We recently worked with KOREginA about the Dos and Don’ts of being a locum pharmacist. We’ve summarised Regina’s fantastic tips below:
- Call the pharmacy beforehand to introduce yourself, ask if they have a dispenser working on the shift with you and who they are, and ask if they have any tasks that need to be done. By being helpful and showing initiative you will begin to build a relationship with the permanent pharmacist and the wider team.
- Ask if, and how many, blue script patients there will be - these refer to patients who require supervised consumption of substances like methadone. By having this information you will be able to prepare for how many patients will be calling the store and whether you have enough of the substance available.
- Shadow a community pharmacist before your first shift - you don’t want to be uncomfortable and not know how to do anything on your first locum shift in the community. Ask someone you know if you can watch them for the day and find out the processes behind everything.
- Negotiate your pay if you can - for some shifts on the Locate a Locum platform you are able to negotiate your pay. Please note that this feature is at the discretion of the pharmacy and we do not control this or have any input regarding rates of pay.
- Don’t be afraid of the till - if you have some free time learn to use the till in case you need to support the staff. This shows your versatility and willingness to help the permanent team - we appreciate that in some pharmacy roles you wouldn’t need to use a till, but in community pharmacy, you need to be involved in all aspects of the store.
- Be late - whilst some things are unavoidable it is important not to be late. Often in community pharmacy, you are the responsible pharmacist and the branch cannot open without you being there. The last thing you want is to be rushed opening and having your team and customers/patients waiting for you. Do everything in your power not to be late - and hope that public transport is running smoothly!
- Do other things on the job - if the store isn’t busy don’t sit back and stream a TV show on your phone. Ask the permanent staff if there is anything you can help with, whether it's organising shelves, sorting medication or cleaning the counter. You don’t want to leave a bad impression on the permanent staff and affect your chances of working at the pharmacy again.
- Offer unrealistic solutions - you are responsible for serving customers and patients that attend the pharmacy. Try to the best of your ability to offer a realistic solution to their problems. For example, if you don’t agree with the emergency contraception pill and have to recommend another pharmacy, make sure that they offer this medication.
You can watch the entire video here:
Get in contact
If you’re interested in becoming a locum pharmacist download our app from Google Play Store or the App Store. All you have to do is create your profile, upload your essential documents and wait for our team to approve your account. If you use Regina's link here to sign up you will receive a£40 One4All voucher as a welcome bonus! You will then be able to book high-paying locum shifts nationwide. If you have any questions about the registration process contact our team here and they will be able to advise you.