How To Become a Pharmacist

How To Become a Pharmacist

Pharmacists are the human encyclopedias of medication; they assist in the healing process by filling our prescriptions and furthering our care during recovery. The field of pharmacy is a noble profession that requires advanced education, licensing, and certification. While becoming a pharmacist may seem a bit daunting, the steps to success are actually quite clear. 

Steps to Becoming a Pharmacist

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree or Enroll in a Pre-Pharmacy Program

To become a licensed pharmacist, you’re going to need a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. To attain that degree, you will need to enroll in either a four-year bachelor’s program or a two-year pre-pharmacy program. Both are recognized, so it is up to you and your timeline on which path you should take.

  • Pass the PCAT 

In order to apply to a Doctor of Pharmacy program, you are going to have to submit your PCAT score. The PCAT is the Pharmacy College Admission Test. Is goal is to test your knowledge on all things pharmacy, including:

  1. Biological & Chemical Processes
  2. Critical Reading
  3. Quantitative Reasoning
  • Attain a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

This step is what really sets your future in pharmacy in motion. Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree is what you will need to be recognized in the field of pharmacy. However, they consist of four-year programs, so settle in.

  • Get Licensed

After graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, you’ve got one more step to become a certified pharmacist — getting licensed. Passing the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam) will get you the licensing you need to get to work as a certified pharmacist.

  • Explore Your Pharmacy Career Options

Pharmacists are often employed in places outside of a corner store pharmacy. While grocery, retail, personal health, and department stores are most common places of employment, pharmaceutical manufacturers and universities are also possible employers for a pharmacist.

It’s an exciting world out there for a pharmacist and your career possibilities are vast and diverse. If you’ve got the dedication the position takes and a support system of healthcare staffing specialists in your corner, then a successful pharmacy position could be in your future.

Become a Pharmacist with HealthCare Support

HealthCare Support is a premiere, national staffing resource for the healthcare industry that helps talented, passionate professionals find the perfect long-term career or short-term job. Our professional network is vast, and our dedicated team of subject matter experts provide customized staffing solutions, dedicated advocacy, compassionate guidance, and highly responsive support to help unlock your potential and place you in the ideal situation for your career. 

To learn more about our open jobs and services, please give us a call today at 888-219-6285.

Tips for Your First Day in a New Pharmacy Job

Tips for Your First Day in a New Pharmacy Job

The first day at a new job can be both exciting and intimidating. Starting a new pharmacy job is no different. However, you can ease your nerves by being well-prepared and taking steps to ensure you’re ready for the big day. Here are some tips to prepare you for success on your first day at a new pharmacy job.

New Pharmacy Job First Day Tips

  • Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

Check-in with your pharmacy manager and see what you need to bring to the office: paperwork, laptop, pen and paper, that white coat you worked so hard for, or anything else you’ll need for your workspace. Also find out about the flow of operation at this specific pharmacy. And get to bed early — you’ll benefit from being well-rested for your first day.

  • Arrive Earlier Than Your Start Time

Try to arrive at the pharmacy at least 15-20 minutes before your scheduled shift. You don’t want to get lost in the building and be late. Use this extra time to get acquainted with the area, locate breakrooms and bathrooms, and find your workspace. You can also get started on any orientation paperwork your supervisor may need you to fill out.  

  • Get Settled at the Office

After you’ve clocked in, your supervisor or a senior pharmacist will likely have you shadow them to get an idea of your daily tasks, such as logging the temperatures for the fridge and freezer where the medication is stored. You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with any relevant computer software programs and documents that you will use throughout your shift. However, 

  • Ask for Help

It’s best to get the small details dealt with early, so you can spend the day focusing on larger tasks. However, if you run into any unforeseen issues, don’t hesitate to ask another pharmacist or superior for help. If no one else is there, just call another pharmacy location for some guidance. Also be sure not to get too overwhelmed and overwork yourself. Take breaks when needed, and remember to stay hydrated.

