Good question. As mentioned previously, a day in the life of a pharmacist varies considerably in your work setting. Pharmacists are the medication experts of healthcare and can have a role in nearly all environments where medication plays a role. However, I assume you were referring to the role of a retail pharmacist as I am one.
Every morning I enter work and check my phone calls, refrigerator and freezer temperatures, and email. I also reviewed any notes from the pharmacist working the day prior if I was off. From there, I go on to type my incoming prescription queue. I try to complete this by my technicians arrive to start filling prescriptions immediately. From there, I begin helping with patient issues, verifying prescriptions to be sold, checking patients out, answering phone calls from prescribers and patients, and giving vaccines. This may seem daunting. However, you are not alone and usually have a team of technicians to support you. Ultimately, many pharmacists' job is delegating tasks to technicians and managing workflow. I also have clerical responsibilities, such as filing delivery invoices and checking deliveries throughout the day. Finally, I focused on cleaning up the pharmacy to prepare it for the next day at the night's end. This involves physically cleaning, counting trays and counters, vacuuming, throwing out the trash, putting away medications, and filling supply bins.
Ultimately, because you are constantly dealing with patients, your role as a pharmacist varies significantly from day to day. Although you have clear-cut responsibilities to take care of, the urgency of those responsibilities can change on a whim due to the unpredictable nature of patients.
A day in the life of a pharmacist is distinctly variable based on the setting in which the pharmacist practices—including, but not limited to, community pharmacy, clinic, hospital, specialty pharmacy, long-term care, academia, pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy benefit management, association management, and many more settings. Even within the same setting, each day can vary significantly—which makes the work of a pharmacist more interesting, exciting, and rewarding!
You can explore the broad range of pharmacy career paths, including pharmacist roles and daily responsibilities within each area, at www.transpharmd.com. In the resources section, front-line pharmacists from a wide variety of practice settings provide in-depth responses to this very question. You can reach out directly on the website for more information as well.
Wishing you all the best as you explore the boundless profession of pharmacy!
Paria Sanaty Zadeh, PharmD