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Is being hospital staff pharmacist that bad?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by konkan, 02.08.07.

  1. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Is it true? I hear that all they do is sit in a deep basement and enter prescription orders into the system. In addition they make less than their retail coleagues. Somebody even told me that their benefits are worse. I would like to work in a hospital, but I am not gonna do a residency, therefore clinical pharmacy is out of the question. No wonder some hospitals are experiencing even worse shortage of pharmacists than retail.
  2. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    well, nothing can be given until we profile it in their computer. we don't have to deal with insurance companies, early refills, the requests such as "where's the motor oil?", and patients who think they are the only and most important patient in the place.
    i'll take the basement and the pay cut because i don't have to kiss customers' butts! give me a nurse any day!
  3. J DUB

    J DUB Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor

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    Pharmacist can go and do consults within the hospital. Some days they switch off and cover the IV room, cart refill, etc.

    However, they mainly do sit there and key. But, in retail, all you do is stand and check. (Call it a draw). Hospital has nurses, retail has patients. (Call it a draw). Retail has insurance! Hospital wins!!!

    Unless you want to make more money, then go retail.
  4. freeskier1

    freeskier1

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    or you could work in an assisted living pharmacy. best of both worlds. :)
  5. rxblitzrx

    rxblitzrx Short-Bus Member

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    I think sitting down is a huge benefit. What's the point of making an extra 15k/year if you can't even get out of bed to enjoy it?
  6. Idesiretosling

    Idesiretosling

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    Do most Hospitals allow staff pharmacists a lot of overtime if they want it? Or is it difficult to get an extra 10-20 hrs a week?
  7. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Myth #1. Retail pays more than Hospital.

    In base pay yes. But does retail pay evening and weekend differentials? And I provide plenty of overtime opportunity if a staff pharmacist wants it.

    And no.. Main pharmacy is on the first floor, then pharmacist stations are located on every floor of the hospital.

    If patient interaction in a retail setting is what you love, then by all means go retail. But let's face it...retail sux unless you own your own pharmacy.
  8. eddie269

    eddie269 Still in shock...

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    One thing I noticed when I interviewed at Kaiser for clerk position was how calm it was for all the pharmacists. The main pharmacy was split into 2 halves: outpatient and inpatient. There were around 5-10 pharmacists in each side just sitting on the computer typing, walking around with IV's, and delivering med's in carts (or that may have been tech's).

    Not saying it's a walk in the park in hospital, but I already decided hospital is where I am leaning towards for a position as a staff pharmacist. Now at WAGs and other specific crazy retail stores, it's not a pretty sight.

    When I graduate, I'll look for a job that isn't that hectic but still enjoyable, whether it's hospital or retail. But the differentials (nights, weekends-Saturday AND Sunday, and holidays I believe) and OT opportunities AND a CHAIR make it worthwhile in most hospitals.

    But shoot, I learn 90% of my hospital info from SDN1977 and Zpack anyways so I'll just shut up now.
  9. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    In my 11 months of rotations at various hospitals, they all had one pharmacy location except for the VA. I know there are some decentralized pharmacies but that's not the norm in Tampa. The pharmacy is always a room without windows where pharmacists sit and do data entry. The morgue is down the hall. Some of the smaller hospitals had the pharmacy on the main floor, instead of by the morgue, but they still had no windows.

    I need to see the sun.
  10. MissPharmD

    MissPharmD

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    How often do pharmacists get call from the MDs about question on specific drug(s).....

    I heard that MDs call phramcists and pharmacists have to be super fast about answering their questions...is it true? and how often do hospital staff phamacists go on floor (bedsite) and actually interact with patients....
  11. PharmDEpi

    PharmDEpi

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    Well, if you are "not gonna do a residency" (why not?) then your choices are more limited. I've worked in all the settings (yes, the deep, dark hospital pharmacy basement included). However what you have heard is a generalization. Not always true.

