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  • Priced Out of the Market?

    Hi Locums

    I'm finding that my locum work is drying up a bit due to cheaper foreign pharmacists. Obviously thats not good news for any of us, but I have more concerns then money.

    I was working with one of these people the other day. Attempting to discuss possible problems we are often faced with, I asked a few questions. This is the list of topics I tried to discuss with the person, and found thay had no knowledge of any of the following: -

    How various contraceptive pills work
    How they work/what are statins used for
    What is prochloperazine used for
    What is a persons autonomic nervous system
    How do beta blockers work - do they affect asthma

    After this lot I just gave up. So are these people seriously lacking in drug training or knowledge? Are they watering down the skill mix of pharmacy?

    Or can you do our job and not even need to know these things???

    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.

  • #2
    Re: Priced Out of the Market?

    There will be good ones and bad ones.

    It seems at the moment you can have the pick of managerial positions. Are you in South Yorkshire, I know someone good who is always looking for good people?
    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


    • #3
      Re: Priced Out of the Market?

      Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
      There will be good ones and bad ones.

      It seems at the moment you can have the pick of managerial positions. Are you in South Yorkshire, I know someone good who is always looking for good people?
      I have contacted another agency who seemed really keen to book me. I'm actually near Hull, so that's East Yorks.

      Thanks for the offer though, it's always good to network!
      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


      • #4
        Re: Priced Out of the Market?

        Well, I'm portuguese and I know all those things. And I've worked with polish pharmacists, and I've found them very good. At the same time, I also know british pharmacists that are sh**, but that doesn't mean that all of them are.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Priced Out of the Market?

          Well, I'm portuguese and I know all those things.
          I should hope you do, they are all basic things for a pharmacist.
          And I've worked with polish pharmacists, and I've found them very good.
          Who mentioned Polish pharmacists? In what way did you find out they were good - did you train them, discuss pharmacology with them, or could they just dispense accurately and quick?
          At the same time, I also know british pharmacists that are sh**, but that doesn't mean that all of them are.
          I know plenty of Brits that don't seem to know much as well. Nobody is saying they all are! The point is why is there such a difference in the knowledge of some people, who are all registered UK pharmacists? I know pharmacists who think you can take methotrexate qds, diclofenac 100mg tds, etc etc

          Whats going on?
          Last edited by admin; 27, April 2007, 10:08 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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Priced Out of the Market?

            Originally posted by admin View Post
            Who mentioned Polish pharmacists? In what way did you find out they were good - did you train them, discuss pharmacology with them, or could they just dispense accurately and quick?
            Worked with a polish pharmacist for a month while working out my notice at Lloyds,
            Did I train them? - in part - I passed on some local knowledge - sorted MUR and repeat dispensing registration with the PCT and introduced them into my network.
            Discuss pharmacology - yes - there wasn't a marked disparity in knowledge
            Dispense accurately - yes
            and quick - no - but that was not a requisite for the branch.

            Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              Pharmacists Training

              Originally posted by Jeff View Post
              Worked with a polish pharmacist for a month while working out my notice at Lloyds,
              Did I train them? - in part - I passed on some local knowledge - sorted MUR and repeat dispensing registration with the PCT and introduced them into my network.
              Discuss pharmacology - yes - there wasn't a marked disparity in knowledge
              Dispense accurately - yes
              and quick - no - but that was not a requisite for the branch.

              Jeff
              Fair enough Jeff, that's nice to know. Maybe I've just been unlucky with the people I've worked with recently. I don't remember saying they were Polish though.

              My point was that if there are people with what seems like very little clinical knowledge, do you actually need it, or are they a disaster waiting to happen? I feel that I use clinical knowledge every day, but if you don't have much then you can't, can you. If you don't know what the autonomic nervous system is, why would you question beta blockers/asthma or sympathomimetics/hypertension to be possible problems?

              I also don't understand why there seems to be such a variance in people's knowledge, when they are all around the same age. Obviously this is true for British pharmacists too, but I generally find that two young pharmacists from the UK universities have a similiar level of knowledge. I know many other factors come into being a good pharmacist, but just sticking to drug knowledge I don't understand how you can be a registered pharmacist in the UK and have no knowledge of the things I listed in the first post on this.
              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


              • #8
                Re: Priced Out of the Market?

                Perhaps it's the way that the graduations are formulated. I studied in the University of Lisbon, and we had six to seven subjects per semester, each with a theoretical component and a pratical/lab component. Many had two exams, we could only go to the theoretical exam if we passed (more than 50% score) the pratical/lab one. It was a five year course followed by a six month pre-reg (unpaid!).

                However, at the same time private universities were opening pharmacy graduations of doubtful quality. I had access to exams from another pharmacy course, and they were much easier than ours, even if it was the same teacher. We even went to the parliment to bring atention to the problem, but no-one listened.

