The road of a pharmacist doesn’t end after graduating from the Pharm. D. degree program. In fact, it should be continuous process of learning. A degree holder pharmacist should take and pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MSJE) in order to work in the United States. Even then, they need to participate in pharmacy continuing education by attending seminars, trainings, and workshops in order to keep working as a pharmacist.
Pharmacy continuing education is required by law in the United States so that pharmacist will be updated of the changes and innovations concerning the health care industry. There are always changes, new drugs, new diseases, new interventions, new research studies, new problems, and more being published every day. And pharmacists, being a key player in the patient treatment, need to know those changes because they’re important in the delivery of quality and safe health care.
Aside from the necessity concerning quality and safe health care, the license of a pharmacist also requires Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for its renewal. CEUs can be obtained by attending seminars, trainings and workshops being offered by different schools and organizations. These programs must be accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) or be recognized by the state board of pharmacy for them to be awarded with CEUs. Most states required a certain amount of CEUs which is approximately equal to 15 hours each year. These units can also be secured by attending local or national meetings, engaging in home study certificate courses, thesis writing, and from articles present in professional journals.
The scope of topics in continuing education is broad. It can encompass everything related to pharmacy. Some example topics could be specific changes to drug incompatibilities, newly discovered drug effects on certain diseases, frequent pharmacist errors, and a lot more new interventions and issues. Therefore, pursuing continuing education is never necessarily a hassled dull moment since it will always contain new insights for licensed pharmacists. Pharmacists can also attend continuing education programs of other allied health professions. Since health care is never a singular effort and is geared towards team work, the learning gained from those programs may be applied by the pharmacist in her own work.
The pharmacist continuing education is an important responsibility of a licensed pharmacist as well. In order to avoid becoming stagnant with out-of-date information and prevent unnecessary damages, pharmacists should continually improve themselves, in their knowledge and skills, and not be left out by the times. Take note that obsolete knowledge from yesterday can cause problems that could have been prevented by today’s knowledge.