    I think you can be a great pharmacist clinician without a residency, but I also think that you have to work at it. Not sure it sounds like you are willing to do that ("therefore clinical pharmacy is out of the question".) You have to want it, and you have to work for it.
  12. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Tampa hospitals must be 20 years behind in practice. And if you were stuck in those morgue pharmacies during your rotation, I would ask UF to give your money back... unless you got a robust clinical education at a hospital like you would have in West Coast Pharmacy School rotations.
  13. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    I have a pharmacist on every floor...right on the central nursing station. That's where they process orders and also interact with MDs, Nurses, Social workers, dietary..etc. There is no better way to provide pharmaceutical care than actually being there on the floor with everyone. The drugs are still dispensed out of the main pharmacy and our satelite areas don't have drugs.
  14. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Residency doesn't hurt...but residency is not a requirement to become a great clinician..
  15. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Why so? I guess I wasn't quite clear - I am not sure I would like to be a clinical pharmacist even if I would have that opportunity. I don't appreciate a kind of relationship a clinical pharmacist and a physician have right now. If that will change I will think about it.
  16. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    If any of you are currently pharmacy students, have you ever thought about going to an ASHP meeting to meet & greet & see what else goes on in the world? There really is a lot - QUITE A LOT which goes on beyond retail pharmacy.

    How will you ever be willing to change what you have until you know what it is possible to change it to? Many pharmacy schools, my own particularly, stresses leadership & the ability to promote change. But - that is not everyone's cup of tea.

    And...yes - I agree with Zpak - I have NEVER worked in a basement, but - no, we don't have windows. If we did, they would need to be wired for the alarm - and we'd lose the wall space.

    But...I see plenty of windows when I'm up on the floors. However, when I'm in the OR, no windows there - its a funny requirement for a job to me - but who knows?

    OT is available EVERYWHERE! It gets old fast - real fast! If I never worked OT again in my life, I would be happy.

    Yes - I get asked multiple times in a day questions from MD/DOs. I don't always know the answer fast - that is not a requirement. The first rule of pharmacy is know what you don't know, but how you can find out.

    If I'm assigned to a floor, I'm at the beside mutiple times in a day - it depends - mostly I work the ICU....there are only 25 beds & many are ventilated/sedated...so bedside does not necessarily mean pt interaction. But, it does mean provider or family interaction. But, other pharmacists on other units do indeed interact much closer with patients.
  17. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    super fast may be an overstatement, but you have to be clear, quick and concise. in my hospital, they are often calling from the ER or the ICU. that being said, i agree with some other posters. you don't always need a residency to be a great clinician. [one of my best friends had a terrible residency experience and ended up working in an area completely opposite her residency training. it's not for everyone]
    i a did not do a residency. i went straight to the deep dark basement[ i work second shift, so i don't get to go to the floor] . but i have nurses with whom i have a relationship who say "thank god it's you on the phone" and intensivists who frequently seek out my advice and ideas.

    the best advice i have for anyone who wants to work hospital. if you want to do a residency, go for it, maybe you'll have a great experience. if not, and even if you do, remember to be creative, learn to think on your feet and always be part of the team even if you feel like you're stuck in the basement. remember, if you WEREN'T there, how would the patients get their meds safely and accurately?
  18. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    i never thought about alarms on the windows....must mention that to my DOP...i never looked, they must be there...:confused: right?
  19. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    I actually got some very good clinical experiences. I can look at charts on the computer. Everything is there, labs, orders, micro, consults, etc. Nurses phone to the pharmacy rather than seeing the pharmacist on the floor.

    There are hundreds of UF rotation locations, but I somehow ended up in a lot of "for profit" hospitals run by physician groups. They tend to keep the pharmacists from doing any actual clinical work. The other not-for-profit hospital chains allowed the pharmacists (and me) to actually write orders for renal dosing, IV to PO and to order labs. At those hospitals, I could leave the pharmacy to go up on floors and write things in charts. But after that, it was back downstairs. It's not like it takes that long to write orders.
  20. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Hospital Pharmacy with windows to outside should definitely have a security system..if not an alarm, then physical deterrent like metal bars.. I know, it's ugly.
  21. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    you mean metal bars to match the ball and chain of being a pharmacist?:D
  22. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    and cuffs..
  23. dr of rx

    dr of rx Voicemail Suks

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    X100.

    no matter how bad a hospital you work in, it is better than 99% of the retail jobs. we have a window (a drive thru!!) that I would trade for just 10 min of peace and quiet any day of the week.
  24. DHG

    DHG Senior Member

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    I know of one hospital pharmacy that's on one of the upper floors.... windows all around. No need for bars if you're on the 9th floor :p

    But I think that is an unusual setup.
  25. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Bars to prevent pharmacists from jumping out of the window having to deal with idiots!!!! j/k
  26. PharmDEpi

    PharmDEpi

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    I am not sure I understand what you are looking for. You don't want to enter prescription orders into a system all day but you don't want to do "clinical pharmacy" because you don't want to do a residency (which is not a prerequisite to practice clinical pharmacy, BTW) and "you don't like the relationship that clinical pharmacists have with physicians and if that will change, then you will consider it". (from one of your other posts).

