kvl1027

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Just a quick question. I was wondering what, if any extra time is needed if I want to specialize in Nuclear pharmacy or Oncology, i.e. residency? Also, is there any sort of salary increase? I would assume not too much since this is a clinical setting, but I would imagine there is more room for growth then there is in retail. Any info. would be great.
 

kwizard

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kvl1027 said:
Just a quick question. I was wondering what, if any extra time is needed if I want to specialize in Nuclear pharmacy or Oncology, i.e. residency? Also, is there any sort of salary increase? I would assume not too much since this is a clinical setting, but I would imagine there is more room for growth then there is in retail. Any info. would be great.
Nuclear and Oncology are two different fields within pharmacy. Nuclear is a little easier to discuss so I'll take that one first.

Nuclear pharmacy is really unique. I think the pfizer career guide has a section on nuclear pharmacy?

http://www.pfizercareerguides.com/default.asp?t=book&b=pharmacy

Secondly nuclear pharmacy may or may not require residency training. Given that not as many people go into to nuclear vs other fields of pharmacy, many nuclear jobs are willing to provide on the job training at full pharmacist pay while you prepare yourself for a career in nuclear pharmacy and certification as a board certified nuclear pharmacists (BCNP) or some other formal type of certification. This certification is pretty much mandatory to get and maintain a job in nuclear pharmacy for obvious reasons (i.e. safety regulations in handling the various products). So the residency route isn't as applicable since well paying apprenticeships are typically offered.

Nuclear pharmacy is really more about compounding various radioactive compounds used in diagnostic procedures and the hrs are really kind of odd depending on how big the company is. A lot of the places have you working from like 2AM - 10AM or odd hrs like that as the products have to be prepared early in the morning and sent to the hospital/facility for testing procedure early in te morning/afternoon. You can't make too many things ahead of time since the most of the products have really short half lives. Pay is pretty good (supposedly competitive w/ retail & hospitals). I don't think there is any pt contact if that interests you.

There are some residency programs. I know Walter Reed has one, but I think even they pay you regular pharmacist pay, but then again I think they require their residents to join the army.

For info about BCNP check out www.bpsweb.org

Please see the following links for possible positions in nuclear pharmacy and just some more general information:

http://nuclearpharmacy.uams.edu/nuclear_pharmacists/jobpostings.htm

http://rxinsider.com/nuclear_pharmacy.htm

www.accp.com or www.aphanet.org (and use job search engines)

Oncology is quite different. It is certainly more clinical/research oriented which typical resolves around safety in preparation and dose monitoring of chemo products, control chemo induced side effects (often nausea/vomiting, pain management, toxicities (variation in WBC vs anemia, etc). The research side can involve doing kinetics trials. Oncology requires 2 yrs of residency training plus a fellowship for those interested in the research aspects. Certification is also highly desired as a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP).

For info on board certification see www.bpsweb.org.
For info on residencies see www.accp.com or www.ashp.org.
For info on jobs see www.accp.com and use job search engine.

I hope this helps.
 
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kvl1027

kvl1027

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kwizard said:
Nuclear and Oncology are two different fields within pharmacy. Nuclear is a little easier to discuss so I'll take that one first.

Nuclear pharmacy is really unique. I think the pfizer career guide has a section on nuclear pharmacy?

http://www.pfizercareerguides.com/default.asp?t=book&b=pharmacy

Secondly nuclear pharmacy may or may not require residency training. Given that not as many people go into to nuclear vs other fields of pharmacy, many nuclear jobs are willing to provide on the job training at full pharmacist pay while you prepare yourself for a career in nuclear pharmacy and certification as a board certified nuclear pharmacists (BCNP) or some other formal type of certification. This certification is pretty much mandatory to get and maintain a job in nuclear pharmacy for obvious reasons (i.e. safety regulations in handling the various products). So the residency route isn't as applicable since well paying apprenticeships are typically offered.

Nuclear pharmacy is really more about compounding various radioactive compounds used in diagnostic procedures and the hrs are really kind of odd depending on how big the company is. A lot of the places have you working from like 2AM - 10AM or odd hrs like that as the products have to be prepared early in the morning and sent to the hospital/facility for testing procedure early in te morning/afternoon. You can't make too many things ahead of time since the most of the products have really short half lives. Pay is pretty good (supposedly competitive w/ retail & hospitals). I don't think there is any pt contact if that interests you.

There are some residency programs. I know Walter Reed has one, but I think even they pay you regular pharmacist pay, but then again I think they require their residents to join the army.

