The skills that pharmacists acquire in their training are called hard skills. These kinds of skills are more technical in nature. They rely on a stable, objective body of knowledge. They can be clearly defined and measured.
In contrast to the hard skills, however, there are other traits that are classified as soft skills. These are more nebulous and harder to quantify. But they are, nonetheless, very important skills for pharmacists to have if they want to be successful.
In fact, the journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy says that certain soft skills may be better indicators of a candidate’s fitness for residency than just their GPA. These soft skills include things like work ethic, passion, adaptability, leadership, research experience, and communication skills.
So what are some of the important soft skills that pharmacists should have in order to perform at their best? Here are a few.
This is the ability to express yourself clearly and cogently both verbally and in writing. Listening is also a communication skill. These kinds of skills are important to any type of job, but especially for pharmacists.
Pharmacists need to be able to communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals every day, both verbally and in writing. So it’s pretty easy to see why these skills are so important. In fact, the impact of poor communication skills on patients could be substantial because it may result in patients not understanding how or why they need to take medication.
Things don’t always go as planned. That’s why adaptability is so important. As circumstances and conditions change, pharmacists need to be flexible enough to change their course of action as well.
They need to know how to apply the hard skills they have acquired to work environments that are continually changing. Without the skill of adaptability, a pharmacist will soon be overwhelmed by changing conditions.
In today’s workplaces, fewer people work alone. It is impossible to do many jobs today without interacting with other people and working with teams of people. The same is true of pharmacy. Pharmacists need to work with a team of technicians, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals. So knowing how to work in a team is crucial for pharmacists.
This is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s place, to recognize and understand what they are going through. It’s the ability to see their situation from their viewpoint and understand the emotions they must be feeling. This is crucial for pharmacists because they need to have empathy in order to connect with their patients and show them that they care.
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