How To Become A Clinical Pharmacist In Australia

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Read the following article to find out how to become a clinical pharmacist in australia compared to other jobs internationally.

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Becoming a clinical pharmacist in Australia is a great way to make a difference in the lives of people all over the country. Clinical pharmacists have a wide range of responsibilities, including advising doctors and nurses on medications, giving patients prescriptions and monitoring their health while they’re taking their medication. They’re also responsible for ensuring that pharmacies are stocked with appropriate medications and keeping track of stocks on hand. When you become a clinical pharmacist, there are several steps you’ll need to take to get started.

Become an Enrolled Nurse or Medical Laboratory Technician

The first step to becoming a clinical pharmacist is becoming an enrolled nurse or medical laboratory technician. These jobs require you to complete an accredited training program and pass the relevant exam before becoming eligible for employment. Once you’ve become an enrolled nurse or medical laboratory technician, you can apply for further studies at university or college that will qualify you as a clinical pharmacist.

Apply for Enrolled Pharmacist Training Program

The next step toward becoming a clinical pharmacist is applying for an enrolled pharmacist training program at one of Australia’s universities or colleges. These programs last between 3-5 years depending on whether they’re full-time or part-time, but some schools may offer shorter programs as well

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What’s it like to be a Clinical Pharmacist?

Clinical Pharmacy

The clinical pharmacy exists in a number of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and other medical centers. The aim of clinical pharmacy is to ensure the optimal use of medications for the best outcomes through the provision of drug information and monitoring for drug safety and efficacy. They can predict drug interactions and so prevent many adverse reactions to medication.

Clinical pharmacists are specialty trained practitioners who provide direct patient care and comprehensive medication management. While the practice model is most well established in the United States, there are clinical pharmacists throughout the world who are improving the care of patients of all ages and in all areas of acute and ambulatory care. This paper reviews the training standards, expected competencies, and contributions of clinical pharmacists.

Pharmacists work mostly in chemists where they dispense prescribed medications to patients and monitor their drug treatments. They also commonly work in hospitals where they provide pharmacological information to other health care professionals.

To become a registered pharmacist in Australia you must complete an accredited university degree in pharmacy, a one-year paid internship and intern training program and then pass the Pharmacy Board’s registration examination

Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of a hospital pharmacist include:

Medicine Management

A key role in a hospital pharmacist’s job is determining which form of medication best suits each patient. Each decision must be made in a timely and efficient manner and requires significant input from doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Hospital pharmacists will often monitor the effects of the medications they prescribe and counsel their patients on the effects of the drugs.

Another aspect of this role is to recommend administration routes and dosages, all of which are dependent on an individual’s needs. 

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A source of information

A hospital pharmacist is often a great source of advice for patients. They can also be called upon to recommend safe combinations of medicines or solutions to specific patient problems. 

Hospital pharmacists can offer information on potential side effects and check that medicines are compatible with existing medication. They will often also monitor the effects of treatments to ensure that they are proving effective, safe and appropriate to the user.

Monitoring drug charts

As hospital pharmacists are required to work closely with other members of staff, such as physicians, nurses and dieticians, information must be passed on in a way that is clear to understand. While this might seem simple, performing hand-overs between shifts has the potential to make this aspect of the role a little more complicated.

Luckily, drug charts provide a vital source of information and act as an efficient method of communication between hospital pharmacists and other members of medical staff. Hospital pharmacists must monitor these charts and ensure that the correct medication is being provided to each patient.

Such information may include which form of medication a patient requires, with options including tablets, injections, ointments or inhalers. How the medication should be administered must also be communicated. 

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Discharging patients

Discharging patients is another important role. It is the duty of a hospital pharmacist to keep track of which patients are being discharged and inspect the discharge summary. This requires the pharmacist to inspect the patient’s drug chart to ensure that the medication prescribed matches that contained in the discharge summary. It is then the responsibility of the pharmacist to dispense the correct medication.

Many hospital pharmacists are also qualified to prescribe medication, however, this does not apply to all those in the profession.

