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Do pharmacists do on-calls??

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  • Do pharmacists do on-calls??

    Hi,

    Could you tell me please if pharmacists working at hospitals or communities do on-calls, if yes how often, what kind of hours, what kind of quiries or emergencies they get during on-calls?

    (The country I graduated from (non EU) I had to study 5 years full time at university, and to get a place in pharmacy there I needed a very high marks, we do baccalaureat there we need minimum of 89% total, it comes after medicines and equal to dentistry, and it is much higher than any other professions or studies such as veterinary, law, accountancy, engineering...etc. Now I am living in the UK i have to do a one year conversion course and then pre-reg this will make it with my previous study 7 years. I am regretting that I didn't do dentistry now, reading all about pharmacy and their responsibilities and their low salaries compared to their stressful role and responsibilities.)

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Hey, YES pharmacists in the UK do on-calls. It all depends where you work really. In the hospitals, most of the basic grades will do on-calls but in community I think it is all up to the company you work for and whether they provide the "out of hours" services. If you are in hospital then presumably you'll have a rota. When you are on call, you can be called any hours from the time your department shuts to when it opens the next morning and being in hospital would mean the queries are all clinical and drug administration, drug compatibilities, IV drug dosage rates etc. If they need the medicines urgently then pharmacist on-call has to come in any time of the night or even early morning to make the supply. Hope that helps!

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    • #3
      Thank you very much for your reply dear CptJoshi.
      Are the on-call hours you do calculated towards the hours you do weekly or monthly,do you get session or more off in return, are you supposed to go the next day to work if you were on call the night before and you couldn't sleep??
      because i know that doctors get sessions off during working days for their on calls.

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      • #4
        On calls...

        I used to do on calls at the hospital I worked at. You get extra salary for the on call duty, but in reality you cannot refuse to do it. You get called out from everything to providing medication to making up chemo drugs that have been accidently spilled.

        The thing I hated most was in the middle of the night. It wasn't really the time, as I only lived five minutes from hospital, it was that the pharmacy used to be the hospital mortuary! It was a building at the back of a spread out hospital in it's own grounds, and VERY spooky. I used to open the door and it was basically a really long corridor with rooms off it. At the end was a section that we never used and that bit was very old, damp and creaky!

        One night I was getting some things ready to take to the ward and someone tapped on the window. After nearly having a heart attack I saw it was one of the security guards checking I was ok.

        I always tried not to think about it, but never could stop myself wondering how many dead bodies had been in there over all those years........
        Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
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        • #5
          Thank you Admin for your reply, you made me laugh.
          I think the on-call itself is spooky.
          I hope it is not done that often!! maybe once every two weeks would be ok.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ramroum View Post
            Thank you Admin for your reply, you made me laugh.
            I think the on-call itself is spooky.
            I hope it is not done that often!! maybe once every two weeks would be ok.
            Er no every two weeks is not ok. When you are on call you start on say the friday night, and you do it until the next friday morning - the full week! You are basically in the dispensary all day Saturday on your own, and if it's a big hospital the damm bleep just goes all night long. By the end of the week you are very tired!

            It may not be the same in all hospitals, but every one I know of has the on call pharmacist on duty for the full week.
            Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
            Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
            Thank you for contributing to this site.

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            • #7
              When I worked in Brussels we used to have 72-hour duties: each pharmacy in turn would have to be manned around the clock from friday 7pm to monday 9am non-stop, or from monday night to friday night non-stop; that meant sleeping on the premises (sofabed or Z-bed in the back room...), eating on the premises (eggs & bacon on the bunsen burner etc...thank God for microwaves!), washing in the wash-basin; no wonder pharmacy owners (pharmacists themselves, for the majority!) often had a staffroom fitted that looked more like a hotel suite, when they got their shop refitted!
              You couldn't sleep properly because you were always wondering whether you'd really heard a knock on the door or whether you'd dreamt it; then you'd get woken up at 2am for an urgent script, dispensed through the specially-designed shuttered hatch, a bit like the one at the Post Office when you hand in a parcel; By then you'd be wide awake, and would only nod off again at 4am; the 'phone would ring at 4.45am, some inane query for some new-fangled antibiotic which no-one ever stocked... you'd finally get back to sleep by 6am, then the traffic noise or the bin lorry would wake you up again, and it wouldn't be worth going back to sleep, so you'd start getting up and getting ready to work your normal day's work...
              Each pharmacy in Brussels would be on duty like this about 4 times a year; it was much more often in the countryside where there were less pharmacies per 100 square miles...
              Contrast this to the situation in my present county (Conwy, north Wales): not a single phcy open on Xmas day or New Year's Day, not even for an hour's rota...
              Last edited by Zoggite; 20, December 2006, 09:01 PM.
              Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

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              • #8
                OHHHHHHHHHH my God, this is awful , but how often do you do this weekly on calls?
                Admin , you put me off working at hospitals now. Doing a whole week on call with low salary this is......
                (thanks Zoggite for telling us about Belgium's ph)
                What about the on call at community ph?
                Thanks.
                Last edited by ramroum; 14, January 2008, 07:35 PM.

