10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2006
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Generally speaking, is there less interaction with patients in pharmacy as opposed to any other medical field, dentistry, optometry, nursing, etc.? I used to work as a tech at a retail pharmacy and it always seemed as if the pharmacist was spending the majority of his time getting doctor call-in prescriptions or bustling over problems dealing with insurance companies and trying to get in contact with them. People would wait at the counter waiting to speak to the pharmacist regarding their medications, and would walk out after a few minutes after realizing how busy we were.

What are some pros and cons of retail and hospital pharmacy? Do you find the work rewarding?


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2005
There have been many threads on the many facets you've brought up in this topic.

Yes - there are differences in patient interaction between phamarmacy and other health professions.

Yes - there are differences between acute care and outpatient pharmacist/patient interactions.

Generally, we do not have much hands on patient interaction, however, we do INR/blood sugar fingersticks, immunizations, etc.. We do not do H&P's, treatments such as wound care, dressing changes, etc....We do need to be sure the pt knows how to use their inhaler, blood glucose machine, epi pen, whatever.

I've looked at rashes, oral lesions, red eyes (however reluctantly), but I don't ask to see them. I don't want to see them & often will refer them to their primary provider.

Inpatient interactions have to do with what service you work on & what your duties are. If you work in the ICU, you may be very involved with the pt, but the pt won't remember you were there. Alternatively, if you work in a mental health unit, you may have significant interaction doing medication teaching.

Outpatient interactions, as you've experienced, vary with how busy you are. There are times when I can take the time to spend talking with a new mom about an immunization initiated fever or an older patient wanting information on the new statin which was prescribed. However, there are times when I don't have the time to devote to the topic presented to me. In that situation, I offer to have them call me back & give them my card or I take their number & call them.

I hope that helps with your question....if not, ask again :)
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