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after volunteering for 3 months... my views..

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by mspaic, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. mspaic

    mspaic Senior Member
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    hey

    ok i've noticed that pharmacy experience is valuable when applying to schools (from this forum mainly :) )

    anyway, this sept i started volunteering at a local pharmacy 1/week for like 2 hours

    i did small jobs around the pharmacy, but more imortantly, it gave me insight of what a pharmacist does

    in my small pharmacy, there was only one pharmacist and one pharmacy tehnician

    what i noticed about the pharmacist's job is that it involves very little science/thinking, and that it's for a lack of a better word: BORING
    most of the information she gets is from a computer anyway
    i see it almost more as a business job
    people rarely come in to ask for advice, they jsut want to fill their perscription

    did anyone else notice this about the job of being a pharmacist??

    it's certinly making me have second doubts about applying to pharmacy school
    i'd lke to hear everyone else's opinions though!
     
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  3. Stinson

    Stinson Junior Member

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    i've recently made the decision to go into pharmacy and i was worrying aobut the same thing when making my decision. my cousin is a pharmacist for walgreens and he mentioned it being a bit boring. 40 hr/week job, don't take anything home with you. but i think this is an aspect of retail pharmacy. there are other environments you can work in that may be less 'customer service' and more 'science', e.g. hospitals or clinics, pharmaceutical companies. but someone with experience would know more about that. i remember a survey somewhere (probably very unscientific) that said pharmacists in retail list $$ as their number one reason for working there while in hospitals it was job fulfillment or something like that. i dunno.
     
  4. calrx

    7+ Year Member

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    I think it completely depends on what type of person you are. I've worked with pharmacists who were nothing more than robots- input, filled, dispensed prescriptions, and did nothing more. Others made it a point to get involved with their patients/customers by counseling them on new meds, making sure that any questions/concerns were answered, etc. In my experience, once the pharmacist shows an interest in the patient, the patient learns to confide in the pharmacist, and that's when the profession becomes more rewarding.
     
  5. mspaic

    mspaic Senior Member
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    that's a really good point calrx
     
  6. Poland

    Poland As strong as me
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    I work in a Rite-Aid pharmacy. Our pharmacist fills a ton of prescriptions sometimes, one day of the week in particular, two pharmacists are there and keep busy. Other times, it's seems very quiet but we always have alot of prescriptions picked up. I have seen that it is hard to satisfy the majority of customers of a pharmacy. I believe that being quiet for 12 hours one day when the pharmacy is low may be alot annoying, but from what I can tell it is not the majority. And I do not work in a big city where there may be even more potential for the pharmacy. I believe that our technicians are actually burdened sometimes.

    As far as personal opinion, I believe there has to be some spark there in your interests to settle your mind about what may be. I am sure that I would likely be working in retail pharm at some point after school. My ulitimate goal would probably not be this. When it comes to the profession as a whole I believe there are good opportunities for a busy position.

    All things should probably be considered, and I am still considering alot of things, before commiting completely to the schooling. How about others, why do you feel strongly about the profession?
     
  7. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    mspaic, I've been a technician for 5 years, and am applying for pharmacy school for next fall. I agree with the other poster that how boring it is depends so much on the person. I have worked with one pharmacist in particular whose only interest it to fill Rxs. She actually gets annoyed when she has to counsel. And I agree, her job is boring. To me, one thing that is enjoyable about pharmacy is that everyday there is something new - if it's not some oddball question from a patient, it's something new like a new drug or Medicare Part D or something from corporate to read. It's dealing with an important drug that's on backorder (one thing I did this morning) or watching a guy take off his shirt to show you his rash (last week - he was pretty cute too!). In other words, I think retail pharmacy can be very interesting if you have the right mindset and you truly enjoy talking to people. Also, I agree with the other poster who pointed out that it's not generally a job that you take home with you. Having worked in the corporate world before coming to pharmacy, it was a huge relief to have a job where, for the most part, at the end of the day my projects are completed and I don't have to bring work home.
     
  8. zohaibab

    zohaibab Senior member
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    You are right in the sense that many times, it seems more like a business setting. However, you should use the time you spend there more in observing and getting familiar with the drugs rather than helping them out with patients. I did my share of pill counting and running errands, but the pharmacist I volunteer under has now told me to rearrange the prescription drug shelf and I have been doing that for the past two weeks. He told me to take my time as his purpose of making me do that is enhancing my familiarity with drugs. Try doing something similar and I'm sure that will ease up life for you when you actually study these drugs in pharmacy school.
     
  9. calrx

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    This is a classic example of why pharmacy students are required to do rotations their last year. Keep in mind that retail is only one aspect of pharmacy. Your options are by no means limited once you have your PharmD degree. I'm sure you will find your pharmacy "niche."
     
  10. ethyl

    ethyl Go suck on a Zoloft.
    Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    :thumbup: ;)
     
  11. tricia

    tricia Member
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    I work in a compounding pharmacy, where we have 2 regular pharmacists. While one just checks Rx's compounded all day, the other one is more into the science aspect of the job. He comes up with formulas for new compounds, talks to patients and doctors, helps the techs out with problems in compounding, and sometimes does a little compounding himself when he has the time or when it's needed. Like it was said before, Retail is only one option in pharmacy.
     
  12. rxdude

    rxdude California Love
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    First, let me commend you for taking the time to find out if you really want to do it or not.

    I have been volunteering at a pharmacy for the past year (3hrs every Saturday morning). My experience has been better - I work in a hospital/retail setting (outpatient). On weekends, it's slower so there is only 1 pharmacist and 2 tech's. The pharmacist gets lots of inquiries from customers and has a patient consult at least once every hour. As far as science and thinking, he uses knowledge that he has learned with his 30+ years of experience AND what he learned in school to consult with patients. I rarely see him consult a computer - which is what makes him a good pharmacist in my opinion.

    Each pharmacy will bring a different setting. It's difficult to judge the profession as a whole by using such a small sample size. You may or may not have a better experience at a different pharmacy, but it's good that you invested your time to make an informed decision. Good luck with whatever profession you choose.
     

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