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  • My pharmacy career??

    Hi, I've just completed my pre-reg (Bradford Sandwich Student) and will finish the rest of my degree and do the pre-reg exam this summer.

    I don't to really give my identity away so I will be vague regarding previous experiences and employment.

    I have completed summer placements with one of the big three and with a supermarket chain. I have completed two 6 month pre-reg with another one of the big three. I have had a CSE with one of the top two private hopital chains. I was asked back as a locuum dispenser buy both of the big 3 when I worked for them.

    Already, i've started to think of my future. I don't specifically know what I want. I consider myself a hardworker and when I get my degree result it should show this.

    I've started looking in the PJ for jobs and noticed a band 6 hospital job in my locality and am applying to be a relief for the community pharmacy I worked for. I've also looked at PhD's but I feel my fact finding is rather aimless.

    I have to admit the money does motivate me a bit. 24k starting off in hospital seems a bit depressing compared to 33-35K in community. However I would be prepared to complete the clinical diploma, do my time, and move up the grades. I have student loan debt to think of and house deposit etc.

    Travel times and work life balance would influence me more than the money. On my 1st pre-reg placement it could take me 50min to go the 6miles to work and roughly 40min back, my 2nd it could take an hour to get there and 35back for the 25 miles. That's a lot of misery considering travel times were frequently longer on Fridays, with accidents and bad weather.

    I've looked at different scenarios my life could pan out. I have a fiancée and will be looking to settle down soon so overall quality of life is most important.

    1) PhD
    Positives - An opportunity for indepth study of areas that interest me e.g. dosage form design. Good job prospects if in right place at right time. can locum part-time.

    Negatives - hours not condusive for a family/life, low pay

    2) Hospital Pharmacy

    Positives - Good training opportunities, A perceived more 'clinical' role, short working week 37.5h woohoo!!

    negatives - job related stress (less in private), initially lower pay

    3) Community
    Positives - good starting salary, varied locations,

    Negatives
    - Stressful (if dispensing more than 10k items a month), Contact with head office and non-pharmacy background 'managers',

    I would like to contribute high standards of patient care but don't really know where I would fit in. I'm reluctant to apply for the relief manager position because of my experience of the "trainer" (loses paperwork and doesn't send emails as promised) and the feedback I've received from the reliefs (even the 'good' ones. I'm reluctant to apply for hospital because of my lack of experience and for the pay.

    My outside interests are athletics and economics/business.

    I'm tempted to locum and maybe do an MBA (yep i know how much they cost) and work on my other business interests or apply for a head office roll. (Seems to be a lack of pharmacists with business sense and a lack of managers with understanding of pharmacy)

    I aim to suceed professionally and have looked at possible career progression pathways in academia, hospital, community and locumming. Being a locum seems to have many advantages over the other three in training. Mostly I can be in control of my own learning, my CPD, training courses etc. and arrange it around my schedule. The other 3 have the advantage that training is mostly paid for.

    How did you all decide who as a pharmacist you wanted to be? what sector would you work in? and how your career would progress?

    I don't know if I have the luxury of planning/day dreaming as I haven't qualified yet. It's just that many of my fellow classmates have already accepted job offers and seem to have concrete ideas of where they want to work and I don't. I don't seem to have the rose tinted glasses about any sector?

    I basically, just want a role that will help Joe Public most and will reward me professionally first and foremost and then financially on the shortest full time contract possible (no more than 45 hours a week working)

    It's probably just me but feel free to comment if you think you can help me and can give a balanced view on employment prospects for new graduates.

  • #2
    Re: My pharmacy career??

    hey and welcome
    'pre-reg (Bradford Sandwich Student)'what's that? is it a different type of pre-reg or what? and what do you mean by two 6 months pre-reg? split between community and hospital or what?

    'I consider myself a hardworker and when I get my degree result it should show this.'
    are you a qualified pharmacist? a graduate? a pre-reg or what!!

    sorry i can not help you here, would love to, but i am a student and i know i want community pharmacy.
    Cheers
    [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
    [/COLOR]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My pharmacy career??

      If I had my time again I'd go for hospital to start with, I went for community and it's incredibly hard to swap to hospital once you've started in community (not least because you're used to the cash and can't face a pay cut!)

      Community is OK but gets a bit 'Groundhog Day' at times, and starting salary is where it stops unless you're willing to slog your guts out (millions of items, area manager, open your own place), whereas there's more scope for working your way up nice and slowly in hospital.

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      • #4
        Re: My pharmacy career??

        All I can say to you is that you do not have to plan the rest of your life right away. You can try one sector and change to another if you want to at a later date. No one does the same job forever these days.

        As regards the job satisfaction, yes it is important, but further down the line when you have your wife, 2.2 kids, mortgage, car loan and pension plan, money will become your main priority.

        People change over time--you don't have to decide now what you want to do until you are 65!

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        • #5
          Re: My pharmacy career??

          It is impossinle to 'plan' your whole career at this stage but you can certainly make decisions which will increase your options in the future.

          Like First-Timer, if I had my time again I would probably go into hospital straight after qualification, you can get your Clinical Diploma (funded by your employer) in 2 years and be in a position to apply for jobs with a higher salary quite quickly if you are bright & motivated. Although the salary immediately post-qualification is much better in community it is much harder to progress from that point unless you are really motivated and have an employer who is willing to support/fund you following a more diverse role (e.g. prescribing/PG Diploma).

