How to Volunteer in a Pharmacy
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Volunteer pharmacy technicians operate under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Volunteers are often in charge of filling and processing prescriptions. They also are asked to oversee the inventory of medication and other supplies in the pharmacy. Generally, volunteers do not need any previous experience to work in a pharmacy. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in seeing how a pharmacy runs and operates. Volunteers are in contact with medical staff and patients on a regular basis.
Contact your local pharmacies to see if it is accepting volunteers. Duration of volunteer work and work hours will vary depending upon the pharmacy.
Check with your college if you’re currently a pharmacy student. Some colleges offer volunteer programs in partnership with area pharmacies. The pharmacy will probably have a maximum number of students that they’re able to take on each semester, so make sure to check with the college administration as early in the semester as possible, even the semester before if you can. If the program is popular, you may need to be added to a waiting list.
Fill out a volunteer application. You may also need to include a resume and personal statement.
Get the necessary health clearances. Check with the pharmacy at which you’ll be volunteering for its requirements. You may need to get special vaccinations in order to work there.
Arrive early if you’ve been scheduled to interview with the pharmacist before a final decision is made.
Express interest in the field. Some pharmacy volunteer programs will be competitive. You’ll have a better chance at gaining a position as a volunteer if you show that you’re interested in the pharmacological field and that your future career goals are in line with your current pursuit. Pharmacists will dedicate their time to training you as a volunteer if they see that your career goals are in line with your desire to volunteer in a pharmacy. You can include this information in a personal statement that you can submit along with your application.
Volunteers are not allowed to have direct contact with patients due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. For example, if the pharmacy you’re volunteering for also vaccinates people, you won’t be able to actually perform the vaccination.
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As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.