Becoming An Online Pharmacist and Getting Hired Easily
The rise of online pharmacists is a result of several factors, including advancements in technology, changing patient preferences, and the need for more accessible healthcare services. The fact that pharmacy services can now be accessed online provides several benefits to patients. If you are a licensed pharmacist or if you are aiming to be one, this article is surely worth a read.
What you’ll learn here:
- The Demand For Online Pharmacy
- Tasks Of Online Pharmacists
- Qualifications For Getting Hired As An Online Pharmacist
- Expected Salary For An Online Pharmacist
- Passing An Online Pharmacist Interview
- Tools Used By Online Pharmacists
- Kinds of Companies Where You Can Apply
The Demand for Online Pharmacy
Online pharmacies are now commonplace as they allow patients to order prescription medications and other health-related products over the Internet, often providing greater convenience and accessibility for patients who cannot easily visit a physical pharmacy.
Patients who may have difficulty accessing traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies due to mobility issues, transportation challenges, or distance can now order their medications online and have them delivered to their doorstep.
Additionally, online pharmacies may offer lower prices on medications and a wider range of options for patients. The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated the adoption of online pharmacies as patients sought out safer alternatives to in-person interactions.
Your Tasks As An Online Pharmacist
The tasks of an online pharmacist may vary depending on the specific role and responsibilities but some common ones include:
Reviewing patient prescriptions: You may review prescription orders submitted by patients to ensure they are accurate and appropriate.
Dispensing medications: You may fill prescriptions and dispense medications to patients, often through online orders.
Providing medication counseling: You may offer advice and information about prescription medications, including how to take them, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications.
Monitoring medication use: You may monitor patients’ medication use to ensure they are taking their medications as directed and to identify any potential issues or concerns.
Conducting medication reviews: You may conduct medication reviews to ensure patients are receiving the most effective and appropriate treatment for their conditions.
Answering patient questions: You may answer questions from patients about medications, health conditions, and other health-related topics.
Collaborating with healthcare providers: You may collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure patients are receiving the best possible care and treatment.
Qualifications For Getting Hired As An Online Pharmacist
The qualifications of an online pharmacist are the same as those required for a traditional pharmacist. These may vary depending on the country or region, but typically the following are included:
Education: A pharmacy degree from an accredited institution is required to become a pharmacist. In the United States, for example, a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree is required.
Licensure: Pharmacists must be licensed in their country or state to practice. This typically involves passing a licensure exam, completing a certain number of training hours, and meeting other requirements.
Experience: Many online pharmacist roles require several years of experience working as a pharmacist, either in a traditional pharmacy or in an online setting.
Knowledge and skills: Pharmacists must have a thorough understanding of medications, pharmacology, and healthcare practices. They must also possess strong communication skills to interact with patients and healthcare providers effectively.
Continuing education: Pharmacists must keep their knowledge and skills up to date through continuing education courses and other training opportunities.
In addition to these qualifications, an applicant must also possess the technical skills and knowledge required to operate and communicate through online platforms and software. They must be able to navigate pharmacy workspace software and communicate with patients and healthcare providers through email, chat, or video conferencing.
This means as an applicant, you have to be knowledgeable with the likes of Google Meet, Skype, and Zoom. In addition, you must also ensure that you can keep the security and confidentiality of patient information.
Expected Salary For An Online Pharmacist
Your salary as an online pharmacist can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the United States, the median annual salary for pharmacists in 2020 was $128,710.
However, salary ranges may differ from those working in traditional settings. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an online pharmacist in the United States is around $119,000 per year. This may vary depending on the specific company, job responsibilities, and other factors.
It is important to note that salaries can vary widely based on the country or region where you are practicing your profession. Additionally, many online pharmacists work as contractors or freelancers, which can affect their earning potential. It is always best to research the specific job market and company you are interested in to get a more accurate idea of salary expectations.
Passing An Online Pharmacist Interview
To pass an online pharmacist interview, there are several steps you can take:
Research the company: Before the interview, research the company and the role you are applying for. This will help you understand the company’s values, goals, and expectations for the role.
Highlight your commitment to patient safety: Online pharmacists must prioritize patient safety and adhere to strict regulations and requirements. Emphasize your commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of patient care.
Review your qualifications: Make sure you are familiar with your own qualifications, experience, and skills, and how they relate to the position you are applying for. Be prepared to discuss specific examples of how you have used these skills in the past.
Emphasize your communication skills: Online pharmacists must have strong communication skills, both written and verbal, to effectively interact with patients and healthcare providers. Emphasize your ability to communicate effectively and compassionately.
Demonstrate your technical skills: Online pharmacists must be proficient in using a variety of online tools and software. Be prepared to discuss your experience using these tools and how you have adapted to new technologies in the past.
By following these steps and showcasing your qualifications and skills, you can increase your chances of passing an online pharmacist interview.
Tools Used By Online Pharmacists
You cannot be an effective online pharmacist if you know nothing about the tools of the trade. Online pharmacists use a variety of tools and technologies to provide their services. Some common tools and software used include the following:
Electronic Health Records (EHRs): for accessing and updating patient health records electronically, including prescription orders, medication lists, and allergy information.
Pharmacy Management Software: for managing inventory, tracking orders, and monitoring medication use.
Telehealth Platforms: for communicating with patients and healthcare providers through video conferencing, chat, or other online tools.
Prescription Verification and Processing Software: for verifying and processing prescription orders, ensuring they are accurate and appropriate.
Drug Interaction Checkers: for identifying potential interactions between medications and other substances, such as food or supplements.
Online Ordering and Payment Platforms: for accepting and processing prescription orders from patients.
Secure Communication Platforms: for ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of patient information during online consultations and other interactions.
Kinds of Companies Where You Can Apply
There are several places you can apply as an online pharmacist, including:
Online Pharmacy Websites: There are many online pharmacy websites that offer pharmacy services to patients, and they may have job openings for online pharmacists. Examples include CVS Health, Walgreens, and OptumRx.
Healthcare Companies: Many healthcare companies, such as health insurance providers and telemedicine companies, may offer online pharmacist positions. Examples include UnitedHealth Group and Teladoc Health.
Pharmaceutical Companies: Pharmaceutical companies may offer online pharmacist positions, especially in areas such as drug information and medical communications. Examples include Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Online Health Platforms: There are several online health platforms that offer virtual healthcare services, and they may have job openings for online pharmacists. Examples include HealthTap and Doctor on Demand.
Freelancing and Contracting Platforms: Many online pharmacists work as freelancers or contractors, providing pharmacy services to various companies or platforms. Examples of freelancing and contracting platforms include Upwork and Freelancer.
When applying for an online pharmacist position, make sure to carefully review the job description and requirements, and tailor your application materials accordingly. Additionally, consider networking with other pharmacists and healthcare professionals to learn about potential job opportunities.
If you are a pharmacist who lives in rural or underserved areas, or you have a deep passion for caregiving, this job could suit you well. Additionally, working online can provide you access to a wider patient population, allowing you to reach more people and provide care to those who may not have easy access to traditional pharmacy services. By working online, you can also leverage technology to streamline processes and provide more efficient and effective care to your patients.