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Pharmacy careers and other useful information watch

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    Seeing as pharmacy careers are quite a common query, just found this site which may be of interest to anyone wanting info on the different sectors:

    http://www.pjcareers.com/carinfo.php
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    Here's another one with some info about careers in industry:

    www.pharmcareers.co.uk

    Can a mod make this sticky please? Xenon?
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    This one as well has some good introduction:

    http://www.pharmacycareers.org.uk/
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    (Original post by Kingspharm)
    Here's another one with some info about careers in industry:

    www.pharmcareers.co.uk

    Can a mod make this sticky please? Xenon?
    Aye aye! Done.
    If anyone has any other links related to pharmacy and the careers, please put them here. This includes info on retail, industry, hospital pharmacy, academia... Also,other useful related info.
    For anyone looking for summer placements, here is some info:

    Boots application closed earlier this month.

    Lloyds pharmacy application is online and can be found on Lloyds pharmacy
    Deadline for application is 15 December 2005

    Tesco also do summer placements.

    There's a large branch of pharmacies called co-op, which has summer placements for 3rd years I know, but I think 2nd years as well. You can apply online here: co-op application

    For many hospital pharmacies, they more often take 3rd years, but I have known some people to get a summer placement in the 2nd year. Call up hospital pharmacies to see if they do summer placements, then follow their instrusctions. Will probably be to send in your CV and a covering letter. Oftenstart applications in December, but ring up to make sure.
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    Hi to all Pharmacy Students

    I have been a registered pharmacist in the UK for over ten years. I have worked within hospital, industry and am now a self employed locum in retail.

    If you want to know what the job of a pharmacist is really like, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

    Ok here's the plug

    I have started a small forum for pharmacy discussion. I have 22 members and it's been going a week. I have 8 registered pharmacists on it so far.

    If you have time please take a look. I have just added a chat room to it, and will be on line later tonight, so we can talk in real time if you like. If you don't catch me or the admin on line, just stick up a post and we will get back to you soon.

    I have put this post in other places on this forum, so sorry if you've read it before. It's just that if I knew now, before I took my pharmacy degree, well you get the idea............^o)

    Thanks

    Apothecary
    pharmacy-forum.co.uk

    Edit: I am deleting the other posts about this. This post is here on a sticky thread, so hopefully people will click on here to read about it.
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    (Original post by Apothecary)
    I have been a registered pharmacist in the UK for over ten years. I have worked within hospital, industry and am now a self employed locum in retail.

    I have put this post in other places on this forum, so sorry if you've read it before. It's just that if I knew now, before I took my pharmacy degree, well you get the idea............^o)
    Your forum sounds like a great idea, and you are very welcome to give us advice, etc. here.

    After reading your very sad story about the statutory committee, it should stand as a reminder to all of us of how we could be screwed over at any point (and not just by the Government or by Boots!!).

    I'm interested in your experiences as a locum, as it seems the most profitable area in the profession (apart from owning Boots :rolleyes: or being a RPSGB inspector :laugh:).

    Could you tell us more - how you got into it from your previous job, whether you work through an agency, how you promote your services/advertise, how steady the work is - plenty of time off, not enough work, how quickly you're getting booked up, whether you're mainly working for independents or chains, etc.?

    Thanks in advance!
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    Hi, happy to answer.

    The Stat Comm thing was a few years ago now, so don't worry about it. I just wanted to let you guys know how the Pharm Soc works in real life.

    The reason I am a locum is it is the only time I have ever been happy since I started this job. I like it because I don't have to worry about staff holidays, how much shampoo we sell etc. I don't have any area manager on my back either. I just go to a store, do my best, and leave and go home.

    I also like the fact that I earn about £250/day on average and pay 3k a year in tax! I also don't work Saturdays and have evey Christmas off.

    The work is steady and there is plenty of it. I could work seven days a week if I wanted to. I have built myself a good reputation over time, basically through working hard. A lot of pharmacists seem to think they have the right to turn up to a store, open the paper, and just expect the dispensers to do all the work. I have always done my fair share and am being often asked for. I work through an agency, but you can do it on your own if you like. The agencies offer you some protection though, so if you are not being paid on time, or are finding when you go somewhere there are no staff, the agency will often help you, and do all the complaining to the company. They charge the company their own fee by the way, I don't pay them anything myself.

    I only work a four day week. I used to work five but if you travel a lot it gets to be a bit much. I work for independents as well as chains. During my time as a pharmacist I have been a store manager twice, a relief manager and have worked for most of the big chains.

    I think a good idea for the pharmacy degree course would be to have a section on self defence, and conflict management. Maybe they have it now I don't know. Since being a pharmacist I have: -

    1. Been spat at full in the face
    2. Had two physical fights
    3. Been threatened with a syringe full of blood lots of times
    4. Performed a citizens arrest on lots of shop lifters
    5. Restrained a violent drug addict for 15 mins before the police arrived
    6. Been to court three times to give evidence
    7. Had people waiting outside to "beat me up" after work on about four or five occasions
    8. Oh, last week a girl said she was coming back with a can full of petrol to set me on fire (I caught her stealing)
    9. Have seen three friends have breakdowns due to the stress of the job
    10. Never had a job that I actually like

    I rang my friend, who runs a needle exchange scheme pharmacy, before I put up this post. He has just resigned due to the fact that most of the week he is left with no dispenser. He only has 200 methadone addicts to look after!

    I also tried to keep my address out of the public domain, from the statt comm thing. Basically no chance. This caused a mental health patient to see my name on my certificate, type in into Google, and find out where I lived. This led to all sorts of phone calls and threats, one of them telling my husband he was going to rape me in front of him then slit my throat. This was because his Dr reduced his dose of olanzapine and he blamed me. I rang the Pharm Soc - again not interested.

    My best advice to anyone considering studying pharmacy is not to work in retail. Go into hospital or industry, but unless you can find yourself a nice quiet shop, keep away from retail, especially in the inner cities.

    Looking back, studying pharmacy was the worst decision of my life. None of my friends like their job. I would not do it again.

    If you want to be involved in the management of illness - be a doctor

    If you like putting tablets in bottles and sticking labels on them - be a pharmacist

    If you want to not be a doctor but prescribe drugs - be a nurse

    This is only my opinion, there must be a pharmacist somewhere who likes it. I just don't happen to know any, thats all.

    Apothecary
    pharmacy-forum.co.uk
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    (Original post by Apothecary)
    Hi, happy to answer.

    The Stat Comm thing was a few years ago now, so don't worry about it. I just wanted to let you guys know how the Pharm Soc works in real life.

    The reason I am a locum is it is the only time I have ever been happy since I started this job. I like it because I don't have to worry about staff holidays, how much shampoo we sell etc. I don't have any area manager on my back either. I just go to a store, do my best, and leave and go home.

    I also like the fact that I earn about £250/day on average and pay 3k a year in tax! I also don't work Saturdays and have evey Christmas off.

    The work is steady and there is plenty of it. I could work seven days a week if I wanted to. I have built myself a good reputation over time, basically through working hard. A lot of pharmacists seem to think they have the right to turn up to a store, open the paper, and just expect the dispensers to do all the work. I have always done my fair share and am being often asked for. I work through an agency, but you can do it on your own if you like. The agencies offer you some protection though, so if you are not being paid on time, or are finding when you go somewhere there are no staff, the agency will often help you, and do all the complaining to the company. They charge the company their own fee by the way, I don't pay them anything myself.

    I only work a four day week. I used to work five but if you travel a lot it gets to be a bit much. I work for independents as well as chains. During my time as a pharmacist I have been a store manager twice, a relief manager and have worked for most of the big chains.

