Health and wellness are an integral part of service and the U.S. military sees to it that military personnel receive the best healthcare services by creating job opportunities in the medical field, among them, pharmacists. Pharmacists have the duty of dispensing medicine according to the prescriptions, instructing patients on dosage and warning them of the possible side effects. Below is a description of pharmacy careers for active duty personnel in the United States military.
|Job Title||Average Salary (2017)*||Qualifications/Requirements|
|Pharmacists||$64,454||Doctor of Pharmacy degree, commitment to 3 years active service, pass a full medical exam, 18-41 years of age, physically fit, officer training|
|Pharmacy Technicians||$56,536||Basic combat training, 2 months' pharmacy training, 17-39 years old|
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
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Pharmacy Jobs of the Military
Pharmacy positions in the military ensure that the right medication is prepared and dispensed to personnel and that they receive professional guidance while under medication. The jobs described below are those that fall into this category.
Military branches employ pharmacists to help in the provision of healthcare services after seeing a doctor. A physician follows through the orders on a prescription and ensures that the patient receives the recommended drugs needed to relieve pain or cure illness. They explain to the patients the recommended dosage, when and how to take it and the possible side effects to watch out for.
The work of a pharmacist is, therefore, to issue drugs to patients for their improved health and wellness, while keeping them from misuse or harm from the drugs. Besides interacting with patients, pharmacists must ensure that chemical and narcotic drugs are properly stored, prepare compound medications and ensure that the storage area is free from contamination.
Navy pharmacists seeking higher education can take up one of the residency programs provided by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. These programs equip the pharmacists with the skill they need to supervise and guide other pharmacists of the Navy. The graduate will also be eligible for full-time postgraduate pharmaceutical degrees offered by the military or by civilian institutions.
A pharmacy technician is a medical professional who works under a pharmacist, helping dispense drugs to patients. Although all military branches have set aside pharmacist positions, pharmacy technicians are only in the Army and the Air Force. They begin as soldiers and have to undergo basic military training before heading over for technical pharmacy technology training for two months.
Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists and physicians with filling prescriptions by dispensing drugs to the patients. They are also in charge of maintaining the military's records of its drugs supply and usage. Pharmacy technicians work from the military's healthcare centers on base and in field hospitals.
There are no pharmacy technicians in the Navy despite having pharmacists that serve both the Navy and the Marine Corps. Instead, a Navy corpsman takes up the roles of assistant to the pharmacists. However, the Navy corpsman has to undergo basic pharmacy training to learn the technical skills of the job.