Clinical Pharmacist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a clinical pharmacist. Feel free to use our clinical pharmacist job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a clinical pharmacist.
Who is a Clinical Pharmacist?
A clinical pharmacist educates patients and physicians about various medications to ensure safe and effective treatment. He or she describes what a drug is and does, why it should be prescribed, the risks associated with it, and the expected outcomes. In comparison to retail pharmacists, who fill prescriptions and provide basic patient education, a clinical pharmacist is an active member of the treatment team. The majority of professionals work in hospitals and clinics, where they can interact closely with physicians, nurses, and patients.
Numerous physicians rely on clinical pharmacists to assist them in developing the most effective treatment plans for their patients’ current illnesses and medical histories. It is frequently difficult for a physician to stay current on the latest pharmaceutical breakthroughs, and a specialist can answer any questions a physician may have about a new drug. Additionally, the specialist can relieve a physician of a considerable burden by providing a list of potential drug interactions, appropriate dosage amounts, and likely treatment outcomes.
Along with collaborating closely with other healthcare professionals, a clinical pharmacist may meet with patients directly. He or she can emphasize the critical nature of adhering to a strict dosing schedule and abstaining from foods, activities, and other medications that may interact with the prescribed medication. Patients who have questions about their medications during treatment are frequently referred directly to specialists rather than scheduling appointments with their primary care physicians.
Even if a clinical pharmacist is not directly involved in doctor-patient interactions, he or she contributes to the advancement of health care. Numerous specialists participate in research projects regularly, collaborating with other experts to evaluate and test new pharmaceutical products. Additionally, some serve as resident advisers for newly graduated pharmacists or as instructors at local pharmacy schools, preparing the next generation of clinical specialists.
In the majority of countries, individuals interested in working as a clinical pharmacist must first earn a doctorate in the specialty and complete a one- to two-year residency or fellowship training program. Some employees transition to clinical positions after gaining experience in retail pharmacy, while others enter the field immediately upon completion of their education requirements. On-the-job training is critical for a new specialist to ensure that he or she develops the necessary skills for job success. A pharmacist with several years of experience may be able to advance to the position of the lead administrative supervisor within a hospital pharmacy division.
Clinical pharmacy is a dynamic field with a diverse range of job opportunities. For instance, clinical pharmacist positions are available in a variety of settings. Pharmacists in this category may work in hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, research laboratories, and academic institutions. Additionally, they may be required to perform a variety of different tasks, including monitoring prescriptions, preparing medications, and mentoring pharmacy interns. The common thread running through all of the clinical pharmacist jobs is an emphasis on patient care. This means that these professionals work to promote and ensure the safe and effective use of medication.
Clinical pharmacists typically possess a broad educational background. As such, they are typically holders of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. They are typically knowledgeable in a variety of fields, including pharmaceuticals, clinical sciences, behavioral sciences, and medical ethics.
The work environment is one of the primary distinctions between the various clinical pharmacist jobs. For instance, some pharmacists work in hospitals, administering medications to patients while monitoring their efficacy and ensuring that the healthcare received is optimal. Generally, this type of clinical pharmacist collaborates closely with physicians and nurses to optimize patient care. Pharmacists may consult with physicians to determine the best course of treatment for a patient. In this capacity, a clinical pharmacist may assist in determining appropriate dosages and educate staff about any potential adverse effects associated with a drug.
A pharmacist assigned to a clinic will have many of the same responsibilities as a pharmacist assigned to a hospital. Frequently, he or she will be required to instruct or inform medical personnel about drugs. This may include a general overview of the various drugs available on the market, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. He or she may also educate staff members about proper drug use and administration. This may be in addition to his or her other responsibilities as a provider of high-quality patient care. Occasionally, the clinical pharmacist will also place facility-wide drug orders.
