10 Important Pharmacy Skills And How To Improve Them

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Pharmacy jobs typically involve working with doctors and other health care professionals to provide quality care to patients through supplying medications. These skills are important for efficient productivity and career advancement in pharmacy-related roles. Understanding the important skills for this role can also help you develop and highlight them when searching for a job. In this article, we discuss what pharmacy skills are, examples of skills, how to improve them, ways to apply them in the workplace and how to highlight them during the job application process.

What are pharmacy skills?

Pharmacy skills are the abilities and knowledge that enable you to perform jobs in pharmacy fields expertly. Employers search for a candidate with relevant skills when hiring for pharmacy-related roles. Job descriptions usually specify the various unique skill sets required for the position. Developing and enhancing skills in pharmacy can help you get your desired job and succeed in a pharmacy-related role.

Related: How To Write A Pharmacist CV? (With Template And Example)

10 essential pharmacy skills

Here are 10 important skills to advance your career and personal growth in this field:

1. Attention to detail

Pharmacists require close attention to detail when performing daily tasks, especially when providing or recommending the correct type of medication to patients. When reviewing a customer's prescription, they require ensuring that both the doctor's and patient's names are correct. Reading the doctor's prescription, administering the right medication in the correct dosage and entering the patient's medical and personal details into the system for future references also requires meticulous attention. Being attentive ensures there are no errors that can cause any risk to patients.

2. Communication

Effective communication skills enable you to interact efficiently and clearly with patients and other medical professionals. As a pharmacist, you may mostly communicate with patients, primarily regarding medication prescriptions. Your job may also involve familiarising patients with the necessity of a specific medication and any potential side effects. Conveying such critical information requires effective, clear and comprehensible communication.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

3. Interpersonal skills

A pharmacist interacts with many patients with various personalities. Exceptional interpersonal skills allow you to better handle a wide variety of people. For instance, interpersonal skills, including empathy, negotiation, listening and conflict resolution, are critical.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples

4. Knowledge of science and mathematics

Knowledge of science and mathematics are both essential for pharmacists. As a pharmacist, you may apply knowledge from these disciplines to your work. Comprehensive knowledge of biology and chemistry enables you to understand the chemical composition of drugs and their physiological effects.

Mathematics proficiency is a critical technical skill for pharmacists. Basic knowledge of math enables you to place proper medication orders, accurately measure dosages and package the correct number of pills. Doing this ensures that patients receive proper medication throughout their treatment period.

Related: Common Pharmacy Tech Skills: Definition And Examples

5. Management skills

Pharmacists give priority to managerial skills. The organisational structures of hospitals and pharmacies are different. Pharmacists' responsibilities vary depending on this. You may require to be good at management, especially if you supervise other employees, manage patients and keep records.

6. Multitasking

Employers usually look for candidates with multitasking skills for pharmacy-related roles. As a pharmacist, you are accountable for performing multiple responsibilities efficiently and effectively, which require multitasking. Some roles that involve multitasking include answering calls and responding to emails from other departments, serving several clients, checking medication to verify its expiry, restocking drugs and updating necessary records.

7. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is a necessary ethical characteristic of a pharmacist. As a pharmacist, it is important for you to maintain complete confidentiality regarding the patient's information. Pharmacists keep information about a client's medical history and medication, which they cannot disclose to other individuals unless legally required.

8. Analytical skills

Using analytical skills in your pharmacy career has several advantages in career advancement. These abilities enable you to identify issues in your area of responsibility and propose workable solutions. Being good at analysis helps you comprehend a patient's history and to offer them suitable medication and advice accordingly. It also enables you to recognise any medication-related adverse effects and make effective alterations.

9. Computer literacy

Basic computer knowledge is important for pharmacists to stay productive at work. Computer literacy includes using essential software and tools like email, data entry tools, management, document editing and presentation software. Most pharmacies have computerised systems for efficient workflow and information safety. Being familiar with the programmes that allow updating client information, maintaining inventories and managing all drug-related data is critical for pharmacists. As pharmacies adopt technology in their operations, knowledge of using prescription drug monitoring systems is essential.