    I think a good idea for the pharmacy degree course would be to have a section on self defence, and conflict management. Maybe they have it now I don't know. Since being a pharmacist I have: -

    1. Been spat at full in the face
    2. Had two physical fights
    3. Been threatened with a syringe full of blood lots of times
    4. Performed a citizens arrest on lots of shop lifters
    5. Restrained a violent drug addict for 15 mins before the police arrived
    6. Been to court three times to give evidence
    7. Had people waiting outside to "beat me up" after work on about four or five occasions
    8. Oh, last week a girl said she was coming back with a can full of petrol to set me on fire (I caught her stealing)
    9. Have seen three friends have breakdowns due to the stress of the job
    10. Never had a job that I actually like

    I rang my friend, who runs a needle exchange scheme pharmacy, before I put up this post. He has just resigned due to the fact that most of the week he is left with no dispenser. He only has 200 methadone addicts to look after!

    I also tried to keep my address out of the public domain, from the statt comm thing. Basically no chance. This caused a mental health patient to see my name on my certificate, type in into Google, and find out where I lived. This led to all sorts of phone calls and threats, one of them telling my husband he was going to rape me in front of him then slit my throat. This was because his Dr reduced his dose of olanzapine and he blamed me. I rang the Pharm Soc - again not interested.

    My best advice to anyone considering studying pharmacy is not to work in retail. Go into hospital or industry, but unless you can find yourself a nice quiet shop, keep away from retail, especially in the inner cities.

    Looking back, studying pharmacy was the worst decision of my life. None of my friends like their job. I would not do it again.

    If you want to be involved in the management of illness - be a doctor

    If you like putting tablets in bottles and sticking labels on them - be a pharmacist

    If you want to not be a doctor but prescribe drugs - be a nurse

    This is only my opinion, there must be a pharmacist somewhere who likes it. I just don't happen to know any, thats all.

    Apothecary
    pharmacy-forum.co.uk

    I thought initially I'd only work in pharmacy for 10yrs after qualifying... reading your experiences is making me think that's going to be 10 years too much

    Neither the Boots or the Lloyds I worked in were too bad, but Boots offered no services except EHC and the Lloyds was in a VERY sheltered area ( rarely got anyone under 80 coming in)

    I'm on my pre-reg in hospital next year, I'm hoping its more enjoyable than all the irrelevant stuff we're doing this year.
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    I know exactly what you mean about violence - my dad's been a pharmacist for 32 years and owned his own pharmacy (in what I consider a fairly rough area) for the last 20.

    He's now in the process of selling up and moving to locum work on the path to retiring. I've heard plenty of stories and seen first hand nightmare customers and all the usual problems like the annual break-ins by the local drug dealing gangs.

    We haven't had any conflict training, etc. - it's all about good communication skills and being nice to people. :rolleyes: I've worked in retail before though, albeit in a completely different sector, and have dealt with my fair share of idiots (but not on a par with your experiences!).

    I have a feeling that some of the kids in my year are in for a shock when they qualify. :laugh:
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    Hi All

    Ok remember this is over ten years. I'm sorry I didn't mean to scare anyone. If I was starting out again I'd opt for a hospital career, or do a PhD and work in industry. It's just the few idiots etc that can make or break your day.

    You must remember that you will be in demand. There are not enough pharmacists to go round, so if you want to work in retail find a nice place to work. My problems have been a lot through a needle exchange scheme I started in an inner city area. I liked the role, and most clients were fine. In about 6 months I had 450 clients. The company I worked for expected a return on their investment (10k) within 3 years, and I got them it within 10 months. Their support was poor though.

    In poor areas shop lifting and nasty addicts are a problem. If you can learn a self defence move called a swan-neck it can work great if you are ever attacked. I have used it twice, but both were skinny little lasses....LOL

    It does help if you have a stock of phrases in your head for stressful situations. For example if you ask a shop lifter to leave, they always say "why should I ?". To this reply "this is private property, and I don't have to give you a reason". If this doesn't work add "if I ask you to leave and you don't, you are committing an offence. I will call the police". If they still won't go, turn to the member of staff in the dispensary and just say "Call the police please. Tell them somebody is harrassing the pharmacist". That usually works. Like I say if you practice these they just roll off your tongue.

