Tennessee Pharmacists Association

WHAT PHARMACISTS DO


Every day, pharmacists and pharmacy staff members work with doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to improve the health and well-being of patients by providing many essential health care services. All pharmacists graduating from schools and colleges of pharmacy today earn their Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD). The following are just a few of the many health care services provided by pharmacists and pharmacy staff members:

  • Promote the health and well-being of patients through the appropriate use and management of medication therapy
  • Work individually with patients to help them achieve optimal health outcomes and a better quality of life
  • Review complete patient medication history lists to ensure that the patient receives the most appropriate medication therapy possible
  • Verify important components of prescription medicines, including drug, dose, and duration, and if appropriate, dispense medications
  • Minimize the risk for adverse events caused by side effects, drug, food and medical condition interactions, or possible allergic reactions related to medication therapies
  • Provide education and resources to patients regarding their medication therapy, including proper use, anticipated results, possible side effects and adverse events, storage and handling instructions, and many other essential pieces of information
  • Provide disease prevention and management education, including diet, exercise, and stress management
  • Train patients on proper use of medications, including technical tasks such as using inhalers, insulin devices, blood glucose meters, and other equipment or supplies needed to best treat medical conditions
  • Partner with physicians and other essential health care providers to coordinate care and collaborate on medication therapies and optimal goals of therapy
  • Manage essential components of patient care and medication use in hospitals, including antibiotic use and dosing, nutritional support, critical care, emergency medicine, and other essential care
  • Review immunization histories with patients and administer recommended vaccinations, if appropriate
  • Work with insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to identify and dispense the best medications available to manage their conditions
  • Provide input, leadership, and direction to their pharmacist colleagues, pharmacy technicians, pharmacists in training (interns), and pharmacy staff members, as well as the entire team of health care providers
  • Manage all pharmacy operations, including medication inventory, staff licenses and registrations, and all records required for compliance with state and federal regulations

The following links provide information about specific areas of pharmacy practice:

Job Description

With most drugs, pharmacists use standard dosages from pharmaceutical companies. However, some pharmacists create customized medications by mixing ingredients themselves, a process known as compounding.