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Struggles of the newly qualified

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  • Struggles of the newly qualified

    I'm writing here because I feel like the only person who ever struggled as a pharmacist in the beginning. I started working as a relief for a big chain and within two weeks I was told I needed to check quicker as all baskets must be checked by the end of the day. The branches I was put in were all busy (if not 11k+ items per month, then 7k+ and 30+ regular blue scripts). Even after improving my speed of checking, I still did not finish all baskets. Then how do other pharmacists do it? The welcome from many teams was often rather cold and I felt they were just waiting to find something to complain about me to the area manager. Once, at the end of the day, a dispenser who always texted the area manager during work, took a photograph of the baskets left. The same person later refused to change a label and when assertively told to do it, lashed out saying I am not her boss and cannot tell her what to do.

    The area manager did not want to know and when she did find out, she said it was 'a clash of personalities'. Ever since then, I felt the area manager's breath on my shoulder more and more, became depressed, and stopped caring. She kept phoning branches I was in on the day, obviously asking how I was doing. That's fine but never ever did she ask me what I thought of the teams in the area, how they treated me etc. I felt it was all so one - sided. I also do not understand the all baskets must go rule and in all honesty I often went to pharmacies where baskets were left over from the day before or more.

    Has anyone has a similar terrible start to their career? Did it get better?

  • #2
    Interesting perspective. For a long time I had the opposite problem, any baskets left the staff the next day would kick off and the support staff would be blamed heavily and the locum would be admonished of any responsbility even if everything was done perfectly and the locum had been recorded saying I can't be arsed.

    I suspect this issue may be other things. I was perceieved as a very helpful person and a 'soft touch' so big intractible problems in the company were left unresolved whilst the low hanging fruit was picked off.

    Managers go for the path of least resistance in retail jobs, they really do.

    I have indirectly encountered this a couple of times where I have worked with newly qualifieds and said how good they are at using this piece of software and they've said ooh thanks very much that isn't what they said at the shoe maker.

    Comment


    • #3
      It probably isn't you. You just work for a bad company.

      Comment


      • #4
        I too have been here and could recite even more horrendous tales. I could write at length about what I call "the attitude" in retail but will not do so at the moment. Mercifully, I am now completely retired and off the register.

        Your best bet is probably to find something in less pressured surroundings. I found that I met with "the attitude" in between 1/3 and 1/2 of units, giving you a 50-67% chance of finding something better with each application.

        Taking up another profession or doing a higher degree will cost you money and I don't see it necessarily as a panacea but it has worked for some. A lot depends on your personal circumstances.

        I am assuming you have considered the Hospital Service.

        Good Luck with this one, it's a problem I never solved but I still have a few ideas about.

        PM me if you wish.

        And join the PDA(U) if not already a member.
        Last edited by Mutley; 10th, June 2018, 03:16 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Evelyn87 View Post
          I'm writing here because I feel like the only person who ever struggled as a pharmacist in the beginning. I started working as a relief for a big chain and within two weeks I was told I needed to check quicker as all baskets must be checked by the end of the day. The branches I was put in were all busy (if not 11k+ items per month, then 7k+ and 30+ regular blue scripts). Even after improving my speed of checking, I still did not finish all baskets. Then how do other pharmacists do it? The welcome from many teams was often rather cold and I felt they were just waiting to find something to complain about me to the area manager. Once, at the end of the day, a dispenser who always texted the area manager during work, took a photograph of the baskets left. The same person later refused to change a label and when assertively told to do it, lashed out saying I am not her boss and cannot tell her what to do.

          The area manager did not want to know and when she did find out, she said it was 'a clash of personalities'. Ever since then, I felt the area manager's breath on my shoulder more and more, became depressed, and stopped caring. She kept phoning branches I was in on the day, obviously asking how I was doing. That's fine but never ever did she ask me what I thought of the teams in the area, how they treated me etc. I felt it was all so one - sided. I also do not understand the all baskets must go rule and in all honesty I often went to pharmacies where baskets were left over from the day before or more.

          Has anyone has a similar terrible start to their career? Did it get better?
          The community sector embraces a conveyor belt mentality and is operated by people who really dont understand/care for the clinical implication of making a dispesning error. That's why so many of the dispensing staff think its just a basket that needs to be checked! You ask if it will get better? I think you probably know the answer if you read general coverage by C&D or the PJ.

          As Mutley said its best to join the PDA and take stock of your current circumstances.

          Comment


          • #6
            Pharmacists are simply not accorded the respect shown to most other professionals. I cannot see Drs, Dentists, Opticians, Lawyers and so on putting up with being treated like it.

