A hospital pharmacist is a licensed pharmacist that works based in a hospital pharmacy providing services to patients registered within the hospital. To become a hospital pharmacist, a doctorate degree in pharmacy is required, and can take up to 8 years to complete. Licensing by the state board of pharmacy is also required to practice. The role of the hospital pharmacist is extensive. The hospital pharmacist obtains a list of medications taken at home from each patient, and compares each to currently prescribed medications during the hospital stay to prevent any drug interactions. The hospital pharmacist also educates patients regarding proper use and side effects of medications. The hospital pharmacist serves as a resource to medical staff for medication indications, dosages, side effects, and general prescribing information. The hospital pharmacist works in tandem with medical providers to implement and monitor pharmaceutical therapies, and evaluate patient responses to medications. The hospital pharmacist also supervises other pharmacy staff, such as pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants and pharmacy interns. The hospital pharmacist enters medication orders into the computer system, and either prepares the medication or assigns it to assistive personnel to prepare. The hospital pharmacist has the final role in reviewing each prescription and medication for accuracy before it leaves the pharmacy. Hospital pharmacists must be aware of and function within the means of state and federal laws and regulations. Working hours may vary, as hospital pharmacies are always open.
Hospital Pharmacist Tasks
- Educate patient on medication use, storage and side effects.
- Solicit information from patients regarding past and current medication to prevent drug interactions.
- May collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review and evaluate patient effectiveness.
- Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
- Dispense and review prescriptions to ensure accuracy, and compliance with professional, state and federal regulatory requirements.