24-hour Walgreens--Pharmacy Technicians!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by tmorgan2, 05.13.14.

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  1. tmorgan2

    tmorgan2

    Joined:
    05.05.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Hello,

    I recently filled out a pharmacy technician application with Walgreens. Afterwards I walked into a 24-hour Walgreens and completed the skills assessment portion of the application and was invited in for an interview two days later. I had my preliminary interview with the Store Manager, but the next day another Walgreens location (not 24-hour) informed me that they would be conducting interviews soon and that I should bring in my resume.

    The 24-hour Walgreens now wants me to come in for the second interview with the Pharmacy Manager, but I would like to weigh the pros and cons of working at a 24-hour location first.

    What hours do pharm techs work at 24-hour locations in comparison to at regular hour locations? (I was informed that only pharmacists work overnight)
     
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  3. Nostalgiaultra

    Nostalgiaultra

    Joined:
    04.10.14
    Messages:
    88
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I work at a 24-hour Walgreens location and from my understanding I believe that we are one of the busiest stores in our district. I've also worked at a non 24-hour location and it is much less busy. Naturally you'll get the same type of crabby customers working at either one, but if you want to deal with less of them, go for non 24 hour. And yes pharmacists only work overnight, I believe the latest a tech can stay is 10pm. You learn a lot faster at 24 hour locations though.
     
    BlknOrange and oldstock like this.
  4. TechthenpharmD

    TechthenpharmD

    Joined:
    09.28.13
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    The volume of patients you will see at a 24 hour store is a lot more then a none 24 hour so keep that in mind as well.
     
  5. BlknOrange

    BlknOrange

    Joined:
    05.11.13
    Messages:
    13
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    I work for the almighty WAGS and actually, I just picked up an rx at one of our 24 hr stores and the tech was there until 12am.

    As for the OP,.the 24 hour stores is no joke. You're going to have to learn fairly quickly and be prepared to grow some tough skin my friend. The hardest things to learn, in my opinion are insurance (third party rejects, or TPRs) and the entry of controlled substances (they vary from state to state).

    24 hour stores are going to be overkill if you start in one unless you had prior pharmacy experience or you know your laundry list of drugs. Also, is the 24 hour store near some sort of medical center or hospital or a whole bunch of clinics?

    In a nutshell, here are the pros and cons of 24 hr vs non-24 hr

    24 hr store
    Pros: May have more hours/help since they are staffed 24 hours; you will learn QUICKLY (especially if you are a faster learner); the people who work there are very very experienced and seasoned.
    Cons: Many customers, they will be more cranky; if help is reduced, a lot more work to do; if you are a slower learner, may not be good

    non-24 hour
    Pros: Easier to learn/ask questions; more doable workload (depends on store); less customers
    Cons: If it's a "slow" store, may not get as much help (e.g. you might be on your own + the pharmacist), you'll be learning at a slower pace.

    One more thing: consider the store and it's employees too. I would rather work with a pharmacy manager that cares vs one that is jaded. It does set the mood of the pharmacy if you will. Good luck!
     
  6. Pharm_Advice

    Pharm_Advice 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.15.14
    Messages:
    11
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Hello tmorgan2,

    In order to answer your question thoroughly, you'll have to understand why the 24-hour Walgreens called you in lieu of the original interviewing Walgreens. It really has to do with your skills assessment and how impressed the original Store Manager was with you in your preliminary interview. I do not have any background information about you; however, I believe that the 24-hour Walgreens is interested in you because they believe you will do well at a 24-hour location. However, I can provide you with some pros and cons so you can properly weigh your options.

    24-hour locations

    Pros:
    1. Faster paced, more help, and learning curve is higher with faster reward since you'll be running into more unique experiences than you would at a normal location.
    2. You'll learn how to handle insurance issues more often, you'll learn to work with others quite quickly since you won't be alone and you'll also learn more about what Walgreens has to offer at the 24 hours location than at a regular store.

    Cons:
    1. It will be BUSY, stressful, and if you're not the assertive type, you'll dread coming in to work after the first 3 days.
    2. Your hours will be later since you might be scheduled on a weekend til 10pm.
      • Fair scheduling ensures that everyone shares the burden of an inconvenient work day (i.e. week nights, weekend nights, getting out around 11pm to midnight); however, unless there's someone at that store that needs to work those inconvenient shifts than you'll probably not have to worry about it.
    Non-24 hour locations

    Pros:
    1. Slower paced, helps you to learn at a more natural curve if you're still green to the entire pharmacy profession as a whole.
    2. A better schedule, even if you have to work weekends the stores generally close at 5 or 6pm.
    3. "Less stress" -- this is relative, everyone handles stress differently, however, it might be more stressful when you're the only one working on a weekend the first week you're there (see list of Cons)

