5 Essential Skills for People that Work in Pharmacy

Working in a pharmacy can be both challenging and rewarding.  Sometimes it is stressful and it always requires precisions because peoples’ lives are in your hands. More specifically, here are 5 must have skills for anyone that wants to work in the pharmacy industry:

#1 Great People Skills

First and foremost, you have to be able to work with people – both your co-workers and the clients that come in to pick up medications or ask questions.  You should be able to communicate well with words as well as in writing.  Every day you will come into contact with people and you will need to answer questions, relay information, and give instructions.  Your customers rely on you to be able to tell them how to take medications and make them aware of possible side effects.  Your co-workers need you to be part of the team and a big part of that is good communications.

#2 Detail Oriented

One of the main things that people who work in pharmacy do is dispensing medication.  You need to be fast but you especially need to be accurate.  It can be a matter of life or death if you do not give them the right dose or the right medication.  You need to pay attention to other medications that the customer may be on because some medicines can have lethal interactions.  You must always be alert and have an eye for detail when you are putting info into the database or getting medication ready to dispense.

#3 Using Machines

Each pharmacy is a bit different but most pharmacies use pill counting machines.  You must know how to use these because they can be the most efficient way of counting pills for dispensing.  You will likely get training in the main machines when you are in school but there is always new technology being released so you must be able to learn new technology in pill counting machines as it comes out.

#4 Science and Math

Much of the work that you do will be done with a computer but there will be times when it is much faster to do calculations in your head. Ratios, percentages, and units of measurement are concepts that you should understand and that a computer is not going to help you with.  In order to understand how different medications can affect people, you should also be familiar with anatomy, chemistry and physiology.

#5 Computer Skills

You simply can’t avoid computers in most jobs today and that includes when you are working in a pharmacy.  Computers make it much easier to receive prescriptions from doctors, store date about customers and medications, and have easy access to insurance info.  You’ll likely also use computers to track inventory.