Clinical pharmacy is a field that studies medication usage in direct patient care. Clinical pharmacists help ensure that patients receive the appropriate prescription medications and can alter patient dosages and evaluate medication effectiveness, unlike retail pharmacists. Clinical pharmacists may collaborate with physicians to develop and implement individualized treatment plans and they can advise health care professionals and patients on prescriptions. Clinical pharmacists possess a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and have generally undergone additional hospital training. They work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, clinics, and community pharmacies, as well as government and industry facilities such as poison control centers.
Clinical pharmacists instruct patients on proper medication usage, such as dosage guidelines and times to consume certain drugs. Clinical pharmacists listen to patients' concerns and desires; they may consult with patients' physicians if medication is not achieving its intended aim. Similarly, clinical pharmacists may also address patient health issues such as adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and drug side effects.
Clinical pharmacists perform assessments and follow-up evaluations to monitor patients' medication response. They may advise patients in areas beyond medication, such as diet, exercise, and self-care. Clinical pharmacists may also engage in research and clinical studies to examine the effectiveness of current or newly developed drugs.