    So what is left, if you don't want to do clinical pharmacy and you don't want to enter orders all day? I'm serious. What kind of hospital pharmacist job do you want?

    I don't mean to be critical, but I get so frustrated at the attitude that "I don't like the relationship that clinical pharmacists have with physicians so I'm just going to sit around and wait for it to change, because hey, I'm not going to lift a finger to do anything about it myself! Someone else should change it for me!"
  27. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    I will try to clarify it for you. I don't want to be a clin. pharmacist for the reasons I provided earlier. I started this thread to find out in what kind of environment staff pharmacists have to work and do they do anything else beside entering orders. If that is the case, I will find myself a job somewhere else than a hospital pharmacy.
    You can leave your frustrations to yourself - this is not a psychologist's office. I know I am not gonna enter clinical pharmacy with the intentions to change or even to revolutionize it. That is not my style. Maybe that's bad, maybe not, but that's me. I know my capabilities and limitations. Is that a little clearer?
  28. PharmDEpi

    PharmDEpi

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    Yep, that's a little clearer. Although frankly it was pretty clear to me before.

    Your capabilities and limitations (your words) qualify you to do nothing much to enrich the profession of pharmacy.

    I just hope there are some good pharmacy students out there who can post to provide another viewpoint than yours.
  29. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Since you're bashing me so much for not "enriching" pharmacy, I am sure you've already enriched profession of pharmacy significantly or you have plans for doing that. Would you mind sharing them?
  30. PharmDEpi

    PharmDEpi

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    Yes konkan, I have, and if I were to list them here you would recognize some of them as being taught to you and in the literature that I presume you read.

    But that is not the point. And I am not trying to bash you. I just can't figure out why a student such as yourself would have such a negative view of pharmacy before they have even experienced it. I have read some of your past posts, and they are completely negative and cynical about your profession. You haven't even graduated yet! What do you have to look forward to, if that is your attitude?

    My posts in this thread were trying to relate to your original question. I still don't understand what you are asking -- what you expect, if you want to be a pharmacist in a hospital who does nothing but enters orders or if you think there should be some in-between, but not quite a "clinical pharmacist". BTW, I put the term in quotes, because I think all pharmacists should be "clinical pharmacists". To me it's a meaningless term. It's what you do that is important, not what you're called.

    Again, I am not trying to bash you. So my apologies if you feel 'picked on' by me. I just feel sad from reading your posts, when someone like you who is obviously intelligent enough to get through pharmacy school is so completely depressed about the profession before even getting through the program.
  31. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Yes konkan, I have, and if I were to list them here you would recognize some of them as being taught to you and in the literature that I presume you read.
    Dr. DiPiro?:)

    Now, I have no idea where from you're getting an idea that I am pesimistic about pharmacy. I on purpose looked through all my started threads and none of them is pesimistic or anything like that. In fact, I am quite optimistic about future of pharmacy as a whole. Regarding hospital pharmacy, I do not want to spend my career solely entering orders into the system coz we are being taught way more than that. Since I have not worked in a hospital I have no idea what staff pharmacists do in there. Only what other people told me. The reason for me starting this thread was to find out what hospital staff pharmacy is about. And I think some people posted quite useful responses.
  32. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    "...I think all pharmacists should be "clinical pharmacists". To me it''s a meaningless term. Its what you do that is important, not what you're called."

    I think you could be a classmate of mine...or someone who has graduated from a school similar to mine!

    This whole discussion of "clinical" is antiquated & meaningless!!! We are all clinical because we are pharmacists - no matter our practice setting!!!

