anxietypeaker

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In pharm school, you learn more than just "pill pushing". You learn the chemistry as well as the biochem of the medicine (along with its effects). Moreover, i dont find much interest in just "pill pushing". Despite what people tell me about how you have patient contact in retail, isnt hospital practice utilize more of your skills, ie patient rounds?

Any thoughts on this? Esp. people who prefer retail.
 

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I like retail. I don't just "push pills". It's what you make of it. Clinical is a state of mind.

Clinical pharmacists in a hospital get patient contact. Staff pharmacists typically do not.
 
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anxietypeaker

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1) tired of retail pharmacy.

2) what type of places hire clinical and what types of places hire staff pharmacists? Is one more difficult a position to obtain than the other? What does a staff pharm do vs. clincal pharm? Do both still dispense pills?

3) retail pharm gets patient contact? i know you talk with them, but do you serve as a consultant to them?

I know these ?s are blunt, but im a prehealth student and dont know which field to go into. Thanks for the help everyone.
 

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anxietypeaker said:
1) tired of retail pharmacy.

2) what type of places hire clinical and what types of places hire staff pharmacists? Is one more difficult a position to obtain than the other? What does a staff pharm do vs. clincal pharm? Do both still dispense pills?

3) retail pharm gets patient contact? i know you talk with them, but do you serve as a consultant to them?

I know these ?s are blunt, but im a prehealth student and dont know which field to go into. Thanks for the help everyone.
=========

1. Yes and No...it depends on your career goals.
2. Staff pharmacist is a general term for both retail pharmacists and a portion of hospital pharmacists. I assume you asked where would hire clinical pharmacists and staff pharmacists as in hospital-related workplace...Well, the answer then is HOSPITAL. Clinical pharmacists are usually teamed up with MDs, RNs, PAs, etc...to monitor drug therapy....also to recommend better regimen for specific cases, patients. Clinical pharmacists can also be specialized in specific areas, such as cardio, kidney (renal), pulmo....
3. Retail pharmacists DO get patients interaction via face-to-face or phone. It's part of the job, too. Say a patient comes in and asks for a recommendation for his/her eyes due to redness, itchy, etc...then the retail pharmacist will take into account for recommending the best OTC, or alternatives...

In both settings of hospitals and retails, you would likely have to interact with patients (well, staff pharmacists at hospital are least likely to interact...except for clinical specialists).
 

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anxietypeaker said:
1) tired of retail pharmacy.
No.

anxietypeaker said:
2) what type of places hire clinical and what types of places hire staff pharmacists? Is one more difficult a position to obtain than the other? What does a staff pharm do vs. clincal pharm? Do both still dispense pills?
I'm not even remotely considering these so I'm the last person to give advice.

anxietypeaker said:
3) retail pharm gets patient contact? i know you talk with them, but do you serve as a consultant to them?
Considering that the the vast majority of people go to retail places to get their meds, you have a pretty good place for counciling them. Does every one get attention? No, but not everyone needs it, but when they do you can make a difference in their lives.
 

bananaface

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anxietypeaker said:
1) tired of retail pharmacy.

2) what type of places hire clinical and what types of places hire staff pharmacists? Is one more difficult a position to obtain than the other? What does a staff pharm do vs. clincal pharm? Do both still dispense pills?

3) retail pharm gets patient contact? i know you talk with them, but do you serve as a consultant to them?

I know these ?s are blunt, but im a prehealth student and dont know which field to go into. Thanks for the help everyone.
I am not standing in one place and doing one thing, and am always seeing different patients with different questions and needs so I can't see myself really going into the repitition fatigue that some people say happens. I may come to a time in my life where I need to pull back to avoid getting burned out, since I tend to take on projects. If you do not like dealing with people, you may find retail to be frustrating, because your job will always involve patient contact. A retail pharmacist who does not have patient contact is doing their job improperly. If your job site is like this, it's not a good example for you to see.

In a hospital setting a staff pharmacist most typically inputs written orders and checks them for appropriateness, as well as checking off technician's work - behind the scenes stuff. A clinical pharmacist tends to be on the floor with other staff, do rounds, chart reviews, counsel patients in their rooms, etc. Some places have these positions set up seperately and some require staff to do a little of everything. In a retail setting there is no separation. "Staff" generally refers to a non-manager. Clinical and non-clinical duties fall to all parties.
 

loo

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If you want more patient contact (in a retail setting), try working in a more "rural" area. You'll find yourself doing more triage i.e. using your clinical skills and the small town docs lean on your expertise more---thereby creating a great professional rapport.

