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Reading the Unreadable: Communication Skills for Pharmacists


"I thought communication skills were for teachers?" is the most common phrase uttered by people when they hear of communication skills for pharmacists. What they do not realize is the fact that everyone needs to have effective communication skills to succeed in life.

Although everyone needs communication skills, each person requires a different set of skills. This is because each of our dreams and goals need different factors in order for us to reach them. The development of communication skills for pharmacists is quite different from that of a salesman.

Communication skills for pharmacists can be divided into two categories:

1) Verbal – Communication skills for pharmacists tend to be more focused on this category. Verbal communication consists of words. Whether spoken or written, words are verbal communication. A pharmacists needs to be highly skilled in certain parts of verbal communication.

A pharmacist needs to be able to understand medical jargon. This is because he or she sells medicine. In order to do this correctly, he or she must understand exactly what is required by a customer. He or she must be able to read properly the prescription of a doctor in order to give the proper medicine to a customer.

In terms of spoken communication, pharmacists need it because of the fact that they interact with customers. Sure, some people may think that they only need to hand in their prescriptions and cash and the pharmacist will give them their medicine. However, you need to understand that pharmacists are not like machines. Going to a pharmacy, you may need some help. For example, a good pharmacist should be able to offer you alternatives in case the medicine you are looking for is not available.

Although the experience of speaking with a pharmacist can be rare, it should be filled with information. A person will take a pharmacist's advice if he or she knows what he or she is talking about.

2) Non-verbal – Although communication skills for pharmacists focus more on words, the non-verbal signals that pharmacists give out are easily seen by people. How is the pharmacist dressed? Do his or her clothes seem clean? This is important since pharmacists are in the business of health. People who go to pharmacists need to be assured that they will be given products to help them with their health. If they see any indication otherwise, they will go to other businesses.

How is the pharmacist's demeanor? The importance of communication skills for pharmacists lies mainly in the fact that their job is to help people. A pharmacist should be able to give the impression that he or she can be trusted to help a customer. Most people do not know this, but trust is more than a matter of words. Non-verbal communication for pharmacists should consist of the proper gestures and the proper impression to make on a customer.

These two categories compose the communication skills for pharmacists. To summarize:

1) A pharmacist needs to be able to read and understand prescriptions.

2) A pharmacist needs to give advice regarding different products.

3) A pharmacist needs to be trusted by people.

4) A pharmacist needs to attract customers.

These three reasons show the importance of communication skills for pharmacists. Pharmacists need communication skills because without them, they would be useless. People run businesses, and communications run people.

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