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Chain pharmacy to hospital pharmacy

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labrat024

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I had a question for some of y'all. Is it difficult to be hired in a hospital pharmacy if you have been working in a chain pharmacy like Walgreens? My cousin-in-law just graduated from pharmacy school last year and just started her first job as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital in the city of Chicago. She told me that hospital pharmacies don't like hiring pharmacists that have been working in a chain pharmacy because they have often forgotten a good amount of the material that they have learned in school. This conversation came up when I told her that I would like to work at chain pharmacy to pay off my loans (they tend to pay more) but I want to work as clinical pharmacist in a hospital once my loans are paid off (will be able to afford the pay cut). Any thoughts?
 

KARM12

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I had a question for some of y'all. Is it difficult to be hired in a hospital pharmacy if you have been working in a chain pharmacy like Walgreens? My cousin-in-law just graduated from pharmacy school last year and just started her first job as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital in the city of Chicago. She told me that hospital pharmacies don't like hiring pharmacists that have been working in a chain pharmacy because they have often forgotten a good amount of the material that they have learned in school. This conversation came up when I told her that I would like to work at chain pharmacy to pay off my loans (they tend to pay more) but I want to work as clinical pharmacist in a hospital once my loans are paid off (will be able to afford the pay cut). Any thoughts?

It is harder, but not impossible. I worked retail as a pharmacist (for about 2 months) before getting a job in the hospital. When I interviewed, the director said they probably wouldn't have looked at me if I had been working retail for a few yrs. Since I was a new grad, she said my 4th yr rotations still counted as experience, but 5 yrs down the line they probably wouldnt. The switch from hospital to retail than retail to hospital is easier. If you are going to MWU...you'll be paying off loans forever. Just pick the setting you like best and go with it. In the grand scheme of things, the difference isn't that great. I only make $4/hr less in hospital than retail.
 

labrat024

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It is harder, but not impossible. I worked retail as a pharmacist (for about 2 months) before getting a job in the hospital. When I interviewed, the director said they probably wouldn't have looked at me if I had been working retail for a few yrs. Since I was a new grad, she said my 4th yr rotations still counted as experience, but 5 yrs down the line they probably wouldnt. The switch from hospital to retail than retail to hospital is easier. If you are going to MWU...you'll be paying off loans forever. Just pick the setting you like best and go with it. In the grand scheme of things, the difference isn't that great. I only make $4/hr less in hospital than retail.

thanks for the input Karm. From what I hear from my walgreens buddy pharmacists there make about 109k starting. I think the cousin-in-law makes about 97-98ish. I was just thinking that with the extra money I could pay of loans faster. You are probably right though. Since I want to work in a hospital setting, I should just pursue so that I don't forfeit my chances of getting a job in a hospital later.
 

tussionex

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first of all...everyone knows i'm going to say "pick hospital"

seriously, pick what you think will be interesting and make you happy...if you're just working to pay off your loans, you will be bitter and unmotivated quickly!
 

labrat024

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first of all...everyone knows i'm going to say "pick hospital"

seriously, pick what you think will be interesting and make you happy...if you're just working to pay off your loans, you will be bitter and unmotivated quickly!

It wasn't a question of what setting i wanted to choose. The original question was is it difficult to get into a hospital pharmacy if you have been working in a retail setting for at least a couple of years.
 

slimcutt

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It wasn't a question of what setting i wanted to choose. The original question was is it difficult to get into a hospital pharmacy if you have been working in a retail setting for at least a couple of years.

I have been told by a DOP that yes, it is looked down upon if you have been working retail for several years because in retail pharmacy you don't use a lot of the same knowledge that you do in hospital and you soon forget it. It wouldn't be impossible to make the switch though. A solution would be to work one day a week at a hospital in order to keep that door open.
 

tussionex

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It wasn't a question of what setting i wanted to choose. The original question was is it difficult to get into a hospital pharmacy if you have been working in a retail setting for at least a couple of years.


ok, then....
if you've be slaving away at a chain for the past few years and then decide to apply to my hospital, odds are we will give you an interview, and if you seem decent, we will hire you....we're a medium sized institution, non-academic, but terribly busy and short staffed....so, if you've got a pulse, a license and aren't crazy, we would probably make it work.

but...

it would probably be difficult for you to get acclimated. i worked retail for ten years, as a tech, from junior year in high school until up to a year after i graduated.....in high volume stores [one was 500/day, one was 700/day]...

i feel that you have a different skillset working in retail. except in certain cases, you will have no IV skills....yes, our techs make a lot of IV's, but there is ALWAYS the weird drug, weird compatibility needs, weird compounding process, that you will have to do. you also will need a different knowledge base as far as drugs go...we deal with "sicker" patients, ICU and post-open-heart patients, CVVH patients, chemotherapy, TPN, NICU, narcotics for palliative care....you will have some reading to do, or some serious shadowing of one of your co-workers if you make the switch....

you don't have to deal with nasty customers in an inpatient pharmacy, but working with nurses can turn your place into an "INPATIENT" pharmacy...as in they dont want to wait for anything as they want to get their med-pass done, have to chart, have to deal with nasty patients/families, actually do have an emergent patient....that's where your retail skills should come in handy...you have to be able to multitask and not let cranky people bother you!!

if you worked with me and my colleagues....yeah, we probably would "haze" you a bit...some in good fun, some trying to see if you've actually got some skillzz....but if you're willing to learn and work hard, we'll accept you and help you get acclimated!

good luck.
 

labrat024

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I appreciate the responses, all good food for thought. I am a student who will be beginning pharm school in Fall '08 without previous pharmacy experience. I am starting part-time at Walgreens this week just to get a feel for the environment, insurance stuff, and some of the medications. I know that Walgreens has a tuition assistance program, although not very much. But hey, I will be giving up my job I have had for the past ten years (40k/yr), so any kind of money would be nice. However, you have to be committed to them for a year for every year they help you. This makes it difficult decision because they got you by the balls. On the bright side again, you are pretty much guaranteed a job when school is done and they start at about 109K in the Chicago area.

However, I was drawn into pharmacy because of the many opportunities for pharmacists beyond the stereotypical pill-counting retail pharmacist, especially hospital pharmacy. I think it was a good suggestion to work once a week in a hospital pharmacy to keep a foot in the door for when I decide to make the change.
 
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