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Pharmacy Internships – An Overview
Pharmacy internships provide training opportunities for those who look forward to building a career as a pharmacist and or a pharmacy technician. However, it is not limited to the pharmacology field alone, it is also open for those who specialize in courses that involve retail selling, and customer services. Depending on the company where the internship program is being offered, pharmacy internships can be paid. Typically, interns are required to be at least 18 years of age to qualify.
Pharmacy Internship Opportunities
There are several more positions in this field but here are some of the common pharmacy internships:
- Pharmacist Internships – is suited for those who are currently majoring in pharmacology. It will provide extensive hands-on training. You will learn about the vast information on all possible drug forms of medication, the corresponding drug effects, side effects and much more. A pharmacist intern works more like a healthcare professional in terms of giving the necessary information about drugs to the patients needing it through the assistance of a pharmacy technician. These pharmacy internships will be mentored by certified pharmacists and other specialists like druggists and chemists.
- Pharmacy Technician Internships – this is for students who are trained for the technical aspect of pharmacology. It gives a more direct way of dealing with patients who may need information about drugs wherein they serve to function as health care providers. A pharmacy technician intern is trained by a certified pharmacist who gives all the necessary information to be relayed for each patient. This includes preparation and handling of medicines and a brief or thorough explanation on how a certain drug is used, how to deal with possible side effects and contraindications. This position serves as an assistant to the pharmacist who will also take charge of mentoring the pharmacy technician intern.
- Retail Selling Pharmacy Internships - are intended for those who already have a background in pharmacology but also have taken subjects in connection to marketing and selling. Another term for this position is the pharmacy sales clerk, who takes charge of tending the pharmacy, accepting order slips from customers, preparing drugs based on order slips and collecting payment for it. This position will hone an intern’s skills not only in selling but clerical skills as well. The retail selling intern for a pharmacy will take charge of monitoring and keeping records of stocks (drugs) received, inventory of stocks sold and stocks on hand. The training will be led by a certified pharmacist and pharmacy technician.
- Customer Services Representative Pharmacy Internships – may not necessarily require a background in pharmacology but is designed to train interns to assess customers’ or patients’ needs. They provide assistance in taking care of customers while waiting for available pharmacy technicians. The intern for this field will not only deal with walk-in customers or patients but phone-in customers as well. It is necessary to keep track of customers’ records from their names, concerns and needs.
The above-mentioned positions are the most important ones and normally the people working for all four specified fields need to work together as a team. Each position is relevant in handling pharmacy or pharmaceutical tasks and responsibilities. Pharmacy internships are usually offered by pharmacies and drug stores like Walgreens, CVS and other established pharmaceutical companies. Similar to other programs, pharmacy internships are given 3-6 month training period depending on the need of a company.
Benefits of Pharmacy Internships
Pharmacy internships are easy to acquire and it is not always necessary to choose a drug store for an internship venue, because one can choose to apply at popular and highly established pharmaceutical companies. Apart from most pharmacy internships being paid, students will receive experience that is valuable to health organizations worldwide. This will make the students more credible when seeking further career advancements.
Learn more about pharmacy careers at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).
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