A Pharmacist simply defined, is that person, part of the health care delivery personnel who ensures the delivery of the right drug to the right person for the appropriate illness as diagnosed by a physician (doctor).
What does it take to study Pharmacy?
To be admitted into the Faculty of Pharmacy, a student needs to have at least credit passes in Mathematics, English, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and any two of the social sciences as well as the appropriate aggregate in the Sciences in the JAMB examinations as determined by the individual university.
Pharmacy is a five-year course in the Universities where it is offered in Nigeria. The first year is a basic knowledge in all the pure sciences- Botany, Zoology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. These courses run for two semesters and a minimum of 50% in each of them gets you promoted to the second year, which is actually your first year in the school of Pharmacy.
The second year is an introduction to the basics of the pure Pharmacy with courses such as Anatomy- the study of the human organs, muscles, bone and their functions; Physiology- the study of the human mechanical function; Pharmacognosy- the study of crude drugs for medicinal use.
Pharmaceutics - the study of drug manufacturing and production, preservation, packaging and quality control; Pharmaceutical Chemistry - the study of the chemistry of the drugs used in Pharmacy and Medicine, Pharmaceutical Microbiology- the study of microbes and how they can be cultured, destroyed and how they affect drug production; and Clinical Pharmacy- the study of drugs used in humans, their clinical effect in the cure of diseases and ways of achieving maximum benefit from them.
The third year introduces you to other courses like Biochemistry, (which is the study of Biochemical agents found in and out of the body), and Pharmacology, (which is the study of the manner in which chemical agents affect the function of living system). In addition, you'll be provided with more in depth knowledge on all the second year courses with the exception of Anatomy and Physiology and be taught both the practical and theoretical aspects of these courses.
Fourth and Fifth Years
The fourth year offers continuous study of all the Pure Pharmacy courses as well as Pharmacology and by the fifth year; you'll be left with only the pure Pharmacy courses. At each level, a minimum of 50% pass mark is required and this means that the minimum grade with which. You as a Pharmacy student can graduate with is a second-class lower.
On completing the five years at the university, you'll take a qualifying exam and if your performance is satisfactory, you'll partake in the induction ceremony into the Pharmacy practice, swearing to an oath of good ethical practice.
After this, you'll go on a one-year internship during which you undergo training under a registered Pharmacist. At the end of this year, you'll be qualified to be registered as a Pharmacist with the Pharmacists council and it is only then that you can practice as one. At this stage, you may decide to branch into any of these sectors, one at a time: Hospital Practice, Academics, Community Practice, Manufacturing, Retailing and Wholesaling, and Marketing. Whichever sector you are in, you must ensure proper practice of ethics and code, else the license to .practice can be withdrawn from you. Allaah forbid!
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited