Clinical Pharmacist Job Description

Clinical Pharmacists work closely with healthcare professionals to decide upon the best medications to treat patient symptoms. Clinical Pharmacists can work more irregular hours than a Pharmacist at a drugstore or big box chain, as Clinical Pharmacists work at healthcare facilities rather than pharmacies. It is a job that requires extensive medical and pharmaceutical knowledge, as well as good bedside manner.

Clinical Pharmacists typically work in partnership with Medical Doctors. They usually are allowed to work independently, consulting with doctors and nurses as necessary. Clinical Pharmacists are employed by hospitals, nursing homes and psychiatric centers and work directly as part of the patient’s care team. This is a good position for those passionate about pharmaceuticals but want to play a more direct role in the patient care process. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, which classifies Clinical Pharmacists under ‘Pharmacists’, the demand for Clinical Pharmacists is set to rise 3 percent through 2024.


Clinical Pharmacist Duties and Responsibilities

In order to achieve their goal of providing the best medications for treating each of their patients, Clinical Pharmacists must perform several duties and responsibilities. Based on our analysis of a plethora of Clinical Pharmacist job descriptions, the following duties and responsibilities are the most important.

Create Clinical Criteria

All Clinical Pharmacists contribute collectively to the clinical criteria for both new and existing pharmaceuticals. This duty involves doing extensive academic research on drugs

Analyze Medical Patient Medical Histories

Clinical Pharmacists make their decision on which drugs to prescribe based on this analysis of the patient’s medical profile and history. Based on this information, they can predict which medications may present risk of severe side effects.

Evaluate Laboratory Data

Clinical Pharmacists need to monitor their patient’s lab results in order to see if certain medications are having a negative effect on any organs. They also need to watch out for inter-drug reactions, as well as reactions with any natural supplements.

Report Adverse Drug Events

Clinical Pharmacists are responsible for reporting side effects that severely affect a patient’s health. This involves keeping meticulous records of such incidents. Also falling under this responsibility is reporting suspected cases of drug abuse.

Prescribe Medications

The research and lab analysis done by Clinical Pharmacists is completed in order to give them enough information to choose the best medications for treating a patient’s system. This process involves interviewing patients to have them talk about their symptoms, as well as any strange reactions they have had to medicine in the past.


Clinical Pharmacist Skills

Clinical Pharmacists possess a robust collection of skills that goes beyond Pharmaceutical knowledge. It goes without saying that Clinical Pharmacists must be experts in Pharmacology. They must stay abreast of research on the latest pharmaceuticals, and then apply this research to their practice. Clinical Pharmacists must also be great communicators. They have to be able to clearly explain the benefits and side effects of medications, as well as instructions for taking these medications. Interpersonal skills and social perceptiveness are also necessary to be able to ease the fears and anxieties patients have towards taking medications. After analyzing dozens of Clinical Pharmacist job descriptions, Clinical Pharmacists need to possess the following skills:

  • Actively listening to patients during interviews in order to determine which symptoms need to be treated.
  • Using expert knowledge of pharmacology to determine the right medications for patient symptom.
  • Maintaining professional integrity by monitoring those abusing their medication and following the policies and procedures for reporting such incidents.
  • Communicating medication instructions and side effects in a way that eases patient anxieties.
  • Documenting patient progress and altering medications as necessary
  • Collaborating with other medical professionals as part of an interdisciplinary care team.

Clinical Pharmacist Education and Training

Clinical Pharmacists must go through a lot of schooling before they officially begin their careers. The first educational step is to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science, Biology or a related field. At this level, students learn about the human body, as well as how disease affects the human body. The next step is to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacology. This is the level where students acquire their expertise in Pharmacology. This knowledge is drawn upon constantly when students gain employment.

Students complete clinical hours as part of their Doctorate. They work in healthcare facilities shadowing licensed Clinical Pharmacists, and they get the chance to put classroom theory into practice. Before gaining employment, aspiring Clinical Pharmacists must pass their state’s licensing exam.


Clinical Pharmacist Salary

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, Clinical Pharmacists, which are classified under ‘Pharmacists’, have a median salary of $122,230. Those in the bottom 10 percent made below $87,120, while those in the top 10 percent make more than $157,950.


Clinical Pharmacist Resources

Has what your learned in this article given you a thirst for more information regarding Clinical Pharmacology? If so, then check out the following list of resources for both aspiring and practicing Clinical Pharmacologists.

American Pharmacists Association – The American Pharmacists Association is one of the most well known professional organizations for Pharmacists. It has a regularly updated blog and a student membership perfect for those still in school.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists – Founded in 1969, This organization is one of the oldest organizations for Pharmacists. Membership is open and beneficial to all kinds of Pharmacists.

Pharmacy Times – Pharmacy Times is the leading digital publication in the pharmacy space. They publish multiple articles a day, with at least one of them usually pertaining to Clinical Pharmacists. This is a great resource for both aspiring and practicing Clinical Pharmacists.

Oxford Handbook of Clinical Pharmacy by Philip Wiffen – The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Pharmacy is used daily by tens of thousands of students and practicing Clinical Pharmacists alike. This book contains information on adverse drug reactions, drug side effects and tons of other information in easy-to-read bullet points.


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