Just my two cents---your results may vary. ;)

In any event, it's true that it is what YOU make of it.

loo
 

spacecowgirl

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anxietypeaker said:
In pharm school, you learn more than just "pill pushing". You learn the chemistry as well as the biochem of the medicine (along with its effects). Moreover, i dont find much interest in just "pill pushing". Despite what people tell me about how you have patient contact in retail, isnt hospital practice utilize more of your skills, ie patient rounds?

Any thoughts on this? Esp. people who prefer retail.
I think this is a misconception coming from someone who doesn't have retail or hospital work experience. I have seven years of retail tech experience and two years of hospital experience. I definitely prefer the former. As a staff pharmacist in a hospital (which outnumber our clinical staff probably 10:1) you have zero patient contact. In retail you have constant patient contact and like others have said, it is what you make of it. You can do as much or as little "pharmaceutical care" as you want. You can be a "pill pusher" or you can be involved in the health and lives of your patients.

I have worked in a variety of retail environments and know what I am looking for when I graduate. Retail isn't for everyone and neither is clinical. You can use your skills in either - being a good pharmacist involves far more than good clinical skills ;)
 

Sosumi

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The previous replies were well said. "Clinical pharmacy" is a state of mind. You have to determine what your practice will be.

I'm actually enjoying retail pharmacy a lot more than hospital pharmacy now. I feel more like I've been able to apply much of what I'm currently learning toward improving my patients' health.
 

Poland

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spacecowgirl said:
I have seven years of retail tech experience and two years of hospital experience. I definitely prefer the former.
That is interesting. Does retail pharmacy make you feel more professional (as a question, not bad like it sounds)? And how about the interaction with other workers in the hospital pharmacy? I have seen hospital job openings in pharmacy, one in particular at a children's research hospital, and I have thought it would be a good career. Would you think it would be simply filling pills and working with no patient/other doctor exposure in the hospital?
 

Requiem

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In clinical there are two main options:
1) Dispensary - no patient interaction- solely filling. Some people enjoy this.

2) Part of the "inter-disciplinary healthcare team" whereby you round with physicians and nurses and view patients charts, make recommendations on treatment, and are directly involved in the care of the patient, and communicate directly with them.

Of course you can specialize in various areas, and would round in the appropiate unit, etc.
 

spacecowgirl

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Poland said:
That is interesting. Does retail pharmacy make you feel more professional (as a question, not bad like it sounds)? And how about the interaction with other workers in the hospital pharmacy? I have seen hospital job openings in pharmacy, one in particular at a children's research hospital, and I have thought it would be a good career. Would you think it would be simply filling pills and working with no patient/other doctor exposure in the hospital?
I wouldn't even be willing to guess what any other hospital setting is like aside from where I work (a 700 bed major hospital). While we have specialized clinical staff on the different floors (NICU, PICU, renal, cardiac, critical care) the main pharmacy doesn't do much more than fill orders. A lot of the pharmacists I work with are the smartest people I know, so I'm not at all belittling what they do. I personally prefer to interact with people, not calculate adjusted doses in renal insufficiency. I personally would rather help someone find the best OTC treatment for their cold than check TPNs. But that is why I love pharmacy, because there is something for nearly everyone! Some of these same pharmacists don't have the best, uh, people skills so they are really working in the environment that best suits them.

BTW - I do feel "professional" in a retail setting, but I think people will treat you based on the attitude and confidence you convey. People will give you respect when you earn it.
 

sdn1977

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Pharmacy is a wonderful profession because of the diversity of practice settings! I spent 20 years working in an acute inpatient hospital near a major N. Ca medical school. It was stimulating, exciting, professionally challenging, tiring, stressful, difficult and tedious - not all at the same time. I left because of staffing pressures due to cutbacks. When I found I was the only pharmacist who was supervising 3 techs, calculating chemo dosing and responding to stat OR and ICU requests - all at the same time, I decided I didn't want to risk a mistake. I've made mistakes which have resulted in patient harm - and believe me - you will never forget them - ever! I've since worked outpatient retail pharmacy for the last 7 years and it has been very rewarding. Yes - you really do get clinical exposure. I've sent 3 folks to the ER with MI's in progress, sent one of my patients (an RN!) to the ER with a stroke (she knew what was wrong, but didn't want to admit to it) and intervened in countless patient interactions. However, I live in an urban area where we have a large aging population and as in most of CA - have large #s of immigrants and/or impoverished patients. All these patients have difficulty accessing healthcare in my state because of its complexity. Sometimes - I am the first one they see. I can tell them not to worry, to wait until their next MD appt or to do see someone right now. So - the bottom line for myself and my colleagues is - pharmacy is what you want to make of it - it can be boring or stimulating - you decide how involved you want to be!
 
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