          I would say that a hospital background keeps you options more open. As others have pointed out it is far easier to move from hospital to community than vice versa.

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          • #6
            Re: My pharmacy career??

            Raoul - the Bradford sandwich student basically do 2.5 years at University - ie. up to the Christmas break of 3rd year and then spend 6 months in one sector doing half of their pre-reg going through the same procedure as an ordinary prereg. They then go back to Uni for their 4th year when they do their project, then spend another 6 months in either the same or another sector. The final 6 months of their integrated degree is then spent back at Uni where they do their final exams, get their degree, take the pre-reg exam and then qualify. So the OP is in their final 6 months now from what I gather from the post. I have friends doing the Bradford sandwich course - and it does sound good although their is a lot of pressure in the last 6 months.

            OP - what do you WANT to do? I'd go for something I'd be happy with over money as long as I had enough to survive. I feel that there isn't any point doing a job for the money and having poor job satisfaction because you won't be happy and will quickly become dissatisfied with your career. Can you speak to any tutors or any of the TP's at University about this?
            wake up and smell the 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione

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            • #7
              Re: My pharmacy career??

              Speaking as one at the end of their pharmacy career I would say the advice given here is good. About 10 years before I retired I used to tell the student technicians I was teaching that "if anyone had told me at the start of my career that this is what I'd be doing at the end, I wouldn't have believed them."

              So, as Tony Blair once said (about being elected for Sedgefield and becoming PM 10 years after coming a bad third the first time he stood for Parliament) "You never can tell".

              The first year or two do what you WANT to do. Hospital maybe, because you can do some community locums, and you'll get excellent peer support in hospital. Much better than you'll get in community.
              I started in community, did a summer stint in hospital, back to community for 20 years, then admin and some very odd jobs for six or so, then back to hospital and eventually teaching & PCT work. Ended up advising Care Homes.
              And, to repeat myself, don't try and plan your career in too much detail. Who knows what the options will be in 2025!

              But, finally, welcome to the profession and all good fortune.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My pharmacy career??

                I am as confused as others. I am currently working as a grade 6 pharmacist at a hospital. I am not sure whether it is a good idea to leave and find a part time community job or not. I am not very keen on doing the clinical diploma (2 years) as I hear from my colleagues how much hard work is needed to complete it (lots of reflection writing...etc.). Also the on-calls can be frightening and stressful.
                I don't know where good part time community jobs are advertised! Could someone help me please?
                Thank you.

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                • #9
                  Re: My pharmacy career??

                  Marry another pharmacist or the boss's daughter or son. Always a good way to get on.
                  johnep

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My pharmacy career??

                    Originally posted by johnep View Post
                    Marry another pharmacist or the boss's daughter or son. Always a good way to get on.
                    johnep
                    the best advice i have ever read on this forum.
                    i would edit it to; marry a GP, let him work and bring in money, locum 1-2 days per week just for fun.

                    Today i am sitting for my final exam at uni, no more exams from now on ( apart from registration exam). welcome to the world Raoul
                    [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
                    [/COLOR]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My pharmacy career??

                      Originally posted by hanah View Post
                      Also the on-calls can be frightening and stressful.
                      Insist on being met/escorted if its generally appreciated as being frightening and stressful. If not, then it's you, which is a lot easier to sort out: get a good book on relaxation and become an expert on it.
                      I don't know where good part time community jobs are advertised
                      Go for a walk with your diary, certificate and PDA insurance (you do have that, don't you, because if you are being forced to work in a frightening and stressful environment you'll need it) and drop in to the pharmacies you like the look of in your area. That includes the multiples. Tell them when you are free, and if the pharmacist chats to you, and its an independent, help out a bit while you are there.

                      Don't take more than one booking per place to start with so that you can suss them out, and gain experience, without getting too involved.

                      Ask which locum agencies they find reliable, and contact them.

                      Don't expect too much work before June.
                      ....just my opinion

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                      • #12
                        Re: My pharmacy career??

                        Good luck Raoul. Sure you will do well.
                        regards,
                        johnep

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                        • #13
                          Re: My pharmacy career??

                          Thanks DavidS for the advice. I am not scared at all to go to the department in the middle of the night on my own to supply an urgent med. I will send you a PM to explain the stressful on-call situation I experienced lately.

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                          • #14
                            Re: My pharmacy career??

                            Originally posted by hanah View Post
                            I will send you a PM to explain the stressful on-call situation I experienced lately.
                            Thanks for the PM Hanah, and I understand what you are saying: the situation was seriously scarey and stressful from a conscientious professional's point of view, finding it impossible to do your job, really, but not a situation where you were at risk of personal physical harm - which is what I had feared.

                            In fact, you sound like a very resourceful person, IMHO.

                            I'm sure you will do an excellent job in the community, if that's the way you decide to go.

                            But I should look up some of Tony Schofield's posts on tis forum, on the benefits of becoming an independent prescriber, for which you would need the dreaded clinical diploma, before you make up your mind.
                            ....just my opinion

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My pharmacy career??

                              Dear DavidS,
                              Thank you very much for your reply.
                              I am going to follow your advice in visiting some pharmacies that I like and chat to their owners or managers.

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