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Costco

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Pharmgrlnxdor, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Pharmgrlnxdor

    7+ Year Member

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    Disclaimer: I have used the search function but was unable to locate answers to my specific questions.

    So I know that everyone always speaks so highly of the work environment at Costco, and I may have the opportunity to work for them and want to get feedback.

    1)What duties are expected of Costco pharmacists? Do they handle filling, ringing up customers, typing in scripts? Currently I am doing 150-220 scripts per day (I type in nearly 95 to 100% of the scripts) using about 15 tech hours spread over a 12 hour shift that with opening and closing duties is a 13 hour shift, and can last an additional 1/2 hour to 1 hour if I have the slow technician who doesn't accomplish much. So my average shift actually lasts 13.5 to 14 hours. I guess Costco's shift length is 9 hours including an hour lunch.

    2). Do Costco pharmacists come in a half hour early to open up and stay a half hour later for normal close down functions?

    3) Do Costco pharmacists stay over on a regular basis to handle unfinished work?

    I am worried that I will not get enough hours through Costco as I have heard getting full time hours is next to impossible. Do Costco pharmacists get other pharmacist jobs to make up the difference? How does one do that when you are floating and do not know what your schedule will be week to week?

    I don't want to leave my current position for a worse situation or even just an equal situation but currently I have full time hours, 3 weeks vacation a year, a currently good salary( but pharmacists have been getting little to no raises lately), a half hour lunch most days, closed on holidays. However certain aspects are not so good at work too...the company is not stable, the long hours make family life hard, probably not going to get a raise any time soon, they have cut tech hours by 40% in the last six months. So I am trying to find out as much as I can about working for Costco so I can compare apples to apples.

    4) Everyone says Costco benefits are great but who gets them? Full timers over 40 hours? Part timers? Full time above 30 hours?

    5) What are the tasks expected of a Costco pharmacist? Everything a tech does and pharmacist duties or what?
     
    #1 Pharmgrlnxdor, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
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  3. Pharmgrlnxdor

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    Never mind....picked up the phone and called a Costco pharmacist across the country and he actually had time to speak with me.
     
  4. SexiestPharmacist

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  5. toidalente

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    Whatever it is, the food court is a deal breaker. What I'd give to work at Costco...
     
  6. Pharmgrlnxdor

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    I am fine, why do you ask?
     
  7. FunnyPharm2019

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    I'm still interested in hearing the answers to those questions...what did the pharmacist say on the phone?
     
  8. Pharmgrlnxdor

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    1) pharmacist will help out in any area if needed but generally is not needed since they have adequate staffing.

    2) No need to come in early or stay late for opening or closing duties....he comes in 5 to 10 minutes ahead of schedule and leaves five minutes after they close.

    3) He never stays over to complete tasks.

    4) Did not know the answer because he has been a full time pharmacist for a while with Costco.

    5) Mainly verifies, consults, handles Dr calls and transfers.
    Said his company believes in safety first and practices this by adequately staffing their facility.

    Regarding part time staffing, says his company always hires from within and if a position opens up will pull from existing pharmacists...he knew of part time floaters who were now full time pharmacists.
     
    pharmd1701 and FunnyPharm2019 like this.
  9. jkong

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    I was a student intern/tech for 2 years at Costco.

    1) Mostly DUR, verify, and doctor calls but if need to, a staffing pharmacist SHOULD be able to fill, ring up, and type. However Costco techs usually can handle all that.

    2) No, my pharmacist would come in at the time she's expected. You have 30 minutes before the store opens to work on batches, refill too soons that are due that day, etc. Then you have 15 minutes after the store closes to clean up

    3) Not usually. Like I said, 15 minutes after closing to clean up.

    I don't know about floating, but my floater always alternated Saturdays with my pharmacy manager.

    4) I believe when you work more than 32 hours you are considered full-time and get benefits. I was part-time working 8 hours a week, so obviously no benefits for me.
     
  10. Shimmery

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    I'm a current pharmacist that works for Costco and I think I can answer all of these questions....

    1. I've only been with Costco less than a year and from my experience I have not typed a prescription or rang out a patient for their medications since I'm not trained to do that. I don't know the computer system that well to type prescriptions so I've been doing basic refills when time permits.

    As for breaks it works differently....

    You have 2 15 minute paid breaks and 1 30 minute lunch. basically you work 2 hours, take a 15, work another 2 hours, take lunch, work another 2 hours, and take your last 15. This is the example they gave us and doesn't have to follow this specific guideline. You CANNOT combine the 15 minute breaks and 30 minute lunch to get a 1 hour break in total.

