"Pharmacists dispense drugs and medicines prescribed by physicians and health practitioners. As such, a pharmacist must possess the medical knowledge necessary to inform his or her customers about the purpose, hazards, and side effects of any drug he or she dispenses. Pharmacists also keep computerized and often detailed records of patient drug use and medical profiles to ensure that patients won’t combine drugs that shouldn’t be taken with one another and that they are following their doctors’ instructions concerning dosage.
It is an increasing part of the pharmacist’s job to be actively involved with patients, providing information on prescription drugs, referring patients to appropriate over-thecounter drugs, and advising physicians on the proper selection and use of medications. Pharmacists employed in community pharmacies, as nearly 60 percent are, may also take on the responsibilities of running the business, such as buying and selling nonpharmaceutical merchandise (think of what else you can get at Rite Aid), hiring and supervising personnel and pharmacy technicians, and overseeing much of the day-to-day operation of the pharmacy itself. Although pharmacists who run their own business certainly perform these tasks, even salaried employees of big-chain pharmacies can find themselves taking on some managerial responsibilities in addition to their pharmaceutical duties.
Pharmacists who are employed by hospitals (this group makes up 25 percent of the profession), clinics, and HMOs dispense prescriptions and work as consultants to the medical team. They also make sterile solutions for use in the emergency room and in surgical procedures, purchase medical supplies, instruct interns, and perform administrative duties. Some of them in the hospital and medical field continue their education and conduct research into new medicines and areas of drug therapy, specializing in drug therapies for psychiatric disorders, for example, or the use of radiopharmaceuticals. Most pharmacists spend an average of 44 hours per week at their jobs, but individuals who are self-employed tend to work longer. In any case, the work is not sedentary, and pharmacists report spending a lot of their time on their feet." (Princeton Review)