Careers in Pharmacy
Pharmacists are employed in many different areas including community, hospital, industry, government and research. Opportunities exist in hospital settings for pharmacists to develop skills in specialist areas and to work as part of interdisciplinary teams. In the community, pharmacists form part of the health care team and can provide specialised services such as home medication review. This is an exciting innovation for pharmacy as it allows pharmacists who have been accredited for this activity to visit patients at home on referral from a doctor.
A shortage of trained pharmacists currently exists in Australia. A report funded by the Pharmacy Guild Third Community Pharmacy Agreement Research and Developments Program found there are currently about 11,000 full-time pharmacists in Australia, while 14,000 are needed to meet demand from the community and in hospitals. This report also predicted that there will be a surge in demand for pharmacists from 13,100 full time equivalents to 17,200 in 2010. According to a workforce report from the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, an additional 259 pharmacists are required at present just to fill existing vacancies in hospitals with an estimated 1207 required in the next eight years in hospitals. Based on this data, employment opportunities are excellent for registered pharmacists in the next decade.