If you want to be a small town pharmacist, there are a few things you must realize. First, you must be a people person, as there will be lots of personal interaction required of you. Second, you need to be willing to give limited medical advice. Finally, you need to be prepared for what the new environment will mean for your down time as well. Be sure to take all of these things into consideration before accepting a position at a small town pharmacy.
Be a People Person
In a small town, the pharmacy may be the only place to buy certain gift items, catch up with neighbors, hear the latest gossip, and possibly even pick up specialty food items. Customers may stop by to get a prescription filled, but they will also want you to be able and willing to take time to chat. Simply filling a prescription will not be adequate in a small town, and may make residents feel slighted. If you are the type of person who enjoys chatting with lots of people about a variety of topics, then being a small town pharmacist could be a great choice for you. Otherwise, you may want to find a pharmacy where the pharmacist spends the majority of his or her time with the medications.
Giving Medical Advice
No, you do not have to diagnose customers and write prescriptions. You do not magically become a doctor when you become a small town pharmacist. However, you do become the next best thing to a doctor. Customers will come in with a cough and ask what kind of cough medicine will work best with their symptoms. Maybe they haven’t been sleeping well and they wonder if there is an herbal remedy or over the counter medication that will help. During the summer, you might be asked about that earache Sarah seems to get after swimming or the poison ivy Johnny got into. For minor problems, you will likely be the first person people come to. If you like helping people solve problems like these, a small town pharmacy may be perfect for you.
Living in Rural Areas
A small town pharmacy will often be located in a rural area. Many people like the idea of a small town surrounded by miles of nature, but unless it is something you grew up with, it may be a shock once you arrive. I grew up in a small town with no pharmacy or any retail shops, but at least a bigger town was only a 10-minute drive away. Before deciding to become a small town pharmacist, you should spend some time in the small town to see if you can live without the conveniences of a bigger town. As previously, mentioned the pharmacy may be one of the primary gathering spots and shopping location in town. This means there will be few to no large chain stores and restaurants. There may be limited Internet connectivity options, and little or no cell phone coverage. These are things most Americans take for granted, and living an hour away from these conveniences can be a very difficult thing to adjust to. If you can’t live without a double latte and a shopping mall, rural life may not be for you.
Did you move to a small town from a city? How did you cope with the differences?