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davidtrump

Practice areas - Hospital pharmacy

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Practice areas

Pharmacists practice in a variety of areas including community pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and regulatory agencies. Pharmacists themselves may have expertise in a medical specialty.

Community pharmacy

A pharmacy (commonly the chemist in Australia, New Zealand and the UK; or drugstore in North America; retail pharmacy in industry terminology; or Apothecary, historically) is the place where most pharmacists practice the profession of pharmacy. It is the community pharmacy where the dichotomy of the profession exists—health professionals who are also retailers.

Community pharmacies usually consist of a retail storefront with a dispensary where medications are stored and dispensed. According to Sharif Kaf al-Ghazal, the opening of the first drugstores are recorded by Muslim pharmacists in Baghdad in 754.

In most countries, the dispensary is subject to pharmacy legislation; with requirements for storage conditions, compulsory texts, equipment, etc., specified in legislation. Where it was once the case that pharmacists stayed within the dispensary compounding/dispensing medications, there has been an increasing trend towards the use of trained pharmacy technicians while the pharmacist spends more time communicating with patients. Pharmacy technicians are now more dependent upon automation to assist them in their new role dealing with patients' prescriptions and patient safety issues.

Pharmacies are typically required to have a pharmacist on-duty at all times when open. It is also often a requirement that the owner of a pharmacy must be a registered pharmacist, although this is not the case in all jurisdictions, such that many retailers (including supermarkets and mass merchandisers) now include a pharmacy as a department of their store.

Likewise, many pharmacies are now rather grocery store-like in their design. In addition to medicines and prescriptions, many now sell a diverse arrangement of additional items such as cosmetics, shampoo, office supplies, confections, snack foods, durable medical equipment, greeting cards, and provide photo processing services.

Hospital pharmacy

Pharmacies within hospitals differ considerably from community pharmacies. Some pharmacists in hospital pharmacies may have more complex clinical medication management issues whereas pharmacists in community pharmacies often have more complex business and customer relations issues.

Because of the complexity of medications including specific indications, effectiveness of treatment regimens, safety of medications (i.e., drug interactions) and patient compliance issues (in the hospital and at home) many pharmacists practicing in hospitals gain more education and training after pharmacy school through a pharmacy practice residency and sometimes followed by another residency in a specific area. Those pharmacists are often referred to as clinical pharmacists and they often specialize in various disciplines of pharmacy. For example, there are pharmacists who specialize in hematology/oncology, HIV/AIDS, infectious disease, critical care, emergency medicine, toxicology, nuclear pharmacy, pain management, psychiatry, anti-coagulation clinics, herbal medicine, neurology/epilepsy management, pediatrics, neonatal pharmacists and more.

Hospital pharmacies can often be found within the premises of the hospital. Hospital pharmacies usually stock a larger range of medications, including more specialized medications, than would be feasible in the community setting. Most hospital medications are unit-dose, or a single dose of medicine. Hospital pharmacists and trained pharmacy technicians compound sterile products for patients including total parenteral nutrition (TPN), and other medications given intravenously. This is a complex process that requires adequate training of personnel, quality assurance of products, and adequate facilities. Several hospital pharmacies have decided to outsource high risk preparations and some other compounding functions to companies who specialize in compounding. The high cost of medications and drug-related technology, combined with the potential impact of medications and pharmacy services on patient-care outcomes and patient safety, make it imperative that hospital pharmacies perform at the highest level possible.

Clinical pharmacy

Pharmacists provide direct patient care services that optimizes the use of medication and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacists care for patients in all health care settings, but the clinical pharmacy movement initially began inside hospitals and clinics. Clinical pharmacists often collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to improve pharmaceutical care. Clinical pharmacists are now an integral part of the interdisciplinary approach to patient care. They often participate in patient care rounds for drug product selection.

The clinical pharmacist's role involves creating a comprehensive drug therapy plan for patient-specific problems, identifying goals of therapy, and reviewing all prescribed medications prior to dispensing and administration to the patient. The review process often involves an evaluation of the appropriateness of the drug therapy (e.g., drug choice, dose, route, frequency, and duration of therapy) and its efficacy. The pharmacist must also monitor for potential drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, and assess patient drug allergies while designing and initiating a drug therapy plan.

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