  • End Your Day Right

When the workday is over, be sure everything is in order and ready for the next day. Leave any notes that may be relevant to the next pharmacist on shift, and make sure to lock everything up before you leave. And remember, you worked hard to get here, so be confident and excited for your future in pharmacy.

When you’re ready to enter the workforce as a pharmacist, you must explore your options and choose a reliable place to work. As a pharmacist, you have many choices: from retail pharmacies and hospitals to research labs and even military facilities. If you need help finding the right pharmacy job for you, contact the staffing professionals at HealthCare Support.

Find Your Next Opportunity with HealthCare Support

At HealthCare Support, we are a premiere national staffing resource committed to helping talented healthcare professionals find a career they are passionate about. With our knowledgeable, dedicated, and responsive team by your side, you will grow in your pharmacy career and receive guidance and support each step of the way. 

For more information on our services and open pharmacy positions, call HealthCare Support at 888-219-6285 today. 

Consider Extending Your Travel Nurse Assignment

Travel nurse assignments typically last 13 weeks. With part of it spent training and adjusting to a new facility, you’ll reach the end of your assignment before you know it. If the length of your assignment was too short for your liking and you want to extend it, you can ask your recruiter for more time or for help on finding similar opportunities in the area. 

Here are a few reasons why you may want to extend your travel nurse assignment and the benefits of doing so. 

You’ve Found a Work Environment You Love

Your experience might have exposed you to your ideal work environment. Whether you clicked with your team, enjoyed working in your unit, or both, extending your travel nurse assignment allows you to continue working in a positive and fulfilling space. As you take on more assignments in the future, you can always look back to when you extended your assignment to see if any upcoming opportunities align with what you know feels right. 

Additionally, the people you’ve connected with are now part of your network. In the same way you’d help and support them, they’re there to help and support you as you move forward in your career. 

You’ll Have More Time to Enjoy Where You Are

Perhaps what you loved most about your assignment was the location. Whether it’s the weather, scenery or local hot spots, you enjoy where you are, and that’s as good a reason as any to extend your stay. Even if the work itself gets stressful and winding down around town is what you love most about your travel nurse assignment, then extending your assignment is still worth it. 

It’s a Practical Decision to Stay Longer

You don’t have to have an emotional connection to where you work and live to want to stay. Sometimes extending your assignment is the move to make because it makes the most sense. Below are practical reasons to stay where you are longer:

  • You want more stability. If you don’t have an assignment lined up that you’re passionate about and would rather stay in your current position, then extending your assignment is a safe and practical option.
  • You’re comfortable where you are. If you don’t want to start over at a completely new facility, unit, and location, you can stay where you are.
  • You can see yourself building a life here. If you love where you are and want to see if the feeling is still there longer term, then test the waters for longer. After an extension, you can see if you want to pursue a more permanent position. 

If You Want to Stay, Know You Have Support

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of staying and want more professional insight on extending your travel nurse assignment, a recruiter can help. HealthCare Support is a national staffing resource that supports the professional, personal and financial goals of passionate healthcare professionals. With compassionate guidance and highly responsive support, our dedicated recruiters can help you thrive where you are. We’ll help you throughout the extension process to make sure your situation aligns with what you want. 

To connect with our team, please give us a call at 888-219-6285. 

The Ins & Outs of a Medical Office Assistant

What Does a Medical Office Assistant Do?

Regardless of location, size, or specialty, every medical office needs a medical office assistant — and most often, they need more than just one. Despite the already large and consistently growing need for medical office assistants, there’s still some confusion about what these professionals do on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take a closer look at the everyday role of a medical office assistant.


What Is a Medical Office Assistant?

The first person to greet a patient when they enter a medical facility, such as a clinic or private practice, is almost always a medical office assistant. Sometimes referred to as medical office specialists, medical administrative assistants, or patient coordinators, medical office assistants essentially perform the tasks needed to keep a healthcare center functioning effectively. Helping to deliver the best healthcare experience possible, these professionals may handle everything from administrative assignments to clinical ones.