    When in these situations you are obviously stressed. The person causing you the stress often has a glazed look in their eyes, so have no anxiety atall a chemically induced relaxation! LOL

    To end on a nice note. A few months ago the security guard run into the pharmacy I was working at in a large shopping centre, and said this guy was having a heart attack in the barbers opposite. I thought I'd loosen his collar, keep him calm etc but when I walked in there was an old guy on the floor going blue! I checked his pulse - shallow and weak, breathing shallow, then he gave a sudden groan and stopped breathing. His pulse went too. I checked both wrists and neck - nothing. I started CPR and did it for about 10 minutes until the paramedics arrived, and then carried on at the wish of the paramedic, on his chest (3 breaths/15 chest if you don't know). They took him away, but he had no output atall on the defrib, so I thought he was dead. I went back to work, feeling a bit low, but also feeling I did the best I could.

    The next day I got a phone call from his daughter saying thankyou for saving her fathers life. She said they told her at the hospital he would have died if I had not done the CPR. A month later he walked in the pharmacy with his daughter, wife and a camera to take my photo. Unfortunately I was working out of town so missed him!

    The moral is - keep your first aid skills up to date - you never know when......

    Apothecary
    pharmacy-forum.co.uk
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    Hmmm, this sort of makes me glad that for this year at least, I have kept my options sort of open. I have got Boots placement, and also am doing a clinical pharmacy project and advanced therapeutics option (in hospital),which will hopefully help me out when applying for hospital pharmacy pre-reg
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    I'm got the impression from Apothecary's post that Pharmacy was boring
    If you like putting tablets in bottles and sticking labels on them - be a pharmacist
    Is this true? Can anyone change my opinion because I would like to think that its not boring.
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    As apothecary sounds ike she's a well experienced pharmacist, I guess I can't really argue with her opinion.
    As I'm in my fourth year and just about set myself for working in pharmacy for years to come, I'm optimistic that the good bits will still outweigh the bad bits, the pharmacists I've al worked with have liked their jobs - earnng a decent wage with a good degree of flexibility which allows them to pursue their other interests in life.
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    (Original post by papad)
    I'm got the impression from Apothecary's post that Pharmacy was boring


    Is this true? Can anyone change my opinion because I would like to think that its not boring.
    I'm sorry guys but working in retail is really boring. I did a quick poll of all the pharmacists I know, and asked them "do you like your job, and would you choose Pharmacy again if you were starting out" they all said, no and no.

    The only pharmacists I have ever met who like their job don't actually work at the sharp end in retail. They are either area managers, and do paperwork etc most of the time, or they work for the PCT or in industry. You can always go down these routes if you like.

    I am running a small poll on the pharmacy-forum website, about if you are happy with your job as a pharmacist. Have a quick look. There are only a few replies, but people who use these forums tend to be people who get up and let their views known, if you know what I mean.

    If you have already started your pharmacy degree, just stick to getting it done, and then maybe change directions. A solicitor who I know is also a qualified pharmacist. He once said to me "get yourself out of retail, it's for mugs. You are much better then this."

    These are good words and sound advice.
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    Yes I want to go in to industry. What is PCT?
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    (Original post by papad)
    Yes I want to go in to industry. What is PCT?
    PCT are the primary care trusts. they control at a local level NHS care. They all seem to employ a couple of pharmacists to go round GP surgeries trying to help them with prescribing etc.
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    I still don't get it:p: :confused:
    Think you could dum it down a level?
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    If you want to work in industry, don't worry about the Primary Care Trusts. They only apply to hospital and retail.
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    (Original post by papad)
    I still don't get it:p: :confused:
    Think you could dum it down a level?
    PCT pharmacists help draw up formularies to keep costs of prescribing down and advise doctors on whether or not drugs are cost effective.

    My horribly long essay was on info sources for doctors, and sadly doctors are swayed big time in their prescribing by what pharmaceutical reps tell them about their own drugs.

    PCT pharmacists sot the wheat from the chaff in a matter of speaking, so that drugs are prescribed on merits rather than how hard the company pushes the promotion of it.
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    LOL that's because the pharmaceutical reps ply doctors with freebies and incentives.

    NICE does more analysis of cost effectiveness - the PCTs just decide on what doctors are allowed to prescribe based on what they can afford - e.g. 3 people in the area can have Herceptin this year, etc.
 
 
 
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