2 answers

What is the stress level of a pharmacist?

Updated Denison, Iowa

Hello my name is Paitynn and I'm currently enrolled in job corps to get my high school diploma and study pharmacy tech. My biggest question is what is the stress level like in this profession and would you recommend it? Also were would you start major wise to get to the farther education you would need? #pharmacy #pharmacist #medicine #pharmaceuticals

2 answers

David’s Answer


Paitynn, pharmacy can be extremely stressful. A lot of multitasking. People waiting in line, to drop off and another line to pick up. People get anxious, even snappy when they cannot get their prescription on time, or have been out for a few days. I have also worked in pharmacies that were privately owned and were real laid back and not busy at all. I would only recommend being a tech., if you worked in a hospital pharmacy or a small privately owned one. The mainline retail ones, I would avoid at all costs. A friend of mine worked one day at a busy one and quit the same day, because it was so stressful. And she still had to pay off her pharmacy tech school. Go to Wikipedia and type in pharmacist. Then scroll to education. It will explain it to you. If you like pharmacy, still in the future, Pharm D/ Doctor of Pharmacy would be the best. I’ve never heard them complain that their job was too stressful.

Thank you very much for your comment it has helped me think about where I want to go after school.

Scott’s Answer


Pharmacists are dealing with people and their health and therefore there can be times when it is stressful. While nobody wants stress, I would say the gratification of helping patients and their sincere appreciation when a pharmacist is able to help them is more powerful and overcomes the stress involved. The most stressful is probably community pharmacy since you have patients in front of you and they are often in a hurry, but that does not make it less rewarding. If you manage your surroundings and lead your team, you can manage the stress by running a smooth operation that is ready for your patients. Pharmacists practice in many settings and one that has very low stress is mail order where you have little to no patient interaction.

In regards to what majors, you would want to look at the prerequisites for pharmacy schools in your 2 undergrad years and pick a major that aligns well. There is much chemistry and biological science in pharmacy school so degrees aligned to that are often helpful as you transition from your 2 to 4 years of bachelors work to the rigorous 4 years of doctorate work to become a pharmacist.

Scott recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the prerequisite courses for 2 to 3 pharmacy schools you would like to attend and also look at their 4 year curriculum
  • Get involved now as a leader to learn how to lead a team effectively and reduce stress in a less formal setting as problems and opportunities arise.
  • Make sure you are prepared to get good grades and truly learn in college so that you will be a top candidate to get accepted to a pharmacy school.
  • Find a local pharmacist and interview him/her and find out how they manage stress and their patients outcomes.
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