Pharmacy vs Nursing: Which One is a Better Option?

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Although there are two completely different professions, many have been undecided on which on to choose between pharmacy and nursing. Most high school graduates who want to pursue a career in the medical field are often confused between choosing one of the courses of study.

Both pharmacy and nursing are an important discipline in medicine. While pharmacy deals with the preparation and dispensing of drugs, nursing, on the other hand, encompasses the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and care of physically ill, mentally ill, and disabled people of all ages, in all health care and other community settings.

The role of a pharmacist and a nurse in the medical field is very important for proper health care delivery. However, they both present different career opportunities.

In this article, we will be looking at which is better between pharmacy and nursing degree.

Who is a Pharmacist?

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Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who practice pharmacy. Basically, they are in charge of dispensing prescription medications to patients. Pharmacists will explain what your medicine is for, how it works, what to expect when taking the medication and what to look out for.

There are also specific specialty pharmacists, some of them being veterinary, oncology, clinical, nuclear, consultant and industrial. Others may work in research relating to the pharmaceutical industry, researching new drugs and other health and nutrition issues.

The duties of a pharmacist are very broad. However, in healthcare, below are the duties of a pharmacist.

  • dispense prescription medicines to the public
  • ensure that different treatments are compatible
  • check the dosage and ensure that medicines are correctly and safely supplied and labelled (pharmacists are legally responsible for any dispensing errors)
  • supervise the preparation of any medicines (not all are supplied ready made-up by the manufacturer)
  • keep a register of controlled drugs for legal and stock control purposes
  • liaise with doctors about prescriptions
  • sell over-the-counter medicines
  • advise the public on the treatment of minor ailments
  • advise patients of any adverse side-effects of medicines or potential interactions with other medicines/treatments
  • manage, supervise and train pharmacy support staff
  • keep up to date with current pharmacy practice, new drugs and their uses

Where Do Pharmacists Work?

Pharmacists can work anywhere outside the hospital. Some of the common places where nurses work include:

  • Community pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government regulation agencies
  • Research institutes
  • Universities
  • Government agencies

Who is a Nurse?

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A nurse is a health care professional who is trained to care for people with illnesses, diseases, and injuries. Usually, nurses accompany doctors and different health care employees in medical organizations and hospitals, and their main role is to help people (from kids to old people) to feel better, stay fit, and healthy.

The duties of a nurse are very broad. However, in healthcare, below are the duties of a nurse.

  • Conduct physical exams
  • Take detailed health care histories
  • Listen to patients and analyze their physical and emotional needs
  • Provide counseling and health care education to patients
  • Coordinate care with other health care providers and specialists
  • Stay current with advances in health care options, medications, and treatment plans
  • Draw blood, and perform other health-related testing
  • Check a patient’s vital signs

Where Do Nurses Work?

Nurses can work anywhere outside the hospital. You can find them in a wide variety of health care settings, including doctor’s offices, urgent care centres, pharmacies, schools, and many other locations. Some of the common places where nurses work include:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Offices
  • Schools
  • Pharmacies
  • Ambulance/Helicopter
  • Home health care settings
  • Senior living communities
  • Government parastatals and agencies (military, prisons, police etc)

Which is Better Between Pharmacy and Nursing?

There is an ongoing debate about which is a better option between pharmacy and nursing. Both discipline are vital in the healthcare system and are unique in their own way. They both also offer different career prospects.

Both pharmacist and nurses are among the best paid medical professions in the world, though their salary may differ. As a trained pharmacist, you can choose to start your own pharmacy store and work independently, but that’s not applicable to nursing.

According to USNews ranking, nurses are among the best-paid health professionals even more than pharmacists. If you intend to earn more money, you know which one to choose between nursing and pharmacy.

Conclusively, both pharmacy and nursing are very lucrative professional courses. As such, we cannot categorically say one is better than the other. Your choice should be based on your career goals.

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