Keeping up to date

As with any healthcare job, hospital pharmacists are expected to remain up to date with all aspects of medicine. This includes their usage and any new developments that may occur.

To do this, clinical pharmacists must use electronic databases and read research papers. These provide invaluable data that enables pharmacists to learn more about new drugs before recommending that they are purchased by the hospital.

Utilising these resources regularly will allow clinical pharmacists to remain an excellent source of pharmaceutical advice.

Beyond the ward

Of course, hospital pharmacist duties can extend beyond the ward too.

Clinical pharmacists are responsible for monitoring the supply of all medicines used in the hospital and are in charge of purchasing, manufacturing, dispensing and quality testing their medication stock along with help from pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians.

The role can extend to manufacturing medicines when ready-made preparations are unavailable.

Skills

Clinical pharmacists are a valuable commodity. Once fully qualified, a clinical pharmacist can impart their knowledge of medicine to other members of healthcare staff. Patients may also benefit from this wisdom, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those with chronic conditions affecting their heart, liver or kidneys.

For cases that offer a greater degree of complexity, hospital pharmacists are required to use their adept communication skills to gather more information on a patient. Once these facts have been obtained, they are expected to come to a qualified decision over the best course of action.

Factors such as medical history, lifestyle, existing medication and beliefs of the patient, as well as their ability to understand and follow an individual treatment plan, are all important factors when it comes to dispensing or prescribing medication.

Work experience

clinical pharmacists can improve their skills through regular rotations. Rotations see hospital pharmacists operate in a different department within their hospital for a set amount of time, essentially like a shift pattern. Such departments can include clinical wards and medicine information. Working these rotations allows a hospital pharmacist the chance to develop and gain a much more well-rounded skill set.

Career prospects

clinical pharmacist jobs certainly don’t come with a glass ceiling. The role offers plenty of scope to progress up the banding system. Generally starting at Band 6, there is the potential for a clinical pharmacist to improve their skills and, ultimately, their band.

For those with extensive experience or advanced skills, Band 7 managerial positions are achievable, as is Band 8B to 8D consultant pharmaceutical roles. These act as superb incentives and offer fantastic career paths.

Salary

The average salary for a hospital pharmacist varies and is dependent on experience, qualifications, and responsibilities.

Working in an NHS trust can affect pay rates due to NHS pay bands. clinical pharmacist salaries can range from £23,500 for a band 6 entry-level pharmacist to upwards of £70,000 for band 8B to 8D pharmacy consultants.

Operating as a hospital pharmacist in a high-cost area, such as inner London, often results in a higher salary. Salaries may also be higher for those working through private trusts.

International pharmacists

Hospital pharmacy roles in the UK are open to pharmacists from across the world.

To become a clinical pharmacist in the UK, overseas pharmacists must register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the regulatory body for pharmacists in England, Scotland, and Wales. However, registration alone does not provide you with the right to work in the UK.

Pharmacists from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) require an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP), 52 weeks of pre-registration training in England, Scotland or Wales and a pass result in the GPhC registration assessment. These steps must be completed within four years from the date you start your OSPAP. Hospital experience is also required, especially if a pharmacist is to gain sponsorship from a UK hospital.

You will also need to provide evidence of your English language competency. This can be achieved by sitting an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam or an Occupational English Test (OET).

While we don’t currently cannot provide support to international pharmacists throughout the process of registering in the UK, we may be able to help once you meet the necessary qualification criteria.

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So, you want to become a clinical pharmacist in Australia?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through the process of becoming a clinical pharmacist in Australia and break down some of the most important details. We’ll also give you some tips on how to get started.

First things first: we’re going to talk about what it means to be a clinical pharmacist in Australia. Then we’ll talk about what kind of education you’ll need, including where you can study and how much it costs. Next up, we’ll talk about some of the specializations that are available for clinical pharmacists in Australia. Finally, we’re going to talk about how much money you can make as a clinical pharmacist and what kind of career opportunities are available once you’ve finished your degree program!

So let’s get started!

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