    Cons:
    1. You'll come across issues less often so you won't be trained to handle problems as well as someone who works at a 24-hour location. (This is important because budget cuts happens and once your store hours get cut and you're suggested to supplement part of your hours at another location. When you're working at another store and you already have a year's experience and yet you're still struggling to resolve certain insurance issues then it will look a tad silly and the manager might not ask you to work there again).
    2. Your store staff will be considerably smaller; so remember, that "better schedule" mentioned, well, now you might be working every other weekend instead of one weekend a month since your store has a smaller number of technicians to work those shifts. If you need a day off then you'll have to find friends/coworkers at other stores to cover for you.
    3. You might be working alone right off the bat...especially the first weekend that you're there. Although there is a pharmacist to help you, but I'm pretty sure most people feel more comfortable asking their peers questions than their pharmacist

    That being said:

    Your decision is really based on what your plans are and your personality type.
    1. Are you the passive or assertive type -- do you do well in stressful situations (based on your preliminary interview, i'm guessing you're the assertive type)
    2. Do you like a faster paced work environment?
    3. Do you work well in teams or are you the type that want to be left alone to learn at your own pace?
    Your plans for the future should also affect your decision.

    1. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
      • You might get less exposure to the company and the higher ups working at a normal location and so you might end up working there for a longer period of time before you'll get noticed
    2. Do you plan on going to pharmacy school?
      • Work a few days at a 24-hour store before you make that decision because if you ever choose to do retail pharmacy..you won't get a choice in where you will work if you're working for a chain.
    3. Do you just need a job now and have no plans for the future?
      • Then the non-24 hours location is your best option.
    Hope all this helps; good luck.
     
  7. Kelp103

    Kelp103 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.03.14
    Messages:
    233
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I work at CVS, so maybe Walgreens is different, but I assume they are similar.
    At the 24 hours stores I am familiar with, the turnover is notoriously bad. Floaters tell us how they go to stores and all of the techs are new and nobody knows how to do anything (they are typing, filling, and checking the rx's), and these are good floaters. I know at my training, out of 15-25 people, everybody but me and 2 other people were going to a 24 hour store.
    2 techs I work with now have worked at CVS for 15+ years, and have never worked at a 24 hour store (and would never choose to go to one). We tell patients a transfer from a 24 hour store will take at least an hour, because we have to call at least 3 times to get the other store to actually fax the prescription to us (sometimes, to even just return the rx). They are VERY busy. While it is true that you could learn faster because you will be doing more, if there is no one there to actually train you (because they are all relatively new also) it could be harder. And if you are stuck at register all day, you will only learn how to be a really good cashier.
    Maybe Walgreens is better about training new techs (I hope so), but at CVS I would never pick to work at a 24 hour store (especially if I had absolutely NO pharmacy experience).
    BlknOrange is right though that who you work with is much more important. Occasionally, non-24 hour stores have periods of turnover and then you're also stuck with all new people. And summer is coming, so it will be slower (opposed to flu season) and the best time to train people.
    Spending a day in a 24 hour pharmacy to see what it's like may be a good idea, but I would say after you're experienced.
    Good luck. It's not an easy choice as it can really depend on the store.
     
  8. grlovemeser

    grlovemeser

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    2
    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Optometry
    I can provide you with some pros and cons so you can properly weigh your options.[​IMG]
     
  9. tmorgan2

    tmorgan2

    Joined:
    05.05.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Thanks everyone for all of the responses. I accepted the position at the 24-hour location. The pharmacy manager seemed very personable and kept stressing that I should ALWAYS asks questions whenever I have them during my training. I took the drug test and now I am just waiting for them to call back to let me know when my first day of training begins.

    I little extra info about me: I have about 4 months of hospital pharmacy experience although I know this experience may not scratch the surface of what I will encounter at Walgreens. Also, I will be applying for pharmacy school this summer (hopefully I can secure a letter of recommendation from the pharmacist if all goes well).
     
  10. rxboy1996

    rxboy1996

    Joined:
    09.21.15
    Messages:
    12
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    I have been a pharmacy tech at a 24 hour store for 6 months now with no previous pharmacy experience. You will be STRESSED out your first couple of weeks because you have no idea what is going on and you are so busy. The pros of a 24 hour store is there are more tech hours. I am just part time but earliest morning shift starts at 7:30 and latest tech stays till 10 pm. Non 24 hour stores are usually only open 9-9 during the week. However you will learn a lot in a 24 hour setting. I have filled in at our stores in the area and it was a breeze because of the type of store that I am in. Defiantly consider a 24 hour store!
     

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