As discussed previously, there are many areas within the field of pharmacy that one can work in. The area of acute pharmacy is one of these areas and it requires no certification. Pharmacy schools prepare one well for this field.
An acute pharmacist usually works in a hospital and provides immediate services for acutely ill patients. This may involve doing rounds with physicians and working within the hospital instead of in a pharmacy. For those interested in acute pharmacy, the ability to work as a member of a team is crucial. This position requires one to work various shifts or hours as needed by acute care centers of the hospital (e.g., surgery, emergency, and intensive care).
Because the patients he or she will deal with are acutely ill, a pharmacist in this role must be able to think quickly and make suggestions based on his or her training. It is imperative that the acute pharmacist be able to remain calm in emergent situations. The acute pharmacist is responsible for ensuring that the suggested treatment will not create a medical complication or result in an adverse reaction when combined with other medications.
The acute pharmacist may also be responsible for monitoring treatments for acutely ill patients that have been prescribed by a physician. This can include making sure that support staff and nursing staff are properly administering medications. Sometimes, it is the responsibility of the acute pharmacist to communicate information about medications to patients and their families. This can include information related to symptoms that might indicate to a patient or family member that a complication with the prescribed medication is taking place.
Another role of the acute pharmacist is to provide teaching and training to others regarding new medications or new modes of administering medications. This requires excellent communiation and interpersonal skills. Organization is also an important skill to have, as one must keep abreast of the current technologies and be able to track patients’ prescriptions.
For individuals who are interested in a fast-paced pharmacy career, acute pharmacy may be an area of interest.