Is there such a thing as the best locum pharmacist?
It may sound like something that in unattainable, probably immeasurable, but maybe in an occupation where there is no clear career progression – you surely need some kind of standard or level which you should aim for.
I have heard one pharmacist described as the best pharmacist in the country, by a regional manager in a well-known pharmacy chain. However, while many would dispute the claim, or argue that they knew a better pharmacist – what exactly could bring YOU a step closer to being a good locum pharmacist.
- Agree the small details in advance
Its all very well doing a great job for the pharmacy – but if you then argue that you’re not paid the correct rate, or that you should be paid for mileage, or whatever the issue – it doesn’t come across well. And it may harm your chances of being booked again.
Tied with this – make sure you’ve agreed when you should be turning up, and finishing.If the shift is not the same as the stores opening and closing times, then clarify this. Along with if there are any lunch breaks.
- Never be late!
This is a biggie. I’ve heard of countless cases of pharmacists turning up late, and yes, sometimes things happen out of our control – heavy traffic, public transport being late, bad weather,etc. However, try to minimise this as much as possible by always leaving extra time, especially for locums which are a bit further away, or if there’s been a bout of bad weather. And if you ARE late – please acknowledge this and apologise to the staff when you get there! There’s nothing worse than having to face angry customers wondering why you cannot dispense prescriptions, and then the pharmacist saunters in 15 minutes late!
- Look professional
Now, I don’t mean you have to wear a three piece suit and shoes so shiny they blind everyone in a 5 mile radius– but just use some common sense. Would you expect a locum pharmacist to be wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt?
If you’ve already qualified as a pharmacist – this shouldn’t be a problem. However, you still need to keep yourself updated, as there always new treatments and breakthroughs in medicine occurring every day.
Sure, as a locum pharmacist – you are only contracted there for the day, however, spare a thought for the staff who are there every day and have to deal with any queries and unfinished work the next day. Muck in whenever you can! Do this and your reputation will advance your career more than you’d think. Fail to do it, and it may do the opposite.
Remember, pharmacy is a small world and word (good or bad) can travel fast across a company and/or area.
By taking an interest and having an understanding of what patients are going through, you can communicate and clarify patients concerns. Remember, one day, you may be standing in their shoes.
This is just a small sample of the qualities you’d need to be a locum pharmacist that gets repeat work and the gratitude of staff and managers everywhere!
Now, nobody can achieve perfection, but if all pharmacists aimed to get closer to this, it couldn’t be a bad thing…