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Hospital pharmacists are a vital part of the healthcare team. Working in either the NHS or private hospitals, being a hospital pharmacist means you’re part of a team where the focus is firmly on patients. 

There's a lot of variety in hospital pharmacy in terms of what you can do and you will always be working within a team of pharmacy staff which include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. 

You might get involved in manufacturing, developing, testing, supplying and monitoring the effectiveness of all of the medicines used in the hospital. 

You'll also provide advice to other healthcare professionals and not just patients, you may evaluate medicines and develop protocols. 

You may then specialise later in your career in conditions such as mental health, cancer (oncology) and the heart (cardiology); and specialist areas of practice, such as paediatrics (child health), and the care of older people. Pharmacists also work in urgent and emergency medicine departments, quality assurance, clinical trials, and in medicines information departments. 

You will have opportunities to progress into management or teaching roles within the hospital and work closer with the wider healthcare team (e.g. doctors, nurses).

Case study

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Lucy Galloway
Clinical pharmacist in a hospital: Specialising in renal transplant & urology

Every day I apply my expert knowledge to advise on dose adjustments for medicines in renal (kidney) impairment, pharmacokinetic interactions, drug administration and management of adverse drug reactions (side effects). 
In renal and transplantation the drug regimens are highly complex and a failure to manage them correctly could have catastrophic consequences, so the pharmacist is an important and respected member of the multidisciplinary team. 

I am also an independent prescriber and run a medication review clinic for transplant patients. Being able to suggest changes to make it easier for patients to manage their condition is very rewarding. 

Other roles that I have include writing guidelines, financial management of drug budgets and teaching and training undergraduates and junior pharmacists. 

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