For info about BCNP check out www.bpsweb.org

Please see the following links for possible positions in nuclear pharmacy and just some more general information:

http://nuclearpharmacy.uams.edu/nuclear_pharmacists/jobpostings.htm

http://rxinsider.com/nuclear_pharmacy.htm

www.accp.com or www.aphanet.org (and use job search engines)

Oncology is quite different. It is certainly more clinical/research oriented which typical resolves around safety in preparation and dose monitoring of chemo products, control chemo induced side effects (often nausea/vomiting, pain management, toxicities (variation in WBC vs anemia, etc). The research side can involve doing kinetics trials. Oncology requires 2 yrs of residency training plus a fellowship for those interested in the research aspects. Certification is also highly desired as a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP).

For info on board certification see www.bpsweb.org.
For info on residencies see www.accp.com or www.ashp.org.
For info on jobs see www.accp.com and use job search engine.

I hope this helps.
Kwizard, you truly are a God among men. I have noticed that you never leave a vague response, which I'm sure has helped many 1PD newbies in the past. Future newbies will surely benefit from your knowledge.
Definitely helped, thanks.
 

kwizard

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kvl1027 said:
Kwizard, you truly are a God among men. I have noticed that you never leave a vague response, which I'm sure has helped many 1PD newbies in the past. Future newbies will surely benefit from your knowledge.
Definitely helped, thanks.
Thanks for the compliments. Good luck with everything. :)
 

sdn1977

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Altho I would agree Kwizard is a god - well....I've never met him, but I'm a person of great faith so I'll go with it. I will add a bit.....

Nuclear pharmacy - yeah - you need the BCNP certification no matte what you go into - diagnostics or therapeutics. There are actually a lot of nuclear pharmacists working within CA centers - MD Anderson, many sites around LA, Mayo Clinic sites - preparing the actual nuclear "pellets" which get implanted for various cancers - breast, testicular, etc. Not much pt interaction, but lots of regulatory & handling issues. Not something you want to go into without serious consideration! There is a recent article on this speciality recently - I'll see if I can find it if you're interested.

Oncology actually REQUIRES residency in CA. This is a huge field & one which is very difficult to keep up with. Generally, an oncolgy pharmacist will specialize - adult or pedi or neuro, etc..... You are responsibile for making sure lab reports & results are in order to correspond with the proper drug & dose, etc BEFORE it is given to the pt. You also get involved in other aspects of pt care - pain management, but if your're in a large facility....there is often a pain management pharmacist available which will handle this aspect.

I don't really know anything about the research aspects of this. But, from a clinical perspective, you really need to be board certified. There have been FAR too many mistakes made with the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong route, whatever......so.....those of you who are in a very small hospital without an oncolgy pharmacist - my advice - be very careful & go very slow & check everything many times - have another pharmacist double check your calculations AND sign off on it!!!!! You really can kill someone easier than you can imagine!
 

Sparda29

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What everyone above basically said, I don't know much about oncology.

I applied for a pharmacy technician job and the PIC at the nuclear pharmacy told me that if I want, I have the job, but he also said "....you know this is a full-time 2AM-10AM job right?"

Thus, I am still at CVS.
 

SpirivaSunrise

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Actually, a lot of the information provided in this thread is incorrect.

You do not need to become a BCNP to practice as a nuclear pharmacist; this is a board certification much like all the others (i.e. BCPS, BCPP, BCOP). Basically it exemplifies that you are an expert in the field, but is by no means the minimum qualification. It's quite the opposite, actually; and most likely confused for "Authorized Nuclear Pharmacist" in this thread.
 

Quiksilver

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Just a quick question. I was wondering what, if any extra time is needed if I want to specialize in Nuclear pharmacy or Oncology, i.e. residency? Also, is there any sort of salary increase? I would assume not too much since this is a clinical setting, but I would imagine there is more room for growth then there is in retail. Any info. would be great.
I would like to add that to work in an cancer hospital you do not need to do a residency to work as a staff pharmacist. However for clinical you need to do 2 years of residency. The staff position at our hospital does seem to have a little more of a clinical side to it; for example chemo calculations have to be double checked, there is a range that the doses have to follow, there are protocols that need to be followed. There are the typical stuff like vanco dosing, warfarin monitoring, TPN, etc. Chemo is also made in a special hood and there are safety concerns when your making the stuff.

Salary is a little lower in hospital, but all the pharmacists I talk to say the decrease in pay is small enough to justify the change of careers.
 

Glycerin

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I would like to add that to work in an cancer hospital you do not need to do a residency to work as a staff pharmacist. However for clinical you need to do 2 years of residency.
I know a clinical oncology pharmacist that did not do a residency. He does, however, have the BCOP.