmacist Do?
The most typical responsibilities a Pharmacist has are to fill prescriptions from doctors, check if those medications might interact negatively with others already prescribed, advised patients about how to take the medicines, and provide health screenings and vaccinations, among others.
What Is the Difference Between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacologist?
As previously mentioned, Pharmacology is a science field dedicated to the study and research of drugs and their impact on different organisms.
Pharmacologists are the professionals that conduct such investigations and studies.
Even though Pharmacists studied Pharmacology and used this knowledge in their practice, they only focus on the direct dispensation of medications to patients, offering guidance and advice about the medications that have been prescribed by doctors.
How Do I Become a Pharmacist?
If you aspire to become a Pharmacist, there are a few requirements you must fulfill, such as previous undergraduate education, attending Pharmacy School, and obtaining certification.
The majority of Pharmacy Schools require to have taken certain classes before being able to apply to them.
A minimum of two years of undergraduate study are required in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics.
However, it’s important to check the requirements of the school where you wish to apply since two years of undergraduate study might not be enough in some schools, needing then an undergraduate degree, such as a Bachelor’s degree.
Pharmacy School is where you must enroll if you want to become a Pharmacist.
These programs are generally offered in community colleges and universities, public or private that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
The degree offered in these schools is Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.).
Some of the subjects covered in a Pharmacy program are physiology, biochemistry, patient assessment, pharmaceutics, immunology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, and ambulatory practice management, among others.
After graduating from Pharmacy School and becoming a Doctor of Pharmacy, you must still obtain certification to be able to work.
In order to do this, you must take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) test, provided by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).
Once you have taken and passed this exam, you will be certified and able to work as a Pharmacist.
How Long Does Pharmacy School Take?
On average, Pharmacy School takes four years, studying full-time.
This could increase if you must study part-time or decrease if you choose an accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program.
These generally take three years instead of the four years that traditional programs last.
How Much Does Pharmacy School Cost?
Several variables will affect the cost of Pharmacy School.
Among them, are the city where you wish to study, and the type of institution and program that you select.
In general, Pharmacy School can cost between $15,000 and $70,000.
The NAPLEX test fees are $575.