What is a Hospital Pharmacy?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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A hospital pharmacy is a pharmacy that operates inside a hospital. Sometimes a pharmacy inside a hospital might be owned by the hospital, and other times the pharmacy might be owned by an outside company that is renting space from the hospital. Many people find that the average hospital pharmacy is incredibly convenient to use because they can pick up their prescriptions right after their appointments or hospital stays without having to leave the building and drive to a separate stand-alone pharmacy several miles away. Even though it is not always the case, prescriptions from hospital pharmacies might cost more than prescriptions from other types of pharmacies. Despite the fact that the prices may be higher at hospital pharmacies, many patients are happy to pay the price difference because of the convenient location.

There are a few differences between a hospital pharmacy and a traditional pharmacy. Pharmacists in hospital pharmacies normally work directly with doctors and nurses when filling prescriptions rather than taking written-up prescriptions from patients to fill upon request. If a patient wants to use the hospital pharmacy, she can usually just tell her doctor to send the prescription directly to the hospital pharmacy instead of giving it to her to take elsewhere. Sometimes hospital pharmacists make rounds inside hospitals in much the same way that doctors and nurses do to help patients understand the dosing instructions of their prescriptions as well as address any questions or concerns patients might have regarding their medicines.


It is not unusual for hospital pharmacies to employ pharmacists-in-training. Many people who are going to school to become pharmacists are able to get internships at hospital pharmacies to help them better learn their trade. A hospital pharmacy might be the perfect environment for the pharmacist-in-training because she can work not only with trained pharmacists, but also with doctors and nurses who are frequently coming and going from the pharmacy every day. Many students who are training to become pharmacists often opt to continue working inside hospitals rather than leaving to work at outside pharmacies because they greatly benefit from the direct communication with doctors and patients in the hospital.

Patients who have been admitted to hospitals usually receive the majority of their medications from hospital pharmacies because these pharmacies are most convenient to nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff. The convenience of a hospital pharmacy is also occasionally a lifesaver for patients whose lives are in danger. There are usually circumstances where it would be dangerous to prolong the use of a specific medicine, and having the pharmacy directly inside the hospital means that a patient can get the medicines he needs as soon as he needs them.



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