Yes, Virginia, there IS a Pharmacy in the Hospital
Kathy Bradley, RPh - February 20, 2017
I am a pharmacist, and I work in a hospital. I am constantly amazed (or amused, depending on my mood) by how often I hear the phrase, “You mean there’s a pharmacy in the hospital?!” To which I am obliged to respond, “Yes – yes there is.”

Perhaps the confusion arises due to the typical concept of what a pharmacy is. People are most familiar with the chain drugstore wherein you can shop for groceries, toys, and other items while waiting on your prescription – if you even NEED a prescription.


What we DON'T supply

Here in the hospital environment we neither sell beach balls, nor do we tend a soda fountain. We procure, maintain, and dispense medications for critically ill patients during their stay in the hospital.

There are very few patients who do not receive some form of medication during his or her visit.  Even though we are often out of sight, hence out of mind, we in the pharmacy department are responsible for the following:
  • Acquire and maintain an appropriate medication inventory
  • Prepare and dispense those medications in appropriate form and accurate dose
  • Monitor drug therapy and the outcomes of therapy
  • Educate patients and staff
  • Manage pharmaceutical information within the facility.

The image below depicts one of the many functions we perform:


A Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) prepares
injectable medications in a sterile environment.

What we DO provide

So, to answer the question, "Yes, in order to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and our community, there IS a pharmacy in the hospital. We're here to serve"