Monday 23 August 2021

Skills You Need to Have to Work as a Pharmacist

If you have a passion for healthcare, becoming a pharmacist might be one career choice you have looked into. These professionals are in charge of prescribing medication, including preparing, checking, and dispensing.

Before you go down this career path, you have to make sure that you are up to it. An error could mean the difference between life and death. It’s important that you have the necessary skills to get started.

But what are they? And how can you tell if this is the right job for you?

Below we are going to take a look at some of the most crucial skills you’ll need to have as a pharmacist.

Want to learn more? Then keep on reading.


Communication is a skill that is important in most jobs, but for pharmacists, it’s essential. You need to be able to talk with other team members and relay accurate information about medication to your customers. This includes explaining potential side effects, how and when they should take their medicine, and when to get a new prescription. Misunderstandings could lead to health complications, so you have to be clear.

Active Listening

Alongside being able to communicate effectively with others, it’s also vital that you actively listen as well. Whether it’s diagnosing cold and flu symptoms or offering advice on the best daily vitamins, you need to listen carefully to what each customer has to say. These individuals are relying on your expertise, and you must pay attention. Even if that means recommending they see a doctor.


Without a doubt, one of the most essential skills you need to have as a pharmacist is accuracy. As mentioned above, one small error could have dramatic consequences for a patient. Drugs will be supplied by pharmaceutical wholesalers, and you’ll need to make sure that everything is correct before you hand out a prescription. You need to be consistently alert to make sure that inventory is right every time. This high attention to detail is critical, and if you aren’t confident, it’s probably not the job for you.


Alongside taking care of their own tasks, pharmacists are usually in charge of managing other team members. You’ll need to supervise other technicians and may also be responsible for managing budgets and records. While responsibilities will vary depending on the place of employment, it is another thing that you’ll need to be prepared for. In order to get a job, you’ll need to be ok with being a leader. It’s not like you can sit behind the counter all day. You must be productive and efficient. 


As much as we might like to wish everything runs smoothly during our day-to-day lives, even pharmacies have their issues. You’ll need to have vital problem-solving techniques in order to assist your customers efficiently. For instance, you’ll need to know what to do if you run out of stock of a particular prescription or how to handle a complaint made by a patient. It’s essential to think and act quickly to ensure the best outcome for both your customer and your business. It’s a lot of pressure, but it is a critical part of the job.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to communicate and interact well with others. Alongside the active listening that we talked about above, you need to follow a few other important things when assisting your customers. For example, skills such as:

- Patience

- Motivation

- Flexibility

- Dependability

- Responsibility

- Empathy

These are all things that help you not only relate to others but establish meaningful and trustful connections. As a result, you’ll be able to truly help people through their medical issues, avoiding frustration and anger as much as possible.

Professional Ethics

Like most jobs in healthcare, ethics plays a huge part in being a pharmacist. Patient confidentiality is essential, so you need to be discreet and respectful to customers, no matter what prescription they are picking up. For those in smaller communities, it’s even more crucial to be careful. Everybody has the right to privacy, and your job is to keep their information safe. This includes not discussing matters outside of work and securing any personal documents.


While you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to be a pharmacist, you do need to be able to calculate and measure effectively. Alongside counting inventory, you may be required to calculate complex dosages in order to compound certain medications. Even with the help of calculators and online software, you can’t always rely on technology. Check out these mental math tricks to improve your skills today.


Since pharmacists are not only checking inventory but handing out prescriptions and managing others, multi-tasking skills are also required. You’ll need to be able to balance different jobs, especially during busy periods. Everything will have to be done quickly and accurately, and at times it can be overwhelming. It’s important to keep a cool head so that you can avoid making errors. The last thing you want is to deal with cranky customers. You can learn more about improving your multi-tasking skills here.


Technology Skills

Last on the list, in order to be a pharmacist, you need to have technology skills, including computer literacy. Almost everything is now done digitally, so you have to know how to manage these systems. This includes not only inventory software but also medical databases. You should receive training for this both in your degree and on the job, but it’s still something to keep in mind, especially if you are aware that you aren’t confident.

And that’s it. These were just some of the different skills you need to have as a pharmacist. If you tick all of the boxes above or think that you can learn/improve in these areas, then it might be time to start your career journey. However, you should do a bit more research first before you make your final decision.

Good luck!

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