            I say "most" because teachers, if anything, seem to get treated even worse. A friend of my daughter's qualified as a teacher but had to give up after six months due to the attitude.

            It's State dominated, public facing roles that suffer most.

            Comment


            • #7
              Or other more effective unions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Evelyn. There is a level of expectation from the pharmacy and the patients. If this aligns with your checking speed, great. If not, you will need to find a level that is safe for you and seek employment accordingly. Did you ask the dispenser if she routinely takes photos of baskets left over?

                Comment


                • Evelyn87
                  Evelyn87 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  No, I did not ask her if they routinely do it. I do not believe they do though. I also do not understand how the pharmacy staff would be held responsible the following day with regards to baskets left over? Surely, there's nothing they can do about it...

                • mcitr
                  mcitr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Path of least resistance. I said staff were held responsible, not that it made any sense! You posted something, I posted some real life experiences that could explain it.

              • #9
                I'm intrigued. Taking pictures of baskets left over is crazy but maybe it is to protect the dispenser against the manager's moans in the morning. Maybe I should have done this but I'm not nasty enough to do so, you just do what you can, cover for the pharmacist and take the stick.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Get out while you can.... your story reminds me of my days behind the dispensing bench!
                  Join the PDA and log everything so at least you have back up of what you did and what was said.

                  Who do you work for? Is it the shoe?

                  Comment


                  • Evelyn87
                    Evelyn87 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No, it is a chain that sounds like an emotion you'd want people to feel. I have left already. How much do PDA charge per year?

                  • StraightOuttaDispensary
                    Editing a comment
                    You'd have to look on PDA website - think its probably about £200-£300 a year.
                    I work in a different sector so my insurance is higher.
                    Well done for leaving - scary at first but always something better out there!

                • #11
                  Join a union definitely, the only disagreement between us posters is which one. Most unions are 6 to ten quid a month and upwards.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by Evelyn87 View Post
                    I'm writing here because I feel like the only person who ever struggled as a pharmacist in the beginning. I started working as a relief for a big chain and within two weeks I was told I needed to check quicker as all baskets must be checked by the end of the day. The branches I was put in were all busy (if not 11k+ items per month, then 7k+ and 30+ regular blue scripts). Even after improving my speed of checking, I still did not finish all baskets. Then how do other pharmacists do it? The welcome from many teams was often rather cold and I felt they were just waiting to find something to complain about me to the area manager. Once, at the end of the day, a dispenser who always texted the area manager during work, took a photograph of the baskets left. The same person later refused to change a label and when assertively told to do it, lashed out saying I am not her boss and cannot tell her what to do.

                    The area manager did not want to know and when she did find out, she said it was 'a clash of personalities'. Ever since then, I felt the area manager's breath on my shoulder more and more, became depressed, and stopped caring. She kept phoning branches I was in on the day, obviously asking how I was doing. That's fine but never ever did she ask me what I thought of the teams in the area, how they treated me etc. I felt it was all so one - sided. I also do not understand the all baskets must go rule and in all honesty I often went to pharmacies where baskets were left over from the day before or more.

                    Has anyone has a similar terrible start to their career? Did it get better?

                    ok. No body can tell you to check faster due to safety comes first rules. If you make a mistake they are going to blame you! It seems like some unprofessional support staff have been complaining about you with other branches and like sheep they all agreed.

                    Join the PDA and ask them for advice on putting in a grievance. You need support not victimisation.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      As a hospital technician and an act, we never leave work unchecked for the next day, even if it means working late. I’ve worked until six fifteen even though I was due to finish at five, but it’s just part of the job. Personally, I would hate to walk into work on a morning and find a load of baskets from the previous day still standing.

                      It doesn’t help your situation but it’s not unusual to expect the days work to be completed that day.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Does anyone have any real alternatives to being a pharmacist? having been a locum pharmacist for 6 months nearly I and find it really boring and tedious. Never feel like your making a difference tbh just a glorified shop keeper especially if you have to work the till and sell meal deals!

                        Ive looked into teaching but even the abuse teachers get is worrying and also a Medical rep but not sure on the salaries and if there is any real career progression?

                        so does anyone have any idea what else can you do utilising the fact that we have a mpharm degree?

                        Comment


                      • #15
                        Getting into medicine is not as easy as it sounds plus an extra 4 years of studying and uni debt don’t make it as attractive as it sounds. For the NHS practice oharmacist scheme don’t you have to be qualified for 2 years before they can even consider you. I’ve only been qualified less than a year ?

                        Comment


                        • admin
                          admin commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I think you have to be qualified two years to do the IP course but that starts after 18 months on the job. It was just a thought. Maybe look into it a bit more and check it out if you’re interested. Where are you in the country?
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