Certain clinical pharmacist positions require mentorship or instruction. This typically entails supervising young pharmacist interns in a variety of tasks, including the preparation of drugs for patient use. Additionally, they may familiarize interns with the various types of medications available. Clinical pharmacists can also work exclusively in an academic capacity, giving presentations at conferences and writing research papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Clinical Pharmacist Job Description
Below are the clinical pharmacist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a clinical pharmacist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a clinical pharmacist include the following:
- Creating clinical pharmacy programs following applicable policies and regulations.
- Examining patient records to ascertain the appropriateness of medication therapy.
- Evaluating the patient’s condition to ensure that all pertinent issues are addressed. Recognize untreated health problems and refer patients to appropriate physicians.
- Creating effective medication regimens with a low risk of adverse effects
- Consulting on dosages, medication ingredients, and so on.
- Assisting in the proper administration of medications
- Evaluating the effectiveness of pharmaceutical treatments
- Collaborating with healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible care for patients
- Maintaining accurate records of medication plans and patient progress.
- Interacting with nursing and other medical personnel.
- Evaluating the patient’s condition to ensure that all concerns are addressed appropriately.
- Identifying untreated health problems and referring patients to appropriate specialists.
- Consulting medication substances, dosages, and other information.
- Conducting evaluations of the efficacy of pharmaceutical treatments.
- Maintaining a record of the patient’s progress and medication regimen.
- Evaluating all Medicare coverage requirement requests and ensuring compliance with all clinical procedures.
- Collaborating with pharmacy and medical staff to perform routine interventions in accordance with available medications.
- Conducting routine evaluations of all usage and dosage, ensuring the absence of any adverse reactions, and assisting all patients with the assessment of patient orders and prescription infusions, as well as ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Collecting, maintaining, and analyzing all laboratory data, as well as all required patient information, and making dosage adjustment recommendations as needed.
- Administering and completing all pharmacy care plans, as well as performing medication reconciliations and overseeing all sterile mixing processes.
- Maintain a record of all medications administered to patients, ensuring that there are no discrepancies, and analyzing all adverse effects and drug interactions.
- Coordinating with all medical case managers and evaluating all high-risk members to avoid any risks, as well as participation in all patient-related meetings.
- Preparing all clinical documents and assisting with all on-call pharmacy activities, as well as evaluating all pharmacy claim data and identifying all clinical savings.
- Clinical pharmacist with demonstrated experience
- A residency program and a valid driver’s license are required.
- Outstanding knowledge of pharmaceutical therapy and direct patient care.
- Possess a thorough understanding of drug administration and health and safety regulations.
- Computer literacy is required.
- A team player with exceptional communication abilities (verbal and written)
- Aptitude for problem-solving and decision-making
- Pharmacy/Pharmacology degree
When working as a clinical pharmacist, it is beneficial to possess a variety of soft and technical skills. While the technical skills required of you may vary depending on the facility where you work, the soft skills you possess may be transferable between employers. The following are some examples of clinical pharmacist skills:
The ability to pay close attention to detail enables you to perform your job duties effectively and accurately administer medication to patients. When developing treatment plans for your patients, it’s critical to conduct adequate testing to ensure that the plan and medication you prescribe are accurate for them and improve their health. Additionally, after a patient has adhered to their treatment plan, it is critical to monitor their health to determine whether the plan is working for them.
If not, you can consult with their physician and other health care professionals to come up with another plan for them to try. It’s also critical to note whether the patients have any allergies or other restrictions that their prescriptions must adhere to.
- Management Skills
Management abilities are critical in this role, as you will frequently be managing other professionals and the day-to-day tasks of the work environment. This position allows you to work in a variety of different work environments, including retail or hospital pharmacies. You may also serve as a pharmacy director, which would entail managing additional staff members and supervising daily operations to ensure the pharmacy runs efficiently. This may include training new employees or assisting with an increase in workload.
