The choice of a career can be a difficult one for individuals in Nigeria. Several factors have been figured out to be the cause of such difficulty.
The top reasons were parents’ choices, job availability, stress and most importantly financial reward.
So many careers in Nigeria are difficult, if not impossible without academic qualification. For others, they can be acquired from a formal school or an informal school setting like a roadside mechanic. This is the main reason while such careers are usually saturated and difficult to break through to be successful.
Careers that require academic qualification also consider grade level before getting the job of your choice. A particular job determines the minimum grade level before hitting the job for a particular career. A course has several career opportunities, which may be determined by different grade level of academic success.
The pharmacy profession is a profession that builds one to know the rudiment of design, development, and production of medications. These ought to be dispensed as prescriptions to patients. In addition, they are part of health care professionals that screen, provide immunisation, oversee medication given and provide advice on lifestyle modification.
The profession has many opportunities around the world. The only thing is for different countries, the opportunities changes from location to location. Some countries have more industrial pharmacist than community pharmacy. The opportunities in developed countries are more than developing countries like Nigeria.
As a graduate pharmacy in Nigeria, the first career opportunity that comes to mind is community practice (pharmacy). This is because it is easy to set up as well as giving you the power to be your own boss. It reduces the stress of moving around with Curriculum Vitae (C.V) looking for a good job of your choice. Let us discuss the common ones in Nigeria.
•Careers Opportunity In Nigeria For Pharmacy
Community Pharmacy (Retail): They work in the chain or personal stores. They are the first point of call for most patients as they are easily accessible and available. They receive prescriptions and dispense both prescriptions only and over the counter drugs as appropriate. They provide health-related information to patients on their prescription. Diagnosis of minor illness is also carried as they refer when need be. They have the ability to give vaccination.
Clinical/Hospital Pharmacist: They are found in health centres such as hospital, clinics and other health care settings. They receive prescriptions from physicians, verify, and dispense as appropriate. They are involved in patient care as they engage patients by going ward rounds with other healthcare providers in the hospital. They conduct vital signs test while offering advice based on information from other medical personnel’s and information they diagnose. Hospital pharmacy is divided into a cross section of paediatric, critical care, cardiology, surgery, psycho-pharmacy, neurology, infectious disease, drug information and transition of care. They are responsible for choosing the drugs to stock in the hospital. They also prepare and compound for in-patient.
Consultant Pharmacist: They are found in some few cases hospitals like teaching hospitals but mostly at insurance companies. They provide health care facilities.
Industrial Pharmacist: They research on new products and develop existing ones to achieve improve the product. This they do by conducting clinical trials. Also, help in establishing regulations relating to quality control on the development, production, storage and distribution of drugs. They design market strategies that help to market drug products in standard ways that do not breach regulations in Nigeria. Actively involved in isolation, synthesis down to the formulation of active pharmaceutical products.
Pharmacy Academia: Pharmacist is trained in school by another pharmacist that are well grounded in the field. They are referred to as pharmacy academia. They train the next generation of pharmacy while improving on their own by doing research and participate in public services.
Pharmaco-Economics: They are almost in all career area of the profession, as their service is highly needed. They formulate ways and method in maximising profit while minimising cost.
Government Agencies: This is one of the highest employers of the pharmacist in Nigeria. So many products in Nigeria need regulations. Without these regulations, most product may be harmful before they get to the market. This includes but not limited to drugs and cosmetics. Examples are National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (N.A.F.D.A.C) who is responsible for the control of finish product meant for consumption as well as epidemiological research, viewing drug applications, developing and administering health care policy. In addition, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (N.D.L.E.A), which clamp down on illegal drug use all needs the services of a pharmacy to achieve a good result. Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria is a regulatory body that keeps strict watch on pharmacy school. They give accreditation to new pharmacy schools that have to meet the latest standard as well as check if old pharmacy schools are growing to meet the new standard.
Legal Practice: They formulate laws relating to pharmacy operation within the country. They are mostly found in government agencies but should be separated as they work as a separate entity. Some are responsible for defending pharmacy from other medical practitioners who want to step on their right to practice in their own capacity.
Herbal Practice: Can one add this? Yes, because there is great potential for success here. However, it must be noted that most herbal practitioners are non-pharmacist with few pharmacist who add other forms of pharmacy practice to it.
Others aspect that is not very common here in Nigeria is a nuclear pharmacy.
•The Various Roles Pharmacist Play In Their Sectors In Nigeria
Qualities Pharmacist Need To Survive Any Career:
Analytical Skills: Ability to evaluate patient’s need and prescribers orders.
Communication Skills: They always communicate with other health care providers and patients. This is a crucial skill as it helps them to be accurate and clear on medications dispense.
Detail Oriented: Clear, simple and logical explanations of prescriptions as it helps patients and medical personnel gets the information they need.
Management: All pharmacist must be good at management especially community pharmacist. This is because a good understanding of your STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS, OPPORTUNITY AND THREAT (S.W.O.T) of your business environment will help in increasing sales.
Computer Skills: This came last as I feel it is the most important in this generation we find ourselves. The world is getting global and digital technology should not leave any pharmacist behind. This is because prescription and dispensing have already started moving over through digital means.
All these qualities can sum up to give one a leadership quality since most time pharmacists are the head of other staffs like pharmacy technicians and store keeper.
Duties Of A Pharmacist
Every pharmacist in all walks of life or career has the following duties any, time any day;
Fill prescriptions and verify from physicians
Check medications compatibility
Dispense with instructions
Provide advice on healthy living
Oversee the activities of technicians and students
Teach other healthcare practitioners on proper medication therapy for patients.