What Does It Take to Become One?

Multitasking abilities, strong organizational skills, exceptional communication, and attention to detail are all essential to a succeeding as a medical office assistant. These professionals must be up to date on the latest record-keeping technologies and able to quickly and accurately input information. While many locations only require medical office assistants to have earned a high-school diploma, certain facilities may require them to obtain CMAA certifications or RMA registrations.

What Are Their Day-to-Day Responsibilities?

Medical office assistants wear multiple hats. While their responsibilities will vary depending on which type of medical center they work at, there are some job functions that remain the same just about everywhere.


Once a patient arrives, for example, medical office assistants may help by:

  • Helping them check in
  • Taking vitals
  • Measuring height and weight
  • Recording contact details and medical history information
  • Escorting them to the examination room


In between assisting patients, medical office assistants perform a range of tasks, such as:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment
  • Cleaning and sanitizing examination areas
  • Scanning files and transcribing records
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Billing patients and accepting payments
  • Receiving and sorting inventory, mail, etc.
  • Responding to emails


Starting Your Career as a Medical Office Assistant

The role played by medical office assistants is critical to healthcare facilities small and large. If you’re interested in becoming one and connecting to the clinics, hospitals, or other medical offices with opportunities that match your professional goals, join the HealthCare Support talent network. Our healthcare recruiters will help you put together a professional resume, find relevant job postings, and ace interviews. To take the next step in your healthcare career, contact HealthCare Support today at 407-478-0332.


5 Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly

It’s no secret that proper grammar should be used in the workplace. Good grammar not only makes you appear more professional, but it also ensures your ideas and messages are conveyed with clarity. Poor grammar can do just the opposite and lead others to make assumptions on your intelligence. A common way business professionals are dropping the grammar ball is with using incorrect idioms and phrases. Here are 5 that even prominent celebs are screwing up.

For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes

Originating from English law in the early 1500s the correct phrase, “for all intents and purposes” was used to say “officially” or “effectively.”

Shoe-in vs. Shoo-in

Most don’t have a clue they are using this wrong and imagine a shoe crossing the threshold of a door, opening a new opportunity. While the meaning is somewhat accurate the correct phrase is “shoo-in.” Just as you would shoo a bug out of your car window, to shoo means to move something with urgency.

I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less

If you really think this one through you can catch the double negative which has most people saying it wrong. The correct phrase, “I couldn’t care less” says there is no less caring you could possibly do, that is how little you care. Those who say “I could care less” are simply saying its of some importance to them and it is possible for them to care less about it.

Nip in the butt vs. Nip in the bud

A common phrase heard within management when a problem has occurred is, “nip in the bud,” however some have started using “nip in the butt.” While the latter is rather funny, the first is correct. “Nip in the bud” refers to a flower’s bud and cutting the issues straight at the source.

Down the pipe vs. Down the pike

Around here, we ask our clients if there’s any work coming “down the pike” as in turnpike and meaning in the future. This phrase is commonly mistaken for “down the pipe” which is understood given another commonly used phrase, “in the pipeline.”

Incorporating phrases or idioms into your day to day speech may make you feel more polished in the workplace, but you’ll want to make sure you are using them correctly so you’re not the butt of the joke.

Using a Temporary Assignment to Land a Permanent Position

Temporary employment has seen tremendous increase over the past few years, especially in healthcare. Many industries, including retail and healthcare, experience increased personnel needs several times a year, be it for a special assignment, auditing or due to a seasonal increase in business.

Although it’s common to first see the cons in a temporary position, there are some very strong positives to keep in consideration. Temporary employment allows you to get a feel for or “test drive” a company and/or position. This type of employment can also offer the opportunity to pick up new skills that were not available to you in your past position.  Another perk to a temporary job comes in the connections you will make. Getting the opportunity to work a temporary job alongside a professional you admire or for a highly sought-after firm will allow you to expand your contacts and build professional and personal connections that could provide solid references or suggest you for a future permanent opening.