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                • #9
                  on call

                  When I first qualified I thought I would like to get experience of 24/7 pharmacy.

                  I worked at BTC in Aldgate London. People who visit at 2am can be fascinating. One chap bought a Benzedrine (Amphetamine) inhaler. dropped it on the floor stamped on it to break it open and tore off a strip of the amphetamine impregnated paper inside and swallowed it, then vanished out the door.

                  We were on duty 8pm to 8am for eight hours. Shifts could be 8pm - 4am. 8pm -12 midnight, then up at 4am to 8am or sometimes 8pm -2am then up at 6am to 8am.

                  To try to get some sleep I used to take Nembutal (a short acting barbiturate) known as 'yellow jackets' on the street.

                  I did three weeks of this before I decided had had enough. The counter staff told me that they got an extra £1 a week for this. (was in late 50s).

                  With regard to nasal inhalers, my future wife had a cold so I bought a Methedrine inhaler (contained methylamphetamine - crystal meth). Some had condensed in the nasal tube and she was kept awake all night with pounding heart.

                  Those were the days!
                  johnep

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                  • #10
                    I remember in Belgium dispensing "BMC pastilles"- Borax, menthol & cocaine lozenges, for sore throats...
                    And then you get the old Fogies who say "why is it always the good, old-fashioned remedies that are discontinued?"
                    I wonder if we'll be whining in 2057: "I remember when they used to prescribe co-proxamol as a painkiller!"
                    Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

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                    • #11
                      good old days

                      in 2057 I would be 123 years old so very unlikely to be around to worry!
                      JOHNEP

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ramroum View Post
                        OHHHHHHHHHH my God, this is awful , but how often do you do this weekly on calls?
                        Admin , you put me off working at hospitals now,(I've got my pre reg placement at a hospital for 2007). Doing a whole week on call with low salary this is......
                        (thanks Zoggite for telling us about Belgium's ph)
                        What about the on call at community ph?
                        Thanks.
                        How often, depends on how many pharmacists work in the department usually. I worked at one with only five full time pharmacists, so it was every five weeks. My friend worked at one with about 20 pharmacists, so it was every 20 weeks for him. The bigger the hosptal, the busier you will obviously be though.
                        Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
                        Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
                        Thank you for contributing to this site.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          oncall in pharmacy

                          Oncall in Hospital is as posted, in community never a real 24/7 oncall service but London had two or three 24/7 pharmacies. One was BTC at Piccadilly and the other I knew was in Aldgate where I worked for three week stint. No fun working say, from 8pm-midnight, trying to sleep for 4 hours and then being woken in time todo 4am-8am when day shift came in.

                          majority of towns had a rota 6-7pm in evenings and say 12-1 on Sundays and bank Holidays.

                          Game has now changed as anyone can open a 100 hour pharmacy anywhere and this is what the supermarkets are doing to increase footfall--adds 1-2% to gross turnover which can add upto millions in a large store.

                          Theoretically this means shifts of 7am -4or 5pm and then say 4 or 5pm until 11pm.
                          Frequently newly qualifieds with large student debt will work from 7am until 11pm, or sometimes if you are booked for the morning shift, the pm locum fails to turn up and they ask you to work on.
                          johnep

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                          • #14
                            Thank you Admin and Johnep for the clarification.
                            I know that hospital doctors do their on-call on a daily basis instead of weekly. 1 in 5 per example if there are 5 doctors, then 1 weekend every 5 which is better than doing the whole week and becoming mad or something at the end of it! but doctors get sessions off during the week (it is calculated).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johnep View Post
                              One was BTC at Piccadilly
                              johnep
                              In my student days I used to work across the road from BTC in Piccadilly, selling kaftans to the tourists from a shop under the Coke sign called "I was Lord Kitcheners Valet"

                              I noticed recently that BTC had relocated to there.

                              Jeff

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