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Pharmacy Schools

For those who are interested in a career in the medical profession and are interested in types of medicine, there are many pharmacy schools available offering vocational degrees to doctorates.

Before looking at pharmacy schools, it is useful to consider what area of pharmacy is best suited to you. There are those who attend pharmacy schools to become full-fledged pharmacists, whereas others are involved in tested new medicines and organize clinical trials.

Most pharmacy schools offer a Pharm D or a PhD, and some vocational schools train students to become pharmacists’ assistants. Some prefer to get a certificate and work with a pharmacist before going to pharmacy schools and enrolling in the full, four-year program.

The Pharm D is the most common course offered at pharmacy schools and is a four year, full-time course that offers students an opportunity to specialize in one of three areas:

~ Pharmaceutical Care

~ Pharmaceutical Sciences

~ Pharmaceutical health Policy

Pharmaceutical care is a degree that offers a wide variety of job opportunities, and graduates often work in hospitals, clinics, poison control centers, long-term care facilities and pharmacies.
Much of this work is done in a clinical setting, although there is a good amount of classroom work as well. The clinical work is done under the guidance of a supervisor and requires direct contact with patients.

The student explains the nature of the medications to the patient, what they are composed of, how they work, and how they should be taken. The student is available to answer any questions, and can ask the supervisor for assistance, if necessary.

Evaluation usually occurs through written exams, practical examinations and passing a board exam at the end of the course. Some students have to take the Board exam several times before passing and receiving a license.

Many graduates are able find jobs through programs at the pharmacy schools, and the internships included as part of the program of study help to give students the experience they  need to find a good position in a pharmacy a hospital, or other places that hire pharmacists.

Many students who go to pharmacy schools are not studying to become pharmacists, but prefer to be scientists. Graduates from courses in Pharmaceutical Sciences work in labs, universities, government agencies and for drug companies. Many of those who learn pharmaceutical sciences do research to find new forms of medication and to test medication through clinical trials prior to government approval.

A good part of this course is spent in the lab, but there is also classroom work. The final part of this course is spent in developing a thorough experiment, and many students are given grade according to their lab technique and written exams.

Those who would like a career involving pharmaceuticals but do not feel that they can embark on a four-year program at a college, university or pharmacy school may attend vocational school to train to be a pharmacists assistant. This course can be completed in a year or less, and the graduate is awarded with a certificate stating that he or she is qualified to work with a pharmacist.

These assistants label and fill prescriptions, and sometimes answer a customers’ questions about a certain medication (but more detailed questions are directed to the pharmacist). A pharmacist’s assistant may be employed in a pharmacy, a hospital or a long-term care center.

This course can be taken on evening and weekends, and in some cases, on-line. There is financial aid available at most vocational schools and many students who take out student loans are able to pay them back in a relatively short amount of time.

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