Now that you know the vantage point of temporary employment, let’s look into ways you can use a temporary assignment to land a permanent position:

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  1. The first’s ones obvious: Be good at what you do.

Be a successful temporary employee and show them why they need to hire you permanently. Treat your temporary position as a permanent one because managers look for quality workers that are committed, hardworking, and passionate about what they do.

Carpe diem! Seize every opportunity you get to better yourself – whether that be staying extra after work helping someone with their patient or arriving a few minutes early to help the administrators. Make it your mission to come in everyday and learn something new, whether that be in your job description or outside it. There is never such thing as too much growth and knowledge.


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  1. Being a team player can help you turn a temp position into a permanent one.

Teamwork skills are very important skills to build and maintain. Not only does it improve your relationship with your coworkers, but it also shows everyone that you have what it takes to work alongside them permanently. Your coworkers just might become your promoters when a permanent position becomes available.


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  1. Let your employer and recruiting firm know that you’d like to be hired permanently.

This is probably the easiest thing to do, but is often overlooked. It’s important your manager and recruiter know you are serious about this position and want to be hired full time. Show them you are dedicated and motivated to fully be a part of the company. It doesn’t hurt to show them how you’ve impacted the company during your assignment either!

Physical Therapy Assistant

A physical therapy assistant works directly with physical therapists to provide physician-directed rehabilitation and treatments to patients. The primary function of PTAs is to administer suggested treatments to the patient and carry out routine maintenance of their progress. In addition to physical therapists, the PTA also directly corresponds with physicians and nurses when conditions change or treatments require attention.


Teamwork – Working as a PTA means establishing good relationships with each patient’s medical team. These connections not only help the patient’s recovery, but help the assistant grow their own medical based connections.

Listening and Observation – It is vital to listen and observe a patient to help their medical team and physical therapists create the best recovery plans.

Physical Strength and Overall Good Health – A PTA’s job encompasses rapid response times and an active nature that encourages their patients. They should be able to support an average male and female body, with additional emphasis on possible considerations such as obesity.

Knowledge of Current Testing Methods – Tests may be conducted under the care of a physical therapy assistant or in conjunction with the patient’s current physical therapist. In an assistance capacity, the PTA helps to administer the selected test and keeps the patient comfortable during their experience.


Anyone who wants to pursue a career in this field must have an associate degree in physical therapy assistance. It must come from a program that is currently accredited by a legally recognized program.

Additional Considerations:

To act as a physical therapy assistant, a person must be presently licensed by the proper state licensing agency. Licenses do expire after a selected period of time and costs for renewal vary based on various factors.

Director/Manager Of Pharmacy

A pharmacy manager oversees the day-to-day tasks of the pharmacy operations and manages all staff within the department, ensuring that prescriptions are being filled, that staff members complete their assigned duties, and local, and federal procedures have been followed. The pharmacy manager reports directly to the operations manager, or they may work as the head of a pharmacy team. Depending on the location, the pharmacy manager may also need to pick up inventory items and be available to handle pharmacy emergencies.

The pharmacy manager closely monitors prescriptions, assuring that they have medications that are most likely to be prescribed. In addition to keeping prescription in stock, pharmacy managers complete a series of managerial tasks, including handling complaints, maintain contact with the doctor’s office, and assist with over-time for staff management.

Pharmacy Manager Duties and Responsibilities

  • Pharmacy managers are typically required to notify the local board of any changes in pharmacist personnel.
  • Review prescriptions in the health departments and be responsible for dispensing at health clinics.
  • Pharmacy manager accepts responsibility for the operations of their clinic or pharmacy department in conformance with all statutes and regulations.
  • Pharmacy managers administer immunizations to patients, following safety protocol.

Pharmacy Manager Training and Additional Education

Pharmacy managers will typically have a bachelors degree in a related field of study. Employers will require managers to have current pharmacy licenses in the state where they work, as each state has its licensing requirements. Pharmacy managers will have to have current immunization certification as well, which is a certification obtained after participants complete a training course.

