Hospital pharmacists play an essential role in a hospital. They aid health practitioners in inpatient care by preparing and distributing prescribed drugs to patients and instructing them about their possible side effects. They may also be responsible for administering medical tests like glucose or cholesterol level tests and vaccines or immunizations. If you aspire to provide critical patient care by administering medications, being a hospital pharmacist is the right option. Learn more about the requirements for the job and how to craft a resume that’ll get you closer to becoming a hospital pharmacist. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to customize your resume for the role you want easily. Let’s start by looking at three examples of hospital pharmacists at different career levels and how they formatted their resumes to display their strengths.
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Job duties of a hospital pharmacist
Hospital pharmacists work with health care professionals to serve in treating patients. They are responsible for preparing and dispensing medicines, maintaining patients’ drug charts, testing the quality of medications and advising patients. Other than the above key responsibilities, there are several other duties that hospital pharmacists perform daily. Some of these are:
Determining the best medications for each patient.
Compounding and dispensing medicines to patients.
Educating patients on the possible side effects they may experience.
Notifying other medical staff about patients’ information by keeping their drug charts updated.
Purchasing medication stock and conducting quality tests to ensure that they are safe.
Ensuring compliance with FDA, DEA and hospital procedures.
Monitoring drug therapy regimens for contraindications, drug-drug interactions, drug-food interactions, allergies and effectiveness of drug and dose.
Detecting and reporting any suspected adverse drug reactions on time.
Documenting all clinical activities and interventions accurately and completely.
Providing consultation and clarification to health care practitioners on the most appropriate and cost-effective options for patient treatments.
Hospital pharmacist median salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital pharmacists earn a median wage of $128,710 annually as of 2020.
Top skills for hospital pharmacists
According to U.S. News, pharmacists are in the top 20 best-paying jobs in the U.S., which has led to high competition in the job market. To stand out from the crowd, you must possess the right skills and differentiate yourself in the eyes of a recruiter.
These are some of the skills you should include in your resume to increase the possibilities of getting to the interview stage:
- Managing fluids and electrolytes: A hospital pharmacist distributes the fluids and electrolytes given to hospitalized patients. Fluids may need to be administered for several reasons, such as recovering circulation to various organs or compensating for lost electrolytes. Mismanagement of these can lead to complications like infection and an increase in morbidity.
- FDA compliance: To provide patients with high-quality and safe medicine, hospital pharmacists must ensure that the hospital complies with FDA laws and regulations. They also have to store every drug's transaction information history and investigate suspected or illegitimate prescription drugs.
- Knowledge of controlled substances acts: The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) regulates the purchase, storage and distribution of controlled substances. Hospital pharmacists should be knowledgeable of this law and maintain a complete record of every controlled substance that has been purchased, stored, dispensed and deposed. These records should be preserved for at least two years for inspection and should any loss occur. It should be notified to the DEA.
- Keeping up to date: As a hospital pharmacist, you must always be up to date on the development and new uses of medicines such as Hydrocodone Bitartrate Extended-Release Tablets, Droxidopa Capsules and Ibrutinib Capsules or medical devices such as new designs in ventilators. This will assure your patients receive the best treatment possible.
- Effective communication: Hospital pharmacists must work together with health care professionals and other medical staff to inform patients about their medical condition and medications used in their treatment. They also have to advise on medication dosage, explain their effects and instruct them on how to take them.
Educational requirements for hospital pharmacists
DegreeIt is mandatory to have studied a postgraduate degree or a Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to work as a hospital pharmacist. These programs focus on biology, medical ethics, pharmacology, patient care and biopharmaceuticals. They also include internships in hospitals and pharmacies. Most colleges also require candidates to pass The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) to be admitted. A few universities that stand out and offer a Doctorate of Pharmacy are the University of Texas, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Florida.
LicenseAfter completing their degree, hospital pharmacists must get licensed in the state where they will work. To get their license, they must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), which tests practical knowledge and abilities in pharmacy, and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE), which tests knowledge of state laws and regulations.
CertificationAlthough it is not mandatory, hospital pharmacists can get certified in some specific fields to advance their knowledge.
If they are administering immunizations, they must get certified in the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program created by the American Pharmacists Association.
You can also get certifications in specific fields. What’s more, adding quantifiable metrics to your achievements helps you stand out in the recruiter’s eyes by making your accomplishments clear and specific. Mention the average number of patient treatments in which you assisted, the percentage of money saved due to efficient management of drugs, or the percentage of reduction in errors due to innovations in record keeping. Basically, try to provide data for as many achievements and daily responsibilities as possible.
Hospital Pharmacist Resume-writing Tips
- Write a quality summary statement: If recruiters are not intrigued after scanning your resume for a few seconds, it is possible that you won’t get shortlisted. This is why your professional summary statement must capture the interest of recruiters. Offer a two-to-three sentence-long introduction of your professional profile. In it, include your relevant top skills, number of years of experience and your best quantified achievement.
- Focus on your resume format: Consider utilizing one of the three more popular resume formats depending on your career history. If you are a newly graduate, go for a functional resume which highlights your skills instead of your job history, but if you have extensive years of service in your field make sure to include them in a neat chronological resume. Meanwhile, if you have gaps in your resume or are changing careers, consider utilizing a combination resume.
- Tailor your resume to the job description: If you want your resume to reach the eyes of an actual human being, you will want to customize it to include all the skills relevant to the position you are applying for. Read through the job advertisement to learn what recruiters are looking for and address them in your resume, this will ensure it passes the automated screening process. If you are applying for multiple positions, be sure you personalize each resume to each position. Also make sure you proofread your document before sending it!
What are career advancement opportunities for hospital pharmacists?
Hospital pharmacists skilled in communication, with leadership and managerial skills, and a thorough understanding of FDA and DEA regulations can become a lead pharmacist, clinical pharmacist or even move into hospital management.
What is the difference between hospital pharmacists and clinical pharmacists?
Hospital pharmacists work in a hospital and are responsible for preparing prescriptions for patients, administering medications, maintaining their drug charts and advising them on medication dosage and its adverse effects.They also have to maintain optimal inventory levels and comply with FDA, DEA and other regulations.
Clinical pharmacists work in medical clinics and hospitals and participate in direct patient care in collaboration with physicians and other health care staff. They are responsible for performing medical tests, monitoring that patients receive the correct treatment and following patient health progress.