Pharmacists have gone from solely dispensing medications to providing comprehensive patient care. The increasing demand for patient care responsibilities makes studying pharmacy programs vital in the healthcare field. Over the past decade, healthcare has experienced significant changes, completely transforming pharmacists’ professional roles. Pharmacists now work in diverse patient care teams, a far cry from what was once thought impossible. This shift has sparked a need for aspiring pharmacy students to enroll in accredited online programs. Today, pharmacists are highly educated professionals in great demand. They have the time and opportunity to exceed the role of barcode readers, thanks to programs that educate them on disease processes, Pharmacotherapy knowledge, and medication administration. For more information, check out this enlightening blog.
The Role of Pharmacists in Patient Care
Pharmacists represent the third largest health professional group in the U.S. With a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy (B Pharm), some pharmacists work in non-patient care settings as well (e.g., teaching, research, and administration).
“Whether in hospital, retail or public health sector, pharmacists play an important role in counseling patients, reducing medication errors and providing assistance with accuracy. The role of pharmacists is thus far greater than simply filling and dispensing prescribed medications. A forecast report from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) says that there will be a shortfall of as many as 157,000 pharmacists by 2020”.
The subject of pharmacy has evolved as a multidisciplinary curriculum with the emergence of the concept of “global healthcare.” The growth of patient care responsibilities has created the need to study pharmacy programs to research disease processes, acquire Pharmacotherapy knowledge, and improve patient monitoring skills.
Medications and drug therapies, identification of new uses for existing medications, increased numbers of authorized prescribers, increased affordability and availability of more generic drugs, and more.
Not surprisingly, this growth generated a demand for pharmacists in hospitals and clinics, as well as in retail, government, and academic settings because the growth of the workforce had not kept pace with the demand for services – due in part to the lack of growth in educational opportunities for many years – a nationwide pharmacist shortage developed in the late 1990s.
No matter where in the country a young pharmacist wanted to settle down, the number of jobs available far exceeded the number of people qualified to fill them.