Salary and Job Trajectory

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists occupied more than 300,000 jobs in 2016. By the year 2026, the number is expected to grow 6 percent, which is exponentially faster than other fields.

Laboratory Supervisor/Manager

A laboratory supervisor/manager in the medical field is responsible for overseeing day to day activities in the laboratory. This includes supervision of laboratory personnel, quality assurance, and overseeing the collection, analyzing and ultimate use of lab data. There are generally different levels of lab supervisor positions in the medical field, with some positions having considerably more responsibility in terms of overseeing laboratory personnel.

Education and Experience

As a laboratory supervisor/manager, you may be required to possess a specialized bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study. Your path to becoming a lab supervisor may include obtaining a bachelor’s in medical technology or an associate’s in clinical laboratory science. In addition to these education requirements, lab supervisors are often required to have a certain amount of work experience in an individual role—as much as two years in some cases.


Although the job of a laboratory supervisor is to oversee operations in the lab to some degree, it’s not necessarily your job to give orders. Instead, a lab supervisor should help coordinate the work of others while keeping a close eye on the progress of each individual team to suggest ways in which they can improve. If you see a process that could be done in a more efficient way to save time, it’s your job to make that suggestion and help the team implement it. In addition to this, you are also a source of knowledge for the people you work with. As an experienced laboratory supervisor, you should provide as much relevant knowledge to those around you as you can. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t actually have authority over staff members.

The Impact of Body Language

Something so little as a slouched posture can decide someone’s fate of getting their dream job. But is that how it should be? Most bad body language happens when people are stressed and uncomfortable, and these feelings come out during a job interview. Is it right to base your first impression on someone’s body language during an interview? Most of the time that’s not how the candidates act all the time. So, why is body language so impactful?

Let’s break it down first: What is body language?

Body language, or nonverbal communication, is not about what you’re saying but about how you say it and what your body is doing while talking. Body language is a way to better your conversation by using your facial expressions, hand gesticulation, and posture in your favor.

Some examples of body language:

Eye Contact:

Eye contact is a very controversial thing and a matter of opinion. In some countries, constant eye contact is rude while in in others it shows politeness and good manners. Some may think that too much eye contact is intimidating and consider it staring, which we all know is a very ill-mannered thing to do. Eye contact also exhibits interest, honesty, and confidence.  So how much eye contact is enough and how much is too little? It’s a delicate subject but during an interview, keep enough eye contact and keep it consistent. If you’ve been making great eye contact the entire interview then start blinking or fidgeting with your eyes, that is a sign of nervousness.

Body Posture:

Slouching is never a good thing. Not only is it bad for your back, but it shows a lack of interest and respect for your interviewer. Remain upright and lean forward, this shows that you are engrossed in the conversation. Just like other types of body language, you can overdo it. Don’t get too close, everyone needs their own personal space.


Fidgeting is a major sign of nervousness. Whether if it’s picking at your nails, constantly touching your hair, or shaking your legs, the interviewer will get the sign that you’re uncomfortable. So, keep your hands placed on your lap and cross your legs so you don’t get the urge to twitch.


Have you practiced your handshakes with a friend before your interview? You should. Do you know when a handshake is too much versus when it’s too little? The limp handshake can be just as detrimental as the cutting-off-your-circulation handshake. Have all your items in your left hand so you’re prepared to shake someone’s hand. If you have sweaty palms, go for a subtle wipe of your hand on the side of your pants before shaking so you don’t give a clammy handshake.

Facial Expressions:

Smile! Giving someone a smile puts them at ease and conveys a sense of calm, control and confidence.  Smiling also reveals enthusiasm for the position and the company.

Body language can make or break you during interviews, even if you aren’t a fidgety person in your daily life. There are many ways you can positively express yourself through nonverbal communication, which can bump you up in the position standings. So, keep eye contact, sit up straight, and give them that million-dollar smile!