    2. The opening pharmacist usually comes at 9:00 am (store opens at 10 am) and leaves by 5:30 pm. The closing pharmacist comes at 10:45 am and closes at 7:15 pm (pharmacy closes at 7pm). So it's not half a hour but only 15 minutes for us.

    3. No, they do not like overtime.

    I'm a PT pharmacist and the minimum that I get is 24 hours. However, since there's another Costco where I live I usually work more than 24 hours since the other store always needs help and as a new graduate/pharmacist, the money is helpful to pay back loans, therefore, I usually average 32-40 hours a week. If there aren't enough hours and you need more, you CAN work at another pharmacy if you wish and it wouldn't be a conflict of interest. The only store they will NOT let you work at would be at Sam's Club since they are wholesale too (Not sure about Walmart). Usually there is a set schedule for you and then scheduling other shifts should be easier...but I know it's different for everyone.

    4. Both FT and PT can get benefits. If you are FT, you have to wait the first of the month to be eligible. If you are PT, you have to wait 6 months or 600 hours, whichever comes first. I will say that if you are going to be a new Costco employee, they have a 3 month probation period at first before you can be eligible for insurance from my understanding.

    5. Usually just pharmacist related activities such as verifying, counseling, vaccinations, etc. We have good technicians and they do most of the typing, filling, counting, ringing out patients, etc that we don't have to bother with in the first place.
     
  11. Pharmgrlnxdor

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    Thank you so much for your responses back!
     
  12. HouTX

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    sounds like time goes by super slow
     
  13. EML9255

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    I dont see how this is possible? maybe im reading this wrong but how have you never typed a script or rang out a patient before????
     
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  14. ancienbon

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    Agree. I could not believe that
     
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  15. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    I also cannot believe that there is a retail pharmacist who has NEVER typed a script or rang a register. Not even trained how to do it?!
     
  16. Digsbe

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    I thought some Costco stores had periods where there was no tech help? Everywhere I've worked they trained the pharmacists on how to do everything, oftentimes they'd have register manager cards to make overrides on purchases and coupons and stuff.
     
  17. Deja

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    lol trust me, there are a lot of pharmacists out there that are not proactive in learning the system, especially part timers (surpringly some full timers too), so that's how you end up with a person like this... which usually results in stuff not getting done or stuff being done the wrong way because the pharmacist doesn't understand the system or the flow so they can't check everything and keep the pharmacy in order... now, if you are working for the big 3, those pharmacists have a higher chance of being weeded out, but if not, then good luck when the regular pharmacist goes on vacation

    I can understand if it's only being a few days, but less than a year? I assume it's being a few months already... jesus lol
     
  18. W19

    W19 Account on Hold
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    It's amazing some pharmacists here are shocked that a company such as Costco utilizes them properly... What has happened to this beautiful profession? You shouldn't let some retail stores dilute your job into just a retail clerk....
     
    #17 W19, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  19. ancienbon

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    Really . Shouldn't a rph know the computer system well and be able to type a script if need be.
     
  20. W19

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    Yes they should... Should this be a major (or big) component of a pharmacist job?
     
  21. Deja

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    The truth is, at a retail store, doesn't matter how many staff you have, if you don't understand how to do everything in the pharmacy, it will not run smoothly because you won't know how to direct your staff

    also the more you know, the more people you work with is going to respect you, which is also very important in retail or any other job.... the fact that some pharmacist haven't even tried to learn the system after a few months is very telling
     
  22. Digsbe

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    I think it's important for a pharmacist to know everything about operations. At the end of the day you're also the supervisor and all the liability is on you.

    That being said, knowing it doesn't mean it should be in your job description to ring people up, count pills, etc (not saying it may not need to be done here and there).
     
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  23. Shimmery

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    I was a technician so I know how to type and ring out patients, it's just that as pharmacist here we don't do that...we have the technicians do it for us.

    At the store that I work at there is ALWAYS tech help. The pharmacists/manager do have a override for the register if it's ever prompted. I don't need to worry about having prescriptions typed and I can concentrate more on verifying prescriptions. Yes I do realize that I'm extremely spoiled.

    So it's not like I DON'T want to learn the system at all, but it's hard to find time to incorporate these skills in the retail world.

    We have an extremely old system that's difficult to use and I'd rather utilize the time in verifying prescriptions. There is going to be a newer, efficient system that is going to be released this fall/next year.

    Like I said, it's not about me not wanting to learn about the system, it's finding the time to do it. I have learned slowly about refilling prescriptions and I can check everything else about a patient's profile except typing....that's pretty much the only thing I'm not proficient at yet.

    It's not like I don't know ANYTHING about the system.
     

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