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Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

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  • Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

    To cut a long story short I'm a mature pharmacy student having previously obtained a degree in a different area. I spoke to some pharmacists and got a bit of experience in community before applying for pharmacy and I thought I was doing the right thing. Aspects of both the degree and job appealed to me and I genuinely thought I would enjoy being a pharmacist. Two years down the line though I've found that occasionally I will go through phases of doubt, this being one of them, and it's all left me feeling quite lost and confused.

    Since starting the degree I've gained more in-depth experience in both hospital and community pharmacy (have done ward-rounds, dispensing etc) and the more I experience the more I think that neither roles will offer me the job satisfaction I want and I'm finding that quite scary. I don't think I will hate being a pharmacist, but I can't see myself loving it and after the pretty huge decision I made, that is quite a big deal to me and to be honest is something I don't want to face. And the more community I experience the more I dislike the lack of prospects, the limited salary, the attitude of some patients, the hours, the retail aspects to it, and how tedious, repetitive and mundane it can be. Let alone the pressure of the responsibility of it all. At the same time I do like how the day can fly by, the flexibility it can offer, how some gratitude from the odd patient can feel very rewarding and how we don't need to take our work home with us. When we go home we can truely switch off.

    I don't really know why I am posting all this here because I don't even know what I'm asking. The only option I see for my future now is to get qualified and yes work as a pharmacist but seek life satisfaction elsewhere eg. side projects, hobbies, family etc etc. I keep reading about pharmacists not gaining any satisfaction or reward from their jobs and I suppose I'd like to know that there are pharmacists out there who are happy even if they don't entirely love their job.

  • #2
    Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

    Hi and Welcome

    Some people are happy with the job, and seem to get reward from it. On the whole, personally, I can't stand it myself, which is why I started this forum to moan about it!

    Zoggite loves it - she'll give you a much more positive response then I can.
    Last edited by admin; 24, July 2007, 10:50 PM.
    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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    • #3
      Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

      Hi there!

      I was VERY negative about things and that was why I stood for the English Pharmacy Board to try to get things changed.

      I have now given up locuming and work for a very forward thinking independent.

      Our shop sells Pre-payment certificates, it has the first ever Emergency Supply PGD in England and I am now in charge of the MUR program.

      I am worked off my feet and spend a lot of my off time tired (not helped by buying a 12 week old westie) but feel that I am actually working to help people now.

      Professionally the Pharmacy world is in a real state of flux. The Soc is to split. The All Party Pharmacy Group has come out saying that Pharmacy isn't used enough and needs to be paid more.
      There's a new govt just come in with people that are going to want to prove themselves better than the last lot.

      There's now an EPB that seems filled with people that want to get things changed (whether we will only time will tell)

      I am optimistic now that there are real OPPORTUNITIES to get things altered for the better. If we can get some kind of momentum going then we COULD get somewhere.

      Again only time will tell.

      Hell, by the time you qualify the pharmacy world could be a very different place.

      And if I can be a bit optimistic then maybe even Admin could crack a smile about pharmacy!
      Linnear MRPharmS

      Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The biggest cause of brain damage and 100% preventable.

      In pregnancy: 1 fag is not safe, 1 x-ray is not safe and 1 drink is not safe.



      For handy pharmacy links try
      pharmacistance.co.uk

      If you like my posts or letters in the journal try my books!
      eloquent-e-tales

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

        Snowy, all of us get fed up from time to time.

        Amd would I do pharmacy again? Well maybe, maybe not. Would the grass have been greener? One of my possible choices was law; being a solicitor.

        Just imagine, doing conveyancing all the time........

        But, looking back over 50 years in the profession I've had some very good times and I've had some very interesting jobs. Community has it's downside, especially when you're is a dispensing factory, but when you can sort out someone's medicines or health issues and they come back and say; I've got some thing else now, and you helped so much last time.

        Or, you explain drug action to a group of nurses and they really take it on board.

        Oh, there've been dozens of examples.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

          Originally posted by snowy View Post
          I don't really know why I am posting all this here because I don't even know what I'm asking. The only option I see for my future now is to get qualified and yes work as a pharmacist but seek life satisfaction elsewhere eg. side projects, hobbies, family etc etc. I keep reading about pharmacists not gaining any satisfaction or reward from their jobs and I suppose I'd like to know that there are pharmacists out there who are happy even if they don't entirely love their job.
          I'm happy ;-)

          Most of the time I enjoy my work - some days though it's just work.
          Locum pharmacy does leave me with the opportunity to take as much time off as I like to indulge myself and my family.

