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Oncology Pharmacist

Mix and dispense medication specific to cancer patients.

What does an Oncology Pharmacist do?

As an Oncology Pharmacist, you mix and dispense medication that cancer patients need to treat their disease. You work in the pharmacy, in research, and directly with patients.

The medications used in cancer treatment need to be handled and stored in specific ways to avoid spoilage or injury. As the Oncology Pharmacist, you ensure that the drugs are kept at the proper temperature, monitor expiration dates, and pay special attention to inventory.

You typically work in a hospital or cancer treatment center, and work in conjunction with the patient’s Doctor to assess which medicines to administer. Then you carefully prepare the medicines. Some mixtures release toxic fumes, so you work under a special hood that sucks fumes through a ventilation system. In addition, you need to be aware of chemical spills if you want to be an Oncology Pharmacist.

When you are not mixing medications, you spend your time with patients. Since you are the person who mixes the medicines needed for chemotherapy, you ask the patient about medication side effects. With this information, you tweak the prescription in an effort to improve the patient’s quality of care.

In addition to direct patient care, another rewarding aspect of this job is research. There are many types of cancer and a multitude of medications to treat it. You experiment with medications to find out which ones most effectively treat each type of cancer and create new medicines. This is an ongoing field of study that is showing optimistic results.