I think that everyone has a unique set of skills that can be beneficial in a pharmacy setting and it's knowing how to use your skills to your advantage. Be kind. Be patient, with yourself and others.
Through my experiences these are the skill sets / abilities / personality traits that I think aid in being a successful pharmacist:
- In school: being able to plan ahead and to prepare for rotations preemptively, for example if you are going to be on an ambulatory rotation managing diabetes medications, make sure you are caught up on those disease states and drug classes and have a peripheral brain handy.
-Retail setting: being able to think fast on your feet literally and metaphorically as it can be a physically taxing job and to genuinely enjoy interacting with and counseling patients. Showing patients that you care goes such a long way.
- Hospital setting: the ability to critically analyze literature and to assess lab values and to be able apply it to patients. As well as communicating with other healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses.
- In general: the ability to critically think for yourself, to be confident in your recommendations, knowing where to find guideline directed recommendations and to know when to ask for help.
Being a pharmacist is a complex and layered profession requiring good communication, people skills and a clinical mind.
I believe attention to detail is crucial to being a successful pharmacist and pharmacy student, among the other attributes mentioned. Not only will attention to detail help with verifying prescriptions, but it will also help with a lot of the clerical activities that fall under the responsibilities of a pharmacist, such as checking for expired medications, filing important documents, adjudicating insurance claims, and writing patient notes.
Additionally, attention to detail plays a vital role when communicating with patients and other healthcare providers. As the most easily accessible healthcare professional, I believe pharmacists play an integral role in healthcare by translating between patient and provider. Attention to detail will allow you to decipher complex thoughts and messages from physicians and translate them into patient-friendly terms for them to understand. Without this trait, it would be difficult to understand key talking points when serving as the translation point between providers and patients.
Perseverance - it can be tough sometimes, but get ready to rinse and repeat the next day
Communication- making sure patient and doctor know what we think and want them to do
- Communication - with patients, other healthcare providers
- Critical thinking - A lot of time there is a gray area in the decision you are making. You must be able to appropriately analyze both risks and benefits
- Mathematics - This is essential, most of the math does not go past algebra but it is an essential skill
- Patience - As a pharmacist, you are pretty much never in the drivers seat. In the outpatient setting, you must play the middleman between the patient and... MD, insurance, medication, drug supply chain issues, etc.