          Jeff

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          • #6
            Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

            Originally posted by snowy View Post

            how we don't need to take our work home with us. When we go home we can truely switch off.

            I don't really know why I am posting all this here because I don't even know what I'm asking. The only option I see for my future now is to get qualified and yes work as a pharmacist but seek life satisfaction elsewhere eg. side projects, hobbies, family etc etc..
            Don't forget that you need to do CPD when qualified. Most CPD evenings are straight from work have a buffet and get home at 2200 - 2230!

            To me the answer is to find somewhere local to work so you don't have to commute miles and add unnecessary time to your working day. Get your staff trained up to the highest possible level that they can acheive. Make sure that you have friends who are NOT Pharmacists. Don't forget participation in sport - it helps to work off frustration. Sports with a lot of focus help to give you the rush, try skiing, windsurfing, scuba-diving, canoeing. Sport parachuting is something that I'd still like to try! And it stops you from becoming a bore!
            47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
            2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
            How times change.

            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

              Originally posted by snowy View Post
              the more community I experience the more I dislike the lack of prospects, the limited salary, the attitude of some patients, the hours, the retail aspects to it, and how tedious, repetitive and mundane it can be. Let alone the pressure of the responsibility of it all. At the same time I do like how the day can fly by, the flexibility it can offer, how some gratitude from the odd patient can feel very rewarding and how we don't need to take our work home with us. When we go home we can truely switch off.
              Hello, I'm the famous Zoggite the Happy Pharmacist.
              No, I'm not being sarcastic: I really do love my job, I've been working in the same community pharmacy for nearly 7 years now, and it's just getting better and better as I now feel a real part of our local community and have gained the trust and esteem of my patients and their doctors and nurses.
              Lack of prospects: I'd say that the changing face of Pharmacy is on the contrary widening our prospects: I am no longer just checking scripts, I'm testing blood sugars, BPs, people's inhaler techniques, running a smoking cessation service,... all of which I find very rewarding and gratifying.

              Limited salary:I don't know about you but I'm not too dissatisfied with my £38k for a 34-hour week.
              Attitude of some patients:Yes there are a***holes everywhere, but what bad experiences I've had have faded into the background whenever I've received a "Thank You" card, or when we look at the piles of cards & chocolates we get every Xmas...
              The hours: Again, I don't know about you, but I get away with 9am to 5.30pm, tuesdays to fridays, and saturdays 9 'til 1. Not that horrendous.
              Retail aspects: I chose to pass on the role of Pharmacy Manager to my non-pharmacist colleague, so I don't get bogged down any more in shampoo price changes, cleaning rotas, building maintenance issues, staff recruitment etc... and I find it's all working much better now.
              Tedious, repetitive, and mundane: I can't deny it's repetitive, but I can't really say it's tedious or mundane... I learn something new every day, and I certainly don't get bored, even though I thought I would when I first qualified 15 years ago...
              Pressure of the responsibility: I wouldn't know what it's like not to be under that pressure; All I can say is that my dispensers feel just as responsible as I do, and they would be just as mortified if we ever had a serious dispensing error as I would...

              As for all the positive points you mention: I agree with them all. I love my job. And I've even managed to make it rub off onto one of my "saturday girls": after working with me every saturday morning for the past 3 years, she's now decided to go for a pharmacy degree. The ultimate compliment!
              Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                Hi Snowy

                I'm happy....I love being a pharmacist and I've worked in all aspects apart from industry...its a great profession....it has somehow lacked direction over the last 10 years..but a new dawn is rising ...and the future seems bright and lovely

                I've always thought that community pharmac is what you make it
                Kemzo the pharmacist forumly known as kemzero

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                • #9
                  Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                  Pharmacy is a great base job to allow you to do other things. I was fortunate in that I got out of community in 1968 and spent the next thirty years in a variety of marketing jobs. the best of these was with one of the old galenical cos trying to drag them into modern times. I also had a good 10 years travelling all over the world selling vitamins for bulk use. (by the ton, not by the odd pill).

                  Now pharmacy is allowing me to spend a comfortable old age (73) by working in community 2-3 days a week. Today was 8.30 -7pm as on rota and tomorrow is 9-7 but the rest of the week is mine.

                  life is what you make it, if in community the work local or in a pleasant situation--florida, Oz Gold Coast, Bermuda etc.

