Becoming a Geriatric Pharmacist
Unlike a Pharmacist, who acts as per the directions of a Doctor while dispensing and preparing medication, the Geriatric Pharmacists play a key role in providing and overseeing the medications for elderly patients on their own. They also act as the primary medical consultants to the elder patients.
Educational Requirements: Whatever education and training needed for a Pharmacist, is applicable to the Geriatric Pharmacists too. Students must successfully clear the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) to become eligible to get enrolled into a pharmacy degree program. The undergraduate degree in Pharmacy will typically include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Microbiology, Nutrition, Pharmacology etc.
After obtaining the Pharmacy degree, the students will be required to get the certification. The Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy can provide this. However, a two-year work experience as well as a license will be required in order to apply for the certification.
- Give a patient hearing to the elderly patients and guide them on the use of medicines.
- Resolve the queries of patients as well as the customers related to pharmaceutical drug usage such as dosages, side effects, adverse reactions etc.
- Review the medical history of the patients to ensure that they don’t develop any kind of allergies or reactions.
- Perform basic routine tests, including blood pressure check, sugar test and pulse monitoring.
- Discuss all positive and negative aspects with the family members if any.
- Maintain records, inventories and stock counts on pharmacy products.
- Make sure to replace the expired medicines and equipments without any delay.
Salary & Wages: According to Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), the average annual salary for a Geriatric Pharmacist is about $116,670 as of May 2012. And, the career outlook is much brighter considering the fact that the average age of population in the United States is on the rise. The Indeed and CareerBuilder have put the average salary of Geriatric Pharmacists at $117,000 and $119,875 respectively.