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What is a Pharmacy Director?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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A pharmacy director is in charge of all drug dispensing operations for a pharmacy. These positions often are found in hospitals or medical clinics. A pharmacy director's scope of responsibility may include personnel administration, adherence to policies and procedures and customer service. The director also normally plans and administers the budget and initiates and actively participates in interdepartmental communications.

In a hospital, the pharmacy is often considered a hospital department; it is commonly viewed as a revenue producing entity more than a division of hospital services. The pharmacy director is expected to have the expertise to apply strategic planning and ensure the pharmacy is profitable. It is expected to be highly competitive with local independent pharmacies in the community.

Hiring and training personnel is one of the pharmacy director’s jobs. She is expected to have a staff that is competent in dispensing drugs as well as keenly aware of procedures and protocols. Good customer relation skills are particularly important in a health care atmosphere, where many customers are recently released patients.

The ever-changing nature of the health care sector requires a pharmacy director to be aware of new industry trends to correctly prioritize budget and administrative goals and meet the needs of the clinic or hospital. The needs of the patients and community as a whole must also be considered.

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As a department head, the pharmacy director normally has an active voice in proposing and developing goals and directions aimed at improving departmental performance throughout the hospital or clinic. She is also expected to keep herself well informed on community concerns and issues and incorporate them into her ideas and presentations. The fiscal and public relations contributions of the pharmacy are often highlighted in her general communications.

Since the pharmacy director’s job requires excellent communication skills coupled with administrative excellence, her personality should be outgoing and friendly, while inspiring respect and confidence. The position also requires great organizational abilities and skills in human resources. Experience in systems and project management are preferred. Personnel administration background or extensive experience in dealing with physicians and other health care professionals is helpful in qualifying for this position.

Solid experience in a health or hospital system environment is strongly preferred, as is background as an administrative director or leader of a hospital-based committee or board. Educational requirements generally include the appropriate pharmacy license for your region, along with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and hospital administration. A relevant master’s or doctorate degree might be preferred.

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anon995682
Post 5

Actually it has nothing to do with leadership that people keep yammering about. It is about being able to do the job. You have to be able to do everything you hire a person for except IT. I have seen people take the job for the money and run places to the ground. Don't come into pharmacy if you want money. We do it to serve people. Sorry if someone set a bad example for you.

NathanG
Post 3

@Charred - The pharmacist job pays well because it is so demanding and stressful. Think about the worst case scenario. If your clinic messes up on filling a prescription, you could sue.

So yes, they get paid very well, but there’s a reason that they do. I agree, it’s all about management. You have to manage employees, manage customers, and even manage the insurance company to some degree when they prove to be too difficult.

Nonetheless careers in pharmacy are very promising, if you can take the pressure and want to work in the medical field.

Charred
Post 2

My wife works as a pharmacy technician, but a few years back she applied to pharmacy school. She had her sights on being a pharmacist. As you can imagine, it’s a more prestigious position than simply being a technician, and the pay is much, much better.

She did well in all of her exams, until the interview. She did relatively well in the interview, but to her amazement a lot of the questions had to do with her management style.

How would she handle a difficult customer, for example? What kind of leadership style did she possess? She was totally unprepared for these questions, having focused instead only on the medical aspects of pharmacy. As a result she was not admitted into the school.

But I agree with the article. Being a pharmacy director or even a pharmacist is more about leadership than anything else.

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