                So a person can come out of my university with a 16 out of 20, and that would be considered very good, but with the same grade from another university and that would be average. To combat that, the portuguese equivalent of the RPSGB had the idea to accredit graduations, and the ones that weren't good enough their students would have to do an exam to become a pharmacist. I don't know if this is happening because I left Portugal two years ago and I'm a bit out of touch with what's happening there.

                The point is that, at least in Portugal, the quality of graduations depends on the university. This works there because the prospective employers know which ones are the best. But in the UK, a pharmacist is a pharmacist, and that's it. I hope that Portugal would introduce an exam like the one for the pre-regs, and everyone had to pass it to be a pharmacist.

                Nevertheless, being Portugal like it is, there would always be the risk that the son/daughter/friend/cousin of someone important would have access to the exam before, or had someone special marking it. So there would always be the risk of someone incompetent/ignorant ending up being a pharmacist.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Priced Out of the Market?

                  Originally posted by admin View Post
                  Hi Locums

                  I'm finding that my locum work is drying up a bit due to cheaper foreign pharmacists. Obviously thats not good news for any of us, but I have more concerns then money.

                  I was working with one of these people the other day. Attempting to discuss possible problems we are often faced with, I asked a few questions. This is the list of topics I tried to discuss with the person, and found thay had no knowledge of any of the following: -

                  How various contraceptive pills work
                  How they work/what are statins used for
                  What is prochloperazine used for
                  What is a persons autonomic nervous system
                  How do beta blockers work - do they affect asthma

                  After this lot I just gave up. So are these people seriously lacking in drug training or knowledge? Are they watering down the skill mix of pharmacy?

                  Or can you do our job and not even need to know these things???

                  Welcome to the future Admin
                  If the big guns & DOH have it their way , techs will be in charge and guess what , they probably won't be able to answer the questions either.

                  Its up to the society/prospective college to ensure that sub-standard pharmacists do not work in our pharmacies...but sub-standard pharmacists come in all shapes and sizes ,EU trained,British trained /overseas trained....seen them all in my 15+ years on register
                  PS* I don't consider myself to be" a know it all" but in this day and age pharmacists/techs can't afford to be bog standard or below!
                  Last edited by kemzero; 30, April 2007, 11:27 AM. Reason: additions
                  Kemzo the pharmacist forumly known as kemzero

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pharmacists Training

                    Originally posted by admin View Post
                    Fair enough Jeff, that's nice to know. Maybe I've just been unlucky with the people I've worked with recently. I don't remember saying they were Polish though.

                    My point was that if there are people with what seems like very little clinical knowledge, do you actually need it, or are they a disaster waiting to happen? I feel that I use clinical knowledge every day, but if you don't have much then you can't, can you. If you don't know what the autonomic nervous system is, why would you question beta blockers/asthma or sympathomimetics/hypertension to be possible problems?

                    I also don't understand why there seems to be such a variance in people's knowledge, when they are all around the same age. Obviously this is true for British pharmacists too, but I generally find that two young pharmacists from the UK universities have a similiar level of knowledge. I know many other factors come into being a good pharmacist, but just sticking to drug knowledge I don't understand how you can be a registered pharmacist in the UK and have no knowledge of the things I listed in the first post on this.
                    I worked with a Spanish Pharmacist a few weeks who was asked by the healthcare counter assistant if blood pressure tablets interacted with senokot - She proceded to examine the box of Senokot for an answer! (I saved her the brain meltdown and shouted NO!)

                    What really disappoints me about pharmacy is that she is perceived as being a good Pharmacist by the Dispensers and also other Pharmacist managers because she is quick at dispensing. I never once saw her deal with a minor ailment query or clinical question, instead she would call me over but address the problem in a manner that she couldn't be bothered dealing with it (She's a supervising pharmacist).

                    It's like I joined a profession where having more knowledge actively counts against you, the main thing is to be fast as possible at dispensing. I'm newly qualified and disheartened with this empty profession.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pharmacists Training

                      Originally posted by openmind View Post
                      It's like I joined a profession where having more knowledge actively counts against you, the main thing is to be fast as possible at dispensing. I'm newly qualified and disheartened with this empty profession.
                      I know exactly how you feel, and it won't get any better unless you change your view of pharmacy, or do something else. I have posted this reply to another of your posts, but in case you don't see it...........

                      You seem really fed up with pharmacy. I was talking today to a young woman who is a qualified pharmacist, and decided she wanted to be a Dr. She's finished the course now, and even says it was easier then pharmacy. Why don't you go on to study medicine? She's now doing rotations around all the different medical areas, and is working in oncology at the moment. She seems to really enjoy it.

