Becoming a home care pharmacist is a lot like becoming a “standard” pharmacist. You must earn a professional degree and seek licensing for the state in which you plan to practice. But home care pharmacists are seen as advanced positions, since you’ll be required to administer home infusion of medications. In fact, home care pharmacists are often referred to as home infusion pharmacists. To move into the field of home care pharmacy, it’s recommended that you complete a residency program.
Complete a pre-professional program in pharmaceutical sciences. Some pre-professional programs are actually undergraduate programs, where you earn a bachelor of science in pharmaceutical sciences — a four-year commitment. Other pre-professional programs include preparatory classes in subjects such as chemistry, biology and anatomy. This type of program takes two to three years to complete. The program required to move on to a professional pharmacy program varies by college or university.
Enroll in your college’s doctor of pharmacy program. As with the pre-professional program, the time commitment varies by college. If, for example, you were required to earn a BS in pharmaceutical sciences, the professional program at your university may only take three years to complete. Otherwise, you’ll likely spend four years in a doctor of pharmacy program. During your time in either educational path, you take classes in pharmaceutics, therapeutics, biological systems, genetics, public health and disease management.
Move on to a residency program after completing your Pharm. D. degree. Home care pharmacists are advanced pharmacy positions and fall within the subfield of clinical pharmacy, where you provide patient care. A residency program not only prepares but also qualifies you to prescribe, administer and monitor medications — the main responsibility of a home care pharmacist. The time commitment is one to two years.
Sit for the two licensing exams required to become a practicing pharmacist. These exams test you on your knowledge of pharmacy law in the state you plan to seek licensing, and your skills and knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences.
- Clinical pharmacists sometimes choose to become board certified as pharmacy specialists. These are voluntary designations and range anywhere from a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist or a Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist to a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist or a Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist. Any of these certificates could improve your employability in home care pharmacy.
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