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Is working as a pharmacist more stressful than working as a tech/intern?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by BetseyJohnson, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. BetseyJohnson

    BetseyJohnson

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    Or is it a different kind of stress?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  2. crazybob

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    I think this question should be in a poll so you can get votes instead of replies with just one word. Just my $0.02
  3. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    But who would vote no? What a silly question. Just because you are paid more doesn't mean it will be less stressful. All of the responsibility will be on you. You will have to consider your license in addition to any concern you may have for your patients. I can't even wrap my head around the idea that anyone would need this answered.

    Anyone out there think being a pharmacist is less stressful than being a tech/intern? If so I would love to hear the reasoning.
  4. rx2010

    rx2010

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    I would say yes. When I was an intern, it wasn't that bad, but once you become the pharmacist, you have much more responsibilities placed on you like making sure right drug gets to the right patient and dealing with drug interactions or dosing errors that requires you contacting the physician, counseling, supervising techs, dealing with all the paper work and other things corporate and your DM makes you do. If you don't meet sales and metrics goals, you will hear it from your DM. Also, when you're short on tech help, you have to do everything a tech does. Let's also not forget the immunizations we have to do on top of all of that.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  5. Dr Wario

    Dr Wario Hey you! Want to try this pill?

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    I'll have to be the odd man out and say that in my case, my total stress level is less than that of my technicians. I work in a busy store and eventhough I have a lot of work, my techs are the first face of the pharmacy (first to deal with angry customers, fix insurance problems and other general nuisances). I appreciate my technicians greatly because they are what make my job possible. Additionally, I may have all of the responsibility on my shoulders, but at the end of the day when I go home, I do not have to worry about money at all, unlike them who can barely live on $10-12/hr.
  6. crazybob

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    If you start as a tech/intern with NO previous experience, it's stressful for sure.

    If you start as a pharmacist with 5-10 years of experience, you may find it to be ok.
  7. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    OK I think I agree with you. The more experience, the less stress? Makes sense.

    But the question is which job is inherently more stressful, pharmacist or technician (or intern)? Surprisingly some pharmacist seem to think the techs may have more stress. Genuinely, I am shocked by this response. I hope I feel the same way when I am a pharmacist. Techs are usually entry level type jobs, no offense but how can you consider that more stressful than being a pharmacist? It just seems like some kind of bizzaro world type answer. Techs may have a crappier job (er, definitely have a crappier job - low pay, phones, insurance, etc) but how can they have more stress? They are not responsible for the final product nor is their license (if they have one) in jeopardy for any mistakes. I am not trying to harsh on techs, I have met many great techs, but I cannot bring myself to think that they have more stress than a pharmacist. :confused:
  8. crazybob

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    In some places, the technicians deal with most of the initial conversations, phone calls, cashiering, check out, take in prescriptions, etc. Then when they can't resolve an issue, the pharmacist comes in.

    So if the technicians are dealing with a long line of people all day, and the pharmacist is just checking, counseling, doing transfers, checking faxes, etc, then the technician might have more stress from dealing with more customers.
  9. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Maybe we are using stress to mean different things. Techs may work harder than a pharmacist, deal with customers more, etc. but their job is not more stressful. What happens if a tech makes a mistake? Basically nothing in most cases. At the very worst they may lose their job (highly unlikely in most cases) What happens if a pharmacist makes a mistake? Ever been to a BOP meeting? They can get fines, marks on their license, or even lose their license. And that is just the licensing side, never mind the potential harm to the patient. There is no comparing the relative stress. Perhaps I will feel differently when I am a pharmacist but I doubt it.
  10. crazybob

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    I've heard of that, but I haven't actually seen it in the same room as the meetings.
  11. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    We have to go to one meeting per year. They are mostly boring if you are "just visiting", but it is pretty scary to see what can happen. Some of the stuff that got before the board would seem pretty trivial to most people, but I assure you the board took all complaints terrifyingly serious. Most pharmacists got a fine (in the thousands of dollars), mandatory error prevention CE, and marks on their license. Others were not as lucky. I only saw one guy lose his license, but just think about it, he will never work as a pharmacist again. And again, this is only the licensing side of the matter.
  12. Venicat

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    can he regain a licensure in a different state?
  13. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I will defer to someone with more law knowledge than I, but it's doubtful. What state will license him because he was de-licensed in his home state?
  14. crazybob

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    And with pharmacy being a small world, word might travel very quickly.
  15. mustang sally

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    I don't think pharmacists have less stress (having never been one I cannot truly say); however, I definitely agree with techs having slightly more stress when it comes to dealing with the patients.

