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For those who volunteer at a pharmacy...

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by mustang sally, May 7, 2008.

  1. mustang sally

    mustang sally 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    The middle of nowhere
    For those who volunteer, what types of duties do you do while you are volunteering? Do you feel like you get a lot out of it? I have been volunteering in a hospital pharmacy for about six months now, and I just feel sort of eh about it. Sometimes I just feel like I am getting in their way and I am not sure if I am getting much out of it...even talking to the pharmacists hasn't really inspired me or anything as they don't seem overly thrilled with their jobs either. Just wondering what other people's experiences with volunteering were like.
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  3. Idesiretosling

    Idesiretosling 2+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2006
    If you are bored, then go out and get licensed as a certified Technician.
  4. Drug Doc

    Drug Doc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 16, 2008
    if you REALLY want to get experience in the hospital then your best bet is probably to get licensed. on the other hand, if you don't want to do that then try to volunteer or work as a clerk at a smaller privately owned pharmacy. maybe i just lucked out, but thats what i did and i pretty much got to do a little bit of everything (except count and consult). also its a very low stress environment, since smaller pharmacy's dont have have the whole 2hr wait thing going on.
  5. CD5

    CD5 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    75% of the time I get to do what the techs do but sometimes I'm assigned to the tasks nobody wants to do.
    In retail, you basically pick up the slack wherever its lacking (which I assure u is different than if you were a tech); sometimes forcing you to do extremely boring repetitive things that nobody does.
  6. cinnamoroll12

    cinnamoroll12 5+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Pretty much, I just deliver the meds and IVs to the patient care units. Whenever I'm not that busy, I usually talk to the pharmacists, residents, and students who are on rotations, and they'll teach me a thing or two on the drugs.
  7. AbsoluteEthanol

    AbsoluteEthanol PHARMACY STUD 2+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Southern California
    i volunteered for about a year and I didn't get anything out of it... at all
  8. glowinglimabean

    glowinglimabean 2+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    There are only two hospitals where I live. It was hard to find a tech job that was flexible and gave benefits so I could not leave my regular job. Mainly because my current job paid for my school. My best option was to volunteer. I did compounding with the tech's, returned stock, sent drugs to requested departments, etc. Nothing too major. I did make friends with the employees and the pharmacist gave me a letter of recommendation.
  9. tellsarah

    tellsarah 2+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    I answer the phones and re-stock drugs(rarely):D
  10. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    I'm thinking about get my tech license. Is the test easy? What's the best material to learn it? I will be busy with summer classes, work, and PCAT studying so I don't want to add anything substantial to it.
  11. trailrider400

    trailrider400 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Hey I asked a similar question to this a few months back... I guess I do a variety of things including paperwork and computer work, as well as filling clinic orders and getting drugs ready to be checked by the pharmacist. I also check outdates, do cleaning :thumbdown:, and run drugs around the hospital. I do many of the things the techs do besides anything in the IV room. I enjoy being there but yeah I know what you are saying it can be a little bland at times... Just try to ask questions when the pharmacists aren't busy and watch what the pharmacists are doing so you get a better idea of whats happening... One thing I have been doing recently is shadowing various pharmacist when I volunteer and that has by far been the most rewarding thing for me... Your volunteer duties are nothing like a pharmacists just try to observe whats going on and think about whether you would enjoy their work...
  12. ufpharm

    ufpharm Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    May 7, 2008
    I volunteered in a hospital about 4 or 5 times. I also work as a CPhT in retail and just wanted the hospital experience. After I noticed that I was only restocking inventory I decided to stop going. None of the pharmacists would talk to me. The students would say hi in passing. I decided to stick with my job and get paid for doing boring work instead.
  13. jyw003

    jyw003 just moving along.....PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, APP 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    San Francisco
    i volunteer at a hospital and all they let volunteers in pharm do is FILE if they dont have tech its total crap....some hospitals let their volunteers transfer IV packs even without tech it all depends...i think getting your tech license will help immensely.
  14. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    I've been volunteering every summer at my hospital pharmacy for the past 3 years. They all know I'm a prepharm student and I have good relations with many of the pharmacists and staff. My responsibilities are usually stocking, checking for due dates, creating labels for IVs, and general helping in the pharmacy. I also am able to go to the floors and help the techs restock the medications. I have to ask to round with the pharmacists / pharm students so I can get the experience, and they let me.

    All in all I enjoy volunteering. This summer, I am seeing if they have any open positions, and since they already know me then that'll be a step in the door. I've also guaranteed some strong of the pharmacists is a preceptor for the students of my top choice.
  15. HolyLights

    HolyLights Space Monkey 5+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    After a while, the work does get repetitive where i work at, which is a private pharmacy for the last 3 years. All you can do without a tech license is inventory, stocking, checking due dates. The main point is for you to get experience in their daily life and what they have to do.

    At least that's what the admission commitee wants to see if you try to expose yourself to the field. They want to know if you know what you are getting yourself into instead of regreting it later, when you are done with school.

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