Who makes drugs pharmacist or chemical engineer
Pharmacist in a public pharmacy
My studies in pharmacy were very scientifically oriented and of particular interest to me because the subject areas were varied. Chemistry, biology and pharmacology are obvious scientific focuses, but technology and the topics covered in the manufacture, stability and storage of drugs with complex release characteristics of the active ingredient add practical aspects to them. This makes the job as a pharmacist all the more interesting.
I went abroad during the practical year and was able to combine my linguistic interests with my studies in the best possible way. Another subject that I paid a lot of attention to during my studies was clinical pharmacy.
Here you get an impression of the practical implementation of many facts learned in pharmacology about the course of the disease and the correct use of drugs, but also the correct transfer of knowledge to the patient or caring staff or the doctor.
The various fields of work in the public pharmacy, industry or in authorities make use of these bases to varying degrees. In the public pharmacy, for example, it is particularly important to convey information to patients or their relatives.
Personal contact with the patient
About 80% of pharmacists in Germany choose to work in the public pharmacy. In this country, these are each owned by a pharmacist. The law stipulates that the businesses must not operate in the hands of corporations or as a chain in order to protect patients. Behind this is the desire to establish a personal relationship between pharmacist and patient: As long as you know your customers / patients, you can provide them with optimal care. Therefore, each pharmacist can own a maximum of four pharmacies.
Continuing education and training
The pharmacist should attend further training courses on an ongoing basis in order to acquire additional qualifications. There are those who are particularly familiar with the problems of old age and the corresponding medication.
There are also pharmacists specializing in homeopathy or oncology. These offers are organized by the Chamber of Pharmacists and are open to anyone who wants to specialize in a particular direction for themselves and their pharmacy. In addition to all the individuality in the design and offer, there is of course a fixed core of services and products.
Daily business of a pharmacist
For the pharmacist, the daily routine in a pharmacy also includes advising patients, training pharmacists in the practical year or pharmaceutical-technical assistants. The emergency service is organized and secured together with the pharmacies in the area - in my case that means one night in the pharmacy every 19 days for emergencies. The pharmacist on duty is responsible for all processes in the pharmacy.
Information on drugs, control of narcotics and inventory management, prescriptions, employee interviews and team meetings are key words that shed light on everyday life in this profession. Many doctors, especially dermatologists, also prescribe medicines that need to be manufactured. The production in the so-called recipe requires some skill and expertise. In special cases it can get very complicated. Many oncological formulas and food bags require special work environment measures.
As a pharmacist, you can also perform many tasks outside of the pharmacy routine. Large pharmacies that supply nursing homes or old people's homes and are also strongly service-oriented offer lectures on health topics or therapies for certain diseases.
For example, during the EHEC or H5N1 crisis, there was great uncertainty among the population and the need for clarification was enormous. In nursing homes you consult with the nursing staff, monitor the stocks of medicines and support their sensible use with the patients.
Career paths as a pharmacist
In the public pharmacy career progresses with the level of experience. Of the maximum of four pharmacies owned by the same pharmacist, three branches must be managed by pharmacists on behalf of the owner, the fourth by the owner himself. The owner naturally also bears the commercial responsibility, in contrast to the employed pharmacist.
The attraction lies in the fact that you have a relatively flat hierarchy compared to large companies and that ideas can be quickly implemented in projects - from marketing to patient communication to practical work on the recipe. As mentioned earlier, there are several directions in which to communicate your work. The conversation with the patient naturally predominates, but once the treating doctors have gained confidence in you, interesting conversations about complex patient cases ensue and it is always a particular pleasure for me to be able to solve a difficult drug problem for the benefit of the patient.
Think out of the box
Such discussions also resulted in a project in which a colleague and I further developed the pharmaceutical care of patients in the work environment of public pharmacies. We have oriented ourselves towards Australian and US models and have now won several innovation awards. This particular incentive and the positive reactions from many colleagues make the task particularly exciting for me.
My personal dream would be to establish pharmaceutical care more firmly in the health system in Germany. So far, the main focus has been on providing advice on the dispensing of medicines and the health system compensates for it financially. The use of the pharmacist is partly unrelated to training and has little added value for the health system. It has been proven that the sensible use of pharmaceutical knowledge is beneficial for everyone involved in the system, especially for the patient.
The prerequisite for this is the establishment of systematic knowledge of the supervision process, which has so far been neglected in the course. The result is often a ‘practice shock, namely the first conversation with a real patient, usually during the practical year. For an improvement and further development of the system, it is worth working in chambers and associations. An exciting time has dawned in pharmacy right now. Changing markets must be taken into account in industry.
In the authorities and institutes one has to face the challenges of digital information processing and the harmonization of international regulations and in the public pharmacy there is an evolution of the tasks of an entire profession on a solid basis. Boredom is in short supply.
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