    Maybe it was just the store I worked at, but since I was the new guy they always made me take the phone calls from psychotic customers, deal with the people in the drive thru that were yelling their heads off, etc. It was not fun. But I got the impression that techs are kind of like the buffer for the pharmacist.
  16. DAW2

    DAW2 Social Outcast

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    when we had an rph that made a lot of mistakes (that were sold) the dm had a meeting with the whole crew and blamed the techs. it was the most effed up meeting ive ever seen
  17. PharmDstudent

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    I was more stressed as an intern, because there was a lot more riding on my career at that time. If I didn't get licensed, what was I going to do???

    I think it depends on where you work. I know some techs who get yelled at by their pharmacists and some pharmacists who get yelled at my their district managers.
  18. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    It's not even a matter of word traveling fast. When you try to get licensed in the "new" state, they will run a license check from your "home" state. You are not going to be able to get away from it, as far as I know.

    I remember when I was waiting for my intern license to go throw I was running a license check every day on the FL BOP website. :laugh:
  19. crazybob

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    :smuggrin:

    So you can look up those things on the BOP websites?
  20. FarscapeGirl

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    This is a bad way to set precedent for errors, if they're genuine errors and there's not malcontent by the pharmacist. A process like this reduces errors being reported and more importantly, reduces systems being changed to decrease the amount of errors being made.
  21. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Yes


    The only way to end up before the board is to have a complaint filed against you. Self-reporting does not lead to appearing before the board.
  22. crazybob

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    Does it have to be a serious enough complaint or does any formal complaint make the board want to talk to you?
  23. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Good question. I assume the board investigates complaints then decides what to do about them. Of course I only saw the ones that made it to the board.
  24. Clavulanic

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    I'd definitely say pharmacist is more stressed due to the fact they have the ultimate responsibility for nearly everything in the pharmacy while they are there.

    Tech types up a script wrong, pharmacist catches it and tells them to redo it.

    The techs have a safety net for nearly any mistake and the pharmacists ARE the safety net.

    But techs generally have to put up with more general BS: yelling customers, dumb phonecalls ect... Different types of stress IMO.
  25. WhYMee

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    I have worked in retail as a tech/intern and a pharmacist. IMO, a pharmacist is way more stressful. You have all the responsibilities of being a tech, in addition to all the responsibilities of being a pharmacist. In addition to the "traditional" responsibilities of being an Rph, you also have managerial responsibilities as well. Also all the corporate programs are all on your head too. Ie: If your tech who works 1 day a week, doesnt give a s**t bout enrolling people in auto refills, the pharmacist is the one who's gonna get bitched at if he/she doesnt reprimand em.

    Another thing that make being a pharmacist more stressful is that it's kind of a dead end job. With all the education and $$ invested into being a pharmacist, it's hard just to abandon ship. It can be an overwhelming and depressing feeling to hate it so much and not get out.

    When it comes to a tech, there is less to consider about abandoning ship. Most of the time it's an entry level job for kids while they're in school, mom's trying to stay busy whle their kids are at school, etc. They get paid minimum wage and have a very stressful and thankless job, so I think leaving and finding another job is an easy decision. It is so not worth it to deal with it all and to still make minimum wage....there are way better jobs out there...
  26. Namishin

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    I was at a recent BOP meeting and some of these complaints seemed extremely trivial and borderline ridiculous.

    $500+ fines, extra CE hours, and a whole day wasted, why? Some of these pharmacists had impeccable 30+ year records of no complaints and now they have to deal with all of this because someone complained about a look alike sound alike drug they received or incorrect dosing information.

    The key thing I took away was to treat every patient that comes in like royalty because if you make the tiniest mistake, they can easily ruin your whole week.

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