Pharmacists dispense drugs and medicines prescribed by physicians and health practitioners.
As such, a pharmacist must possess the medical knowledge necessary to inform his or her customers about the purpose, hazards, and side effects of any drug he or she dispenses.
Pharmacists also keep computerized and often detailed records of patient drug use and medical profiles to ensure that patients won't combine drugs that shouldn't be taken with one another and that they are following their doctors' instructions concerning dosage.
It is an increasing part of the pharmacist's job to be actively involved with patients, providing information on prescription drugs, referring patients to appropriate over-thecounter drugs, and advising physicians on the proper selection and use of medications.
Pharmacists employed in pharmacies, they also take on the responsibilities of running the business, such as buying and selling nonpharmaceutical merchandise, hiring and supervising personnel, and overseeing much of the day-to-day operation of the pharmacy itself.
Although pharmacists who run their own business certainly perform these tasks, even salaried employees can find themselves taking on some managerial responsibilities in addition to their pharmaceutical duties.