A pharmacist is someone who is an expert in medicines.
Who is a pharmacist?
A pharmacist helps to prepare and dispense medicines prescribed by your healthcare team. Some pharmacists can prescribe your medicines, but they must have special training in prescribing and are called a pharmacist prescriber.
(Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand)
Where does a pharmacist work?
A pharmacist can work in a healthcare facility or in the community. Examples of where a pharmacist can work include:
- private clinics
- community pharmacies
- pharmaceutical companies.
What can a pharmacist help with?
A pharmacist can help with the following:
- Preparing, mixing and dispensing medicines prescribed by your doctor, midwife, nurse or other prescribing health professional.
- Providing information about prescription and non-prescription medicines, including what they are for, how much you need to take them, side effects and when you need to take them.
- Providing advice on health issues, lifestyle choices or treatments for minor health conditions.
- Advising your doctor on the selection, dosage or interactions of medicines for a certain medical condition.
- Carrying out clinical drug trials.
Your doctor will let you know whether you need any prescription medicines for your medical condition.
A pharmacist is always available in one of the community pharmacies. If you need prescription medicines, you will need to get them from a pharmacy with a prescription form. You can also speak to a pharmacist if you have any questions without being referred by your doctor. Find a pharmacist in your local area here.
Apart from dispensing medicines, community pharmacies offer a range of services to keep you and your family well. Some pharmacies provide more services than others. The following are a few examples. If you are unsure whether your pharmacy provides these services, give them a call.
|Examples of services offered by some pharmacies|
Your pharmacist can also show you how to use devices such as asthma inhalers, diabetes blood test kits, blood pressure machines and air humidifiers.
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What training does a pharmacist have?
A pharmacist has to do 4 years of training in pharmacy and be registered with the Pharmacy Council of NZ to work in New Zealand. Find out about different training options to become a pharmacist on the Careers NZ website.