What is a Career?
A career is a job of profession that someone does for a very long period of their life. This implies an occupation chosen by an individual to develop him or herself for a lifetime. Most career demand special training as a prerequisite to make great and long lasting success. It also demands dogged passion to keep hope alive until our efforts start yielding financial benefits and fame.
The Pharmacy Profession
Pharmacy is the art, practice or profession of preparing, compounding and dispensing medicines and drugs. It is also a place where medicines are dispensed. Medicines and drugs are two distinct words, though are sometimes used interchangeably in general terms. Therapeutic approach has been deployed in recent times to cushion the side effects inherent in the administration of medicine and drugs. This is aimed at achieving health free of damages.
Requirements for Building a Career in Pharmacy
Pharmacy is a well-known aspect of science and demands a good knowledge of subjects such as: Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. These subjects must be taken into consideration if you desire to aspire for a Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy in a recognized University. When one gains admission into the University, it is important to expect courses in Public Health, Epidemiology, community health and many more.
Sub-Specialties of the Pharmacy Profession
Community Pharmacy: This is an aspect of Pharmacy that is concerned with compounding and dispensing of drugs and medicines.
Administrative and Social Pharmacy: This is an aspect Pharmacy that is central and crucial to the management of the Acts and policies that regulate the profession. They are concerned with the issuance of license to practitioners/sales outlets, monitoring and sanctioning erring members. The also ensure that quality goods are available at the distribution outlets.
Industrial Pharmacy: This aspect deals with the production, analysis and packaging of drugs to be distributed to community outlets for dispensing.
Academic Pharmacy: This is an aspect that is concerned with the training of persons to fill in the positions of Pharmacist. They are also specialized in the area of research and development, pioneering new products, modifying existing ones, designing reference books and more so updating drug information.
Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy: This sub-specialty is practiced in the hospitals and clinics, where they collaborate with other health professionals to arrest health emergency.
The Challenges of Building a Career in Pharmacy
Pharmacy just like many other professions has its own setbacks which include:
- Financial viability to pursue a BSc. program in Pharmacy
- Inadequate Pharmaceutical industries to ease the Pharmacy trainings
- Quest for supremacy amongst medical doctors and Pharmacist in the hospitals
- Weak Pharmacist-Patient relationship in the community Pharmacy.
- Government’s inability to adequately finance research of drugs to avert threatening health challenges.
Relevance of the Pharmacy Profession
The Pharmaceutical profession is a health related discipline that has a direct impact on total well-being of mankind. The following are a few that must be considered:
- Arresting of emergency health situations where doctors are out of reach
- Research of New drugs
- Sensitization on drug misuse and abuse
- Creating awareness on drug-drug combination therapy
- Production of drugs for dispensing
Career Trend of a Pharmacy
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides a survey report on various occupations, their trends and employment opportunities, the need for Pharmacist profession is reducing, after a period of great increase in the last few years. There is a surplus of Pharmacist, thereby setting a tensed competition and slow growth. The growth of the Pharmacist profession was 30.1 between 2002 and 2012, with the industry absorbing more 299,000 new Pharmacist. Howbeit between 2006 and 2016, this growth decline to about 23.4%. Ever since the curve deep, it has consistently going on a decline. Career trend also affirms this steady decline with a prediction of 3% growth in the employment of Pharmacist.
Salaries and Welfare Packages of a Pharmacy
The remuneration of Pharmacist vary with differences in the years of experience, Howbeit, the entry level Pharmacist is known to earn between N100,000 to N170,000 in Nigeria. Those working in the government hospitals earn higher than their contemporaries in the private hospitals. Entry level professionals earn a minimum of N165, 000, while those in the private earn N75,000. Mid-level and experienced professionals in government establishment earn N250,000 and N450,000, while their colleagues in the private hospitals earn N150,000 and N200,000. Those considered in the entry level are Pharmacist with zero to two years working experience. Mid-level Pharmacist are those with two to five years’ experience, while those with more than five years’ experience are considered experienced Pharmacist.