Pharmacy is the field involving the science and the techniques of preparing as well as dispensing drugs. It is part of health profession which establishes a connection between chemical sciences and health sciences and is aimed at ensuring the safety and efficacious use of pharmaceutical drugs.
The purview of pharmacy practice covers more conventional roles such as preparing drugs, reviewing medications for the purposes of efficacy and safety, facilitating drug information, etc. All of these make pharmacists—the practitioners of pharmacy—the experts on the subject of drug therapy and are fundamental in ensuring optimum utilization of medication. The term ‘pharmacy’ is popular in the United States whereas the word ‘chemist’ is commonly used in Great Britain.
Pharmacy is indispensable in health care and is, therefore, among the most lucrative fields of science considering the number of end-users and health necessities which never end. However, these reasons also contribute to competitiveness in the field which is cut-throat at times.
Despite being a competitive field, it is not monumentally difficult to make a mark in the field and establish a stable and profitable career in it. What is needed from you is research on the fundamentals involved in the making of a successful pharmacist.
Freelancing in the field of pharmacy can make a wonderful option since there is relative independence in the manner of working, a better balance of powers, and more access to opportunities. One can easily become a part of it by learning just a few simple tricks of the community, and this is also applicable to those interested in freelance pharmacy.
In this article, we shall discuss four simple requirements or pointers you should know before deciding to become a freelance pharmacist. Once you are well-acquainted with them, you are ready!
1. Job requirements to become a freelance pharmacist
- The first and foremost step is the completion of 10+2 from a recognized school. By this qualification, you will become eligible to Bachelor courses in the field of pharmacy.
- There are a number of entrance examinations such as CPMT which are organized by several states as well as independent medical educational bodies for providing admissions to candidates in various institutions attached to them as per their ranks in the entrance examination.
- These examinations are usually organized between the months of May and June and comprise Objective-type questions covering relevant subjects.
- There are a number of institutes which do not organize entrance examinations but accept candidates on the basis of their scores obtained in 10+2, with Biology as one of the subjects.
- Once you finish off the three-year Bachelor course, along with practical training, you can start hunting for a job.
- While people prefer Bachelor courses, there is a fair quantity of diploma courses in Pharmacy, with educational qualifications more or less similar to Bachelor courses—sit for the entrance examinations or apply to colleges on the basis of the 10+2 scores.
- Formal education is important, but without adequate experience, you can go nowhere as a freelancer. You will need to amass experience, and, therefore, you will have to work in various settings such as drug stores, pharmacy laboratories, hospitals, etc. In the portfolio of skills or resume, experience is the most important aspect of your profile, only second to educational qualifications—so pay attention to it.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance pharmacist
There is no gainsaying that it is the doctor who actually saves a life, but the fact he cannot discharge his duties in absence of his team, which includes a pharmacist, is all the more true. Pharmacists, as stated above, are inseparable to health care because of critical functions performed by them and, therefore, it will take more than just formal education to become one of them.
- Attention to detail: The fundamental role of a pharmacist is to prepare and dispense medication as per requirements and accuracy. You will have to give the customer the right medication and inform him of the right dosage—these functions may sound easy but involve the question of life and death. Many medicines may have deleterious effects if the patient does not take them in the right amount and during certain time period. Thus, attention to detail is a must.
- Computer Literacy: Modern, technologically-supported pharmacy is gradually replacing conventional, paperwork pharmacy in India, and this has increased the number of employers seeking pharmacists good at computers. Most pharmacies are connected to the Internet today: medical providers often dispense prescriptions online, store information about customers, insurance information, inventory counts and whatnot. If you wish to become a successful freelance pharmacist, you will have to muster your computer skills.
- Robust mathematics and science skills: Despite most of the work being done on computers, pharmacists are, nevertheless, required to possess excellent mathematics and science skills to perform certain calculations. Moreover, you should be well-versed about anatomy, physiology and chemistry, and human body reactions to various kinds of medications.
- Good communication skills: You must be able to communicate clearly with customers, colleagues, physicians and other individuals involved. These skills play a major role when the customer is confused about the dosages or belongs to a rural or illiterate background.
3. Work opportunities for freelance pharmacist
A certified pharmacist can work in various settings and may earn lavishly. He/she can work in pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, nursing homes, drug development laboratories, etc. You can take the academic route and become a teacher if that is more comfortable to you.
As you have already read, there are ample opportunities in store but you will have to keep a tab on job availability in these settings. For this, freelance websites can be of great assistance. These websites allow users to create a professional account, upload portfolio of skills and apply for jobs; they also send regular notifications or job alerts on the basis of the account holder’s skills. Examples of these websites include freelance.com, worknhire.com, linkedin.com.
4. Pay scale of a freelance pharmacist
Freelance pharmacists usually get reasonable pay in most of the settings, and most of them begin with the pay scale falling between Rs. 10,000 and Rs.15,000 per month in clinics and hospitals. The scale climbs up as they gain experience or work in better settings.
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