Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jobs for pharmacists with disabilities

Pharmacists with disabilities may have a difficult time finding jobs in the retail or hospital sectors that don't require you to spend most of your workday on your feet. If you work in a pharmaceutical company, you'll probably spend most of your time sitting at your desk (unless you're traveling).

Here's what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to say about pharmacist jobs:

Work environment. Pharmacists work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Many pharmacists spend most of their workday on their feet. When working with sterile or dangerous pharmaceutical products, pharmacists wear gloves, masks, and other protective equipment.

Most pharmacists work about 40 hours a week, but about 12 percent worked more than 50 hours per week in 2008. In addition, about 19 percent of pharmacists worked part-time. Many community and hospital pharmacies are open for extended hours, so pharmacists may be required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Consultant pharmacists may travel to healthcare facilities to monitor patients' drug therapies.

Employment

Pharmacists held about 269,900 jobs in 2008. About 65 percent worked in retail settings. Most of these were salaried employees, but a small number were self-employed owners. About 22 percent of pharmacists worked in hospitals. A small proportion worked in mail-order and Internet pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, offices of physicians, and the Federal Government.

Job Outlook

Employment is expected to increase faster than the average. As a result of job growth, the need to replace workers who leave the occupation, and the limited capacity of training programs, job prospects should be excellent.

Employment change. Employment of pharmacists is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing numbers of middle-aged and elderly people—who use more prescription drugs than younger people—will continue to spur demand for pharmacists throughout the projection period. In addition, as scientific advances lead to new drug products, and as an increasing number of people obtain prescription drug coverage, the need for these workers will continue to expand.



Pharmacists also are becoming more involved in patient care. As prescription drugs become more complex, and as the number of people taking multiple medications increases, the potential for dangerous drug interactions will grow. Pharmacists will be needed to counsel patients on the proper use of medication, assist in drug selection and dosage, and monitor complex drug regimens. This need will lead to rapid growth for pharmacists in medical care establishments, such as doctors’ offices, outpatient care centers, and nursing care facilities.

Demand also will increase in mail-order pharmacies, which often are more efficient than pharmacies in other practice settings. Employment also will continue to grow in hospitals, drugstores, grocery stores, and mass retailers, because pharmacies in these settings will continue to process the majority of all prescriptions and increasingly will offer patient care services, such as the administration of vaccines.

Job prospects. Job prospects are expected to be excellent over the 2008–18 period. Employers in many parts of the country report difficulty in attracting and retaining adequate numbers of pharmacists—primarily the result of the limited training capacity of Pharm.D. programs. In addition, as a larger percentage of pharmacists elects to work part time, more individuals will be needed to fill the same number of prescriptions. Job openings also will result from faster than average employment growth and from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Pharmacists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos079.htm (visited February 09, 2011).

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