10. Finance skills

Finance skills are important for a pharmacy manager. Knowledge of finance helps you create effective budget plans and manage all other types of spending within the department. It also enables you to process customer payments, effectively work with insurance companies and maintain financial records.

Related: 8 Jobs After B. Pharm (With Salaries And Job Duties)

How to improve skills for a pharmacy job

Improving your skills is a significant step to help you aim higher in your career. Here are some ways you can follow to improve your skills:

1. Find a mentor

You can acquire some skills from other professionals through mentorship opportunities. A mentor is someone who possesses the knowledge and skills that you admire and want to learn. It is important that your mentor understands you and can provide constructive feedback. You can also learn from a mentor by following their work ethic or previous experiences. Work on your shortcomings and implement the mentor's advice and suggestions as you aim to enhance your knowledge and skills.

2. Set goals and evaluate the progress

Keep your goals specific and attainable. Consider setting your expectations based on the areas for improvement. Take the time to identify your improvement areas. Based on the skills you want to improve, set goals and track progress daily or weekly. A simple way to check your progress is to write a journal. Writing a daily journal about your progress can help you identify areas that require extra effort so that you can work on them.

3. Be consistent

Consistency is a valuable asset to possess for pharmacy professionals, where change is usually gradual but consistent. Consider every day as an opportunity to practise self-improvement on pharmacist-specific skills. Be conscious of finding areas with scope for improvement and work on them to get the desired results. Consistency enables you to create a routine. Consistently practising your skills helps you eventually improve them.

Pharmacy related skills in the workplace

Here are some pharmacist skills that are essential for your productivity in the workplace:

  • Exceptional customer service: It is important for you to maintain a calm and positive attitude when working with patients and colleagues. Certain clients are aggressive and impatient, still respecting them and treating them well allows you to create a better image of the company and helps in the pharmacy's success.

  • Drug therapy knowledge: Providing effective drug therapy is necessary for any health care facility. As a pharmacist, you can use your knowledge of drug therapy to provide medication information to patients and inform them of the right dosage, proper drug storage and possible adverse effects.

  • Understanding company guidelines: It is critical to understand the company's rules and regulations as a pharmacist. Always try to adhere to the company's procedures and guidelines to prevent any mistakes that can cause problems for the pharmacy or the patients.

  • Pharmacy services skills: You can use your skills to manage the pharmacy effectively and provide exceptional pharmacy services. These services include effective dispensing, conducting patient counselling and facilitating medication delivery.

  • Patient care: From consultation to drug prescription, treat patients with the utmost care and ensure the patients receive the best possible medical treatments as required. You can also work with other medical professionals and insurance companies to enhance your patient care and customer satisfaction.

How to highlight your skills

Here are some ways you can highlight your skills during the job application process in any pharmacy related role:

On your resume

Before applying for a pharmacist position, read the job description and identify the skills the potential employer is looking for in a candidate. On your resume, mention all the relevant skills you possess from the job description. You can also consider including certifications or experiences that directly relate to the pharmacist's role and validate your skills.

Related: 8 Examples Of Resume Objectives For Pharmacy Technicians

In the cover letter

Highlight any experiences, skills or qualifications relevant to the role and demonstrate your abilities when writing your cover letter. Consider explaining how you can apply those skills in your current role. If you have extensive work experience relevant to being a pharmacist, include your most relevant accomplishments or recognitions. You can explain how your educational qualifications make you a suitable candidate for the position, using specific examples to demonstrate your willingness to become a pharmacist. Demonstrating with prior experiences ensures you possess those skills and can apply them in the new role.

In an interview

When preparing for an interview, find relevant skills to the pharmacist's position and relate them with your experience and education. Practise answering example interview questions and questions that interviewers usually ask during a pharmacist's job interview. Use examples to demonstrate that your skills can assist you in achieving success as a pharmacist. Be on time, keep your documents organised and respond to the questions effectively to highlight your time-management, organisational and communication skills.

Explore more articles