Pharmacist Career Profile
What is a Pharmacist?
A Pharmacist is a medical professional that is in demand in Saskatchewan and is known as a medication therapy management expert who collaborates with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals to provide quality patient care. The scope of practice for pharmacists is always expanding but the key responsibilities include the development and management of patient medication plans, advise patient and family members on prescription medication, supervise and direct pharmacy staff including technicians and assistants, manage and monitor drug therapy programs, administer immunizations and assessments of patients. Newer expanded scope of practice includes the ability to prescribe medication to patients which complements the care provided by physicians. Pharmacists work in three main areas, community pharmacies, academia or publicly-funded. Hospital pharmacists may work in shifts and on call depending on the needs of the pharmacy. No matter where pharmacists work, they use their knowledge to help improve how medications are used which leads to a stronger healthcare system and improved quality of life for patients.
What is it like working as a Pharmacist at the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)?
As a pharmacist in Saskatchewan, you may practice in a community pharmacy, a hospital or in academia.
As a hospital pharmacist you will likely work with the SHA with a team of pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, nurses, therapists and physicians. Hospital pharmacists work in many different areas within the SHA including Acute Care, Ambulatory Care or Primary Health-Care . Your role may include management of pharmacy staff, consultation on medication with other members of the health-care team and patients, teaching, conducting research, and managing alternative therapy programs for patients. In regards to shift work, bigger centre pharmacies can operate 24/7 meaning that you will need to be available to work evenings and night shifts. Smaller centres in rural communities may operate on a more regular schedule so you may not be required to work evenings or weekends. In terms of work and career development, the SHA has standardized processes to maintain quality care across the province and has access to resources for you to continue to develop your skills. There are also opportunities to move into management and other leadership roles in order to progress your career.
If working in a community clinic or a retail pharmacy, you may be more customer-facing and will handle more day to day operations of the pharmacy. Hours of work are dependent on the needs of the pharmacy but shifts are typically during the day and into the evenings including weekends.
What can I earn as a Pharmacist?
- Pharmacist - $47.60 - $55.33
- Senior Pharmacist - $51.41 - $59.76
In addition to the above pay bands, Enhanced Dental and Health benefits and vacation packages are also included.
Pharmacists working with the SHA are unionized employees and are a member of the following union:
How do I become a Pharmacist?
To work as a Pharmacist, you will require completion of an entry to practice pharmacy degree. Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programs take four years to complete and there are many accredited programs throughout Canada. These programs are very competitive and typically require two years of undergraduate studies before being eligible for application. If you are looking to train in Saskatchewan, you can take the following four year degree program offered in Saskatoon:
After completing your program, you will need to complete a national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) in order to obtain a license from the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals before practicing in the province. Pharmacists are required to earn continuing education credits in order to keep their license active.