- Financial savvy
Financial literacy entails an ability to comprehend and effectively apply a variety of financial skills. These abilities will benefit you as you work in this position, as you will be responsible for arranging for patients to afford their prescriptions. This may take the form of financial aid plans or other types of payment plans. Additionally, you may communicate with patients’ insurance companies or assist them in determining what is covered under their insurance policies. Additionally, you are accountable for the medication’s inventory, which requires you to understand how much inventory is currently available, how much the pharmacy requires to fill prescriptions, and how to place orders for additional inventory.
- Communication skills
When working with staff members, physicians, other health care professionals, patients, and their families, effective communication skills are critical. For instance, when you’re developing a treatment plan for a patient, you collaborate with several individuals to ensure that the plan is appropriate for the patient. While doing so, you collaborate with the physician and other health care professionals and then communicate with staff members to ensure the prescription is filled by a specified date and time.
Once the patient has picked up their prescription, you can explain to them why they are taking it, how long they should take it, and how much they should take throughout the day. Additionally, you can explain the treatment plan to the patient’s family or caregiver so that they understand how to care for the patient.
- Counseling skills
When working with patients, the ability to counsel is critical. Counseling abilities may include active listening, taking notes, and maintaining confidentiality regarding patients’ health care treatments and plans. As a clinical pharmacist, you are expected to listen to patients as they describe their symptoms and to ask clarifying questions as necessary. Additionally, it is critical to adhere to confidentiality rules to protect the patient’s privacy.
Empathy is the capacity to feel the patient’s emotions and to empathize with what they’re experiencing and feeling. Empathy can aid in the development of trust between you and your patients. This enables them to communicate more effectively and honestly with you about their health and treatment plans.
How to Become a Clinical Pharmacist
- Earn a degree
To begin a career as a clinical pharmacist, an undergraduate degree in a field related to medicine, such as biology or microbiology, is required. To ensure that prerequisites for graduate school are met, aspiring clinical pharmacists should take courses in molecular biology, cellular biology, human anatomy, statistics, English, and organic chemistry during their bachelor’s program.
- Enroll in a four-year doctoral program in pharmacy.
Applying for and completing a four-year pharmacy doctoral program is the next step toward becoming a clinical pharmacist. This program should be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and prepare students for the series of licensing examinations required in their state. This program offers classes in toxicology, psychology, pharmacology, and advanced biology and chemistry.
- Acquire specialized training
After completing their doctoral program, aspiring clinical pharmacists must gain experience in a health care setting, such as a hospital. This experience exposes pharmacists to direct patient care. Aspiring pharmacists work alongside physicians and gain experience as a member of a comprehensive patient care team.
Some aspiring pharmacists complete one-year residency programs before enrolling in a specialty training program. Typically, specialty training programs last two years.
- Obtain a license
All clinical pharmacists who wish to practice must take and pass the North American Pharmacists Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). This exam assesses general practice knowledge and is designed for students who have graduated from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education-accredited school (ACPE). The NAPLEX exam is a six-hour test comprised of 225 computer-based questions. Two hundred questions are used to determine the final grade, while the remaining twenty-five serve as pretest questions for evaluation and possible inclusion in future NAPLEX exams.
The majority of NAPLEX questions are scenario-based and require advanced analytical abilities. Candidates may attempt the NAPLEX exam a maximum of five times within 45 days. After passing the NAPLEX exam, a candidate is considered a licensed clinical pharmacist.
Additionally, each state has its unique requirements for licensure of clinical pharmacists. For instance, some states require pharmacists to take and pass the multistate Jurisprudence Exam before they can practice legally in that state.
- Comply with all required continuing education requirements
Along with passing the NAPLEX exam, many states require clinical pharmacists to complete continuing education. These requirements ensure that pharmacists are current on medical advances and are capable of providing patients with the highest and most competent level of care possible.
Where to Work as a Clinical Pharmacist
Clinical pharmacists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, research laboratories, and academic institutions.
Clinical Pharmacist Salary Scale
In the United States, the national average salary for a Clinical Pharmacist is $130,541 per year.