                      If you like the clinical side of pharmacy, and are still young enough, why not do that?
                      Keep yer chin up kiddo!
                      Last edited by admin; 4, May 2007, 10:41 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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pharmacists Training

                        Originally posted by openmind View Post
                        I worked with a Spanish Pharmacist a few weeks who was asked by the healthcare counter assistant if blood pressure tablets interacted with senokot - She proceded to examine the box of Senokot for an answer!
                        Did it occur to you that she might be looking for the composition on the box? If you'd asked her whether senna extract clashes with BP meds, she might have been able to answer you straightaway, but learning what's in branded products takes months, if not years, as I have found out myself when I moved to the UK from Belgium. Would you know off the top of your head whether diabetics can take Perdolan tablets? No, because you have no idea what the active ingredients are without examining the box...
                        I've been working in the UK now since 1998, and I still examine the boxes of all the different varieties of benadryl-sinutab-sudafed plus/Co/Extra/Ultra Max etc... as I find it impossible to remember which one has got paracetamol or ibuprofen in it or not...
                        Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Priced Out of the Market?

                          Originally posted by kemzero View Post
                          Its up to the society/prospective college to ensure that sub-standard pharmacists do not work in our pharmacies
                          Any ideas how?

                          http://tinyurl.com/34x2wj

                          Test Purchases in the Cleveland Area conducted by Police, and Trading
                          Standards Officers from Stockton Borough Council
                          The exercise was conducted on Monday 19th February 2007 on behalf of the Reduce Supply of Drugs to the streets of Stockton Forum and was designed to ascertain awareness of pharmacists and other traders following an awareness campaign.
                          Two 15 year olds were asked to purchase decongestants, including Sudafed, from a list of pharmacies and general wholesalers in the Cleveland area (the names of the pharmacies and wholesalers involved have not been disclosed). The children requested 6 boxes of the decongestant for each purchase, or took 6 boxes from the shelves. The children were also instructed to ask for iodine and matches, as it was thought this might raise the seller’s level of suspicion.
                          In each case, the purchases were not challenged. In the pharmacies, the individuals were limited to purchasing 2 boxes of decongestant, although one pharmacy put 2 boxes through the till 3 times, so that the individual left with all 6 boxes. No pharmacy or wholesaler queried why the individual needed so much or why they were carrying so many boxes of decongestant.
                          In one day, 13 premises were visited and a total of 45 packs of decongestants purchased, 12 containing psuedoephedrine and the remainder containing phenylephrine.
                          No reports of suspicious purchases were received.


                          Jeff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Priced Out of the Market?

                            Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                            Any ideas how?

                            http://tinyurl.com/34x2wj

                            Test Purchases in the Cleveland Area conducted by Police, and Trading
                            Standards Officers from Stockton Borough Council
                            The exercise was conducted on Monday 19th February 2007 on behalf of the Reduce Supply of Drugs to the streets of Stockton Forum and was designed to ascertain awareness of pharmacists and other traders following an awareness campaign.
                            Two 15 year olds were asked to purchase decongestants, including Sudafed, from a list of pharmacies and general wholesalers in the Cleveland area (the names of the pharmacies and wholesalers involved have not been disclosed). The children requested 6 boxes of the decongestant for each purchase, or took 6 boxes from the shelves. The children were also instructed to ask for iodine and matches, as it was thought this might raise the seller’s level of suspicion.
                            In each case, the purchases were not challenged. In the pharmacies, the individuals were limited to purchasing 2 boxes of decongestant, although one pharmacy put 2 boxes through the till 3 times, so that the individual left with all 6 boxes. No pharmacy or wholesaler queried why the individual needed so much or why they were carrying so many boxes of decongestant.
                            In one day, 13 premises were visited and a total of 45 packs of decongestants purchased, 12 containing psuedoephedrine and the remainder containing phenylephrine.
                            No reports of suspicious purchases were received.


                            Jeff
                            Hope the pharmacies concerned get a visit from the inspector _soon_.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Re: Pharmacists Training

                              Originally posted by Zoggite View Post
                              Did it occur to you that she might be looking for the composition on the box? If you'd asked her whether senna extract clashes with BP meds, she might have been able to answer you straightaway, but learning what's in branded products takes months, if not years, as I have found out myself when I moved to the UK from Belgium. Would you know off the top of your head whether diabetics can take Perdolan tablets? No, because you have no idea what the active ingredients are without examining the box...
                              I've been working in the UK now since 1998, and I still examine the boxes of all the different varieties of benadryl-sinutab-sudafed plus/Co/Extra/Ultra Max etc... as I find it impossible to remember which one has got paracetamol or ibuprofen in it or not...
                              Agree with you there.
                              The manufacturers tendency to extend a brand name beyond the original ingredients does cause problems. Surely they should not be permitted to do this? Always best to check the container for the latest formulation first. Examples of this are Pripsen, (piperazine/sennosides, and now mebendazole) and all the others.
                              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

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