    Why do schools not teach this????
  33. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    sdn1977's average daily posting # is down.. sup with dat?
  34. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    um, yeah, don't you still have to have some "clinical" knowledge to "just enter orders all day"....or, do you just leave all the interactions, duplications, incorrect doses, incorrect frequencies, and allergies for the "clinical" guy?
  35. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    That's what she means... Every hospital pharmacist should be labeled "clinical" because their duty albeit entering orders all day still make interventions. All my pharmacists are "clinical." They better be.
  36. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    Case in point. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/article.cfm?ID=1472
    How many doctors does it take to find an error? (Not an invitation to start-up the PharmD=doctor debate) Notice the list of people who missed the error included pharmacist. My guess is any pharmacist, whether retail, clinical, or basement floor order junkie:rolleyes: should be able to catch this.
  37. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    duplicate
  38. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    CPhA Annual Meeting starts Feb 15 - Palm Springs:D !

    I'm busy!!!!!!!!
  39. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    :thumbup: :thumbup:

    As well as those in retail, snfs, closed-door, mail-order, academics...etc!!!
  40. Da Alchemist

    Da Alchemist

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    hospital pharmacist do more work.........and retail pharmacist just watch over pharmtech. the pharmtech do most of the job.. right? but why are hospital pharmacist low paid?
  41. psychoandy

    psychoandy Junior Member

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    No insurance arguing, better benefits/lifestyle, most problems as a hospital pharmacist aren't really out of your control as opposed to retail, you're not alone in a pharmacy with 2 techs all by yourself...

    I wouldn't really say "more work" though, that's subjective. An RPh in a busy store probably has more work than RPh in BFE hospital pharmacy. More of your knowledge acquired in school maybe...but more work isn't really a good generalization.
  42. PhatPharm

    PhatPharm Junior Member

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    If you get into the right hospital you'll definitely do more than just entering orders.
  43. AtomicLuv

    AtomicLuv Member

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    Hey.

    I volunteered for a summer in pharmacy in a hospital in NYC, and the pharmacists there seemed very calm and usually no one was rushing around. The work appeared manageable, and they all were very friendly and talkative. It was split up into making IVs, outpatient, inpatient, etc. and I think the pharmacists rotated on what they worked on each week or day, I'm not sure. I witnessed plenty of time where they literally sat around having lunch together. (There was a room with a table and a TV in this pharmacy! for people to have lunch and have meetings!) So maybe it depends on the pharmacy/hospital? But I loved what they did and I would love to do it!
    :D
  44. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    How to find the right hospital though?
  45. Da Alchemist

    Da Alchemist

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    retail pharmacy suckssss.......they need to upgrade the pay for hospital pharmacist. 80k hospital salary is the same as a RN salary lol. the reason hospital pharmacist get paid so low because physicians get offended when they hear pharm.d get 100k+. just joking...but Just look at all the pre-MD chatters posting insults on pharm forum. imagine when they finally become MD.
  46. PhatPharm

    PhatPharm Junior Member

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    Simplest way is to include it in your job search criteria. Look at the job description and more importantly ask in the interview or even other pharmacists who work there. In the interview you can even tell them that you'd prefer a job that's more than just filling orders. Alot of pharmacy directors will see that as a good trait.
  47. emtji

    emtji Senior Member

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    as a fourth year med student, i call roughly once or twice a week about a med question. but having a pharmacist to round with is gold. the ones we have are extremely bright.

    hospital pharmacists are definitely more respected than your pill counter at cvs.
  48. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

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    Well - thanks - kind of!

    I do both.....I've been a hospital pharmacist for 30 years - the last 7 or so part-time while I do retail part-time (not CVS).

    So....I guess....you might ask me something tonight & you're happy....but will you respect me tomorrow morning when you see me across the retail counter:rolleyes: ? I'm the same person!
  49. dr of rx

    dr of rx Voicemail Suks

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    and I respect neurosurgeons more than GP's. so?

    My 'pill counter' is named Burt. Read more about him here:
    http://www.scriptpro.com/

    Let me tell you...he never calls off....never late....needs no bathroom breaks....works weekends, nights and holidays. He deserves more respect than he gets, that is for sure. :laugh:

    We all bitch about retail sucking (which it does), but the community could not function without us. :thumbup:
  50. emtji

    emtji Senior Member

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    pharmacists are respected. it's a niche field and your degree is the tops. more power to ya. :)

    of course, prestige doesn't put food on the table.

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