                  Pharmacy opens the door, you have to go through the door to new frontiers.
                  johnep

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                    I find the job OK, can be rewarding at times. There are some different/interesting prospects - especially if you manage to get a prescribing qualification. And if you are adventurous you can make a lot of money in pharmacy. I remember reading about three years back that there are more millionaire pharmacists as a percentage compared with any other health care professional. But I think young pharmacists including me don't have the entreupreneurial mentality.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                      Originally posted by Raju View Post
                      I find the job OK, can be rewarding at times. There are some different/interesting prospects - especially if you manage to get a prescribing qualification. And if you are adventurous you can make a lot of money in pharmacy. I remember reading about three years back that there are more millionaire pharmacists as a percentage compared with any other health care professional. But I think young pharmacists including me don't have the entreupreneurial mentality.
                      How true that is, me too - I guess the financial risk is too frightening.
                      As I married a pharmacist - we could have shared the duties.
                      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                      How times change.

                      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                        Thanks for the replies everyone. It's promising to read there are some pharmacists out there feeling positive. I'm currently doing a summer placement at Boots and the reason I'm feeling so doubtful at the moment is because I'm not really enjoying it. The team there are being very helpful which I really appreciate and I am being given the opportunity to get involved and learn but despite that I'm not very excited about it at all. I don't know if it's Boots I dislike or if it's because I'm being given the mundane tasks that are typically given to pharmacy students so that they can learn the ropes which I understand has to be done. But now having seen first-hand the operations of a dispensary I don't see a fulfilling side to it. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's all much more about regulations, being organised and having or ordering in the right stock than anything else and I feel this is quite a let down for the 5 years of training pharmacists have to undertake. Last year I worked in a pharmacy that was based in a GP surgery (but my role was more OTC-based so I didn't get much experience in the dispensary) and I much prefer the feel of that place and the way they worked so maybe it's also very much to do with finding the right pharmacy to work in also.

                        Originally posted by Raju View Post
                        And if you are adventurous you can make a lot of money in pharmacy. I remember reading about three years back that there are more millionaire pharmacists as a percentage compared with any other health care professional. But I think young pharmacists including me don't have the entreupreneurial mentality.
                        I'm quite intrigued by that. Did these pharmacists make their millions from owning their own pharmacies and selling them on? Or from non-pharmacy related things?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                          And if I can be a bit optimistic then maybe even Admin could crack a smile about pharmacy!
                          Mmmmmm. Well yesterday a woman threw her Glutafin bread at me because it wasn't what she wanted. That was what was on the script though.

                          Today, a lovely lass (five foot ten, both her arms full of tats, a good 16 stone plus) told me to f**k off (along with the old finger in the face) because I told her to put back a packet of plasters she had just nicked.

                          So you're right, it's me. I should be enjoying this excitement! I must be boring.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                            Originally posted by admin View Post
                            Mmmmmm. Well yesterday a woman threw her Glutafin bread at me because it wasn't what she wanted. That was what was on the script though.

                            Today, a lovely lass (five foot ten, both her arms full of tats, a good 16 stone plus) told me to f**k off (along with the old finger in the face) because I told her to put back a packet of plasters she had just nicked.

                            So you're right, it's me. I should be enjoying this excitement! I must be boring.
                            Where the hell do you work? Chavadonia?
                            Linnear MRPharmS

                            Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The biggest cause of brain damage and 100% preventable.

                            In pregnancy: 1 fag is not safe, 1 x-ray is not safe and 1 drink is not safe.



                            For handy pharmacy links try
                            pharmacistance.co.uk

                            If you like my posts or letters in the journal try my books!
                            eloquent-e-tales

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Not sure I made the right decision. Are ANY pharmacists happy?

                              hello everybody
                              this is my first post
                              i have been a farm assistant (on a recent form i received) for nearly thirty years
                              my advice to any newcomers is don't do it unless you are either a wimp, braindead, a masochist or any combination of the three
                              i have worked in hospital here and abroad, industry and retail and like me all my pharmacist friends want to get out
                              a few years ago my godson mentioned that he was thinking of studying pharmacy and i replied that if he ever said that again i was going to hit him with a spade
                              luckily he listened and is now doing medicine
                              i have been a retail locum for nearly twenty years and all i see is the workload and stress increasing
                              the trouble is that all the chains treat their staff like slaves and are only interested in making money
                              just about everyone above branch manager level is not up to the job and never listens
                              TO BE CONTINUED

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