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Time on your feet in Pharmacy

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by usi, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. usi

    usi
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    How long do you stand in retail pharmacy?
    This may seem like a stupid question, but... I worked in lab for many years, and spent a great deal of time standing.
    Some of my co-workers complained about getting too old for this...,
    I enjoyed having the opportunity to mix it up between standing and sitting at my computer.
    For those of you who have retail or hospital experience, what do you think?
     
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  3. KUMoose

    KUMoose Grumpy old man
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    The retail pharmacists I have shadowed sit only on breaks unless they have a medical need, i.e. they are pregnant. The three pharmacies I visited did not have stools in public site, they were back behind the shelves in the ‘break’ area. In fact two of them listed finding comfortable, yet stylish shoes as their number one problem with retail pharmacy.
     
  4. ChemAngel

    ChemAngel Member
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    we also don't have stools in public view. Usually I am standing the whole 8 hours that I'm working, and only sitting to take my lunch. Sometimes, I cheat a little and when I check the inventory, I sit down on the floor to reach the medications on the lower shelves. :rolleyes:
     
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    We have a higher risk of knee problems, varicose veins, etc due to the amount of time we spend standing. You can buy support stockings or special shoes if you need to. Don't lock your knees or you are going to have problems. :)

    I wonder how many of us report knee injuries as occupational L&I claims. They probably should be if they occur at an especially young age and are determined to be most likely from standing all day.
     
  6. ICA

    ICA Senior Member
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    The pharmacists I work with stand all 8 hours, except at lunchtime when they crouch down in the corner for ~10 minutes, sitting on a little foot stool, while they eat their food.
     
  7. neilzep

    neilzep Junior Member
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    here in arizona,its mandatory for pharmacists to have a 30 MINUTES lunch break,you can leave the pharmacy too!! your shift is covered by another rph or the pharmacy is shut---gheez what a novel idea!!.They implemented this 3-4 yrs ago,yes took them that long!!Go on to arizona brd of pharmacy to see how it was implemented---maybe you can do it in your state.
    STAND UP FOR YOUR BASIC RIGHTS...YOU ARE PROFESSIONALS, RIGHT!!


    Happy Holidays,
    sunil
     
  8. Slntwolf

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    Actually, this is incorrect, the Arizona State Board has "strong encouragement" to companies for this lunch break, but it is in no way mandatory. I have seen in Wal-mart posted that the pharmacy will be closed for lunch for the pharmacist, but I work in a Wags and this isn't the case. The pharmacy never closes, if there isn't another Rph to overlap, and more often than not there isn't, the pharmacist doesn't get a lunch. They could close the pharmacy if they so chose, but that would be looked down on immensely for I have known pharmacists who have done it and been penalized for doing so, indirectly of course.

    Slntwolf
     
  9. imperial frog

    imperial frog Pharm.D
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    I don't think a lunch break is a basic right.
     
  10. LBS615

    LBS615 LBS615
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    My pharmacy (CVS) has 3 stools and we can sit whenever we want- usually when it is not busy. The pharmacist sits whenever she gets a chance even when veryifying scripts. One tech usually is always sitting- the one who does drop off. I usually stand. It is not bad for 8 hours. I do sit for lunch- 15-30min break.
     
  11. neilzep

    neilzep Junior Member
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    I guess thats why walgreens is what it is!!,there is a reason Pharmacists went on strike in Illinois,a few months ago. Yes,a 30 min break for lunch,and 2-15 minute breaks usual come with a decent job,but it doesn't seem to be the case in pharmacy(retail especially). Been practicing for 14 yrs as a pharmacist(LTC,retail,hmo,infusion,independent). For you new grads....LOOk hard at what you are getting into,the money is nice,the working conditions and inner satisfaction is more important over the long run,not driving a new BMWer! just my 2 cents worth.

    Happy Holidays
    Sunil ;)


    ps. heres the link ,http://www.pharmacy.state.az.us/lunchbreak.html
    they encourage and endorse lunch breaks.. :smuggrin:
     
  12. usi

    usi
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    So, in your experience, tell us where you were treated the best. Had a lunch, 15 min breaks... In other words, were you did not feel like a slave.
     
  13. neilzep

    neilzep Junior Member
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    I would say LTC,hospital was the best among the jobs,or temp placements.
    Chance to do different things,intellectually stimulating,independent pharmacy was nice too,in the slow pharmacies,get to chat with patients etc.
     
  14. usi

    usi
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    Sorry, LTC stands for?...
     
  15. pharmagirl

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    I believe it is Long Term Care. (assisted living facilities etc)
     
  16. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
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    Jeez, I hate talk like this.

    You have to MAKE time to eat. That means, you sit down and you eat UNINTERRUPTED until you are done. Everything else waits, period.

    We, as pharmacists, tend to take care of everybody and neglect our own basic needs. We need to take care of ourselves.

    Training techs and managing workflow are key to this.

    We don't have to legislate time breaks if we learn to say NO better and act in a CONSISTENT manner.
     
  17. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    Yeah. It's not safe to let yourself go without food. It's distracting and bumps your error potential. Plus, not eating shouldn't be a requirement of any humane job.
     
  18. usi

    usi
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    I found this is true of many jobs. You have to set limits and hopefully everyone else around you do the same. Is bad when you are the only one taking breaks, the rest make you feel like you can't keep up. But I agree, you should eat lunch and refresh. I am a mess w/o it, and I am sure i would make mistakes w/o proper rest.
    Wasn't this a point of soreness in the medical interns, but lack of sleep instead?
     
  19. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
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    Here in CA is is our right to have a 30 minute lunch (if you have worked at least 4 hours). However, many pharmacists just choose to "munch" and not leave the pharmacy. I leave the pharmacy and leave my tech to hand out refills (no new Rx may be given without a pharmacist present). It is our professional judgement to do this and we can option to close the pharmacy if we don't trust our tech to stay within their professional limits. Each employer may have their policy of one or the other. My employer lets each pharmacist choose what to do based upon our professional judgement, but no employer in CA can refuse a lunch break (a 2000 labor law decision!) I've worked 20 years hospital and the last 7 retail - all of it on my feet. Yes, I've occasionally sat down (when inputing inpatient orders - boring!!!!!) but clinical work requires speaking with patients, reading charts, advising on OTC's - none of which can be done well sitting down. I only notice my legs hurting when I've been gone for an extended period of time (ie maternity leave, surgery, etc) but I sit down and take a break whenever I want. You can pace yourself - its a choice you make for yourself!
     
  20. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
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    I think the underlying issue is one of perceived professionalism. As pharmacists, we want to be seen as professionals, yet we do things to undermine it. We can sometimes be our worst enemy.
     
  21. usi

    usi
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    That is what I thought. Pacing yourself is important. I find is what I like about my job. (I am not a pharmacist)
    What made you swich from clinical to retail? How do you like it.
    I am thinking I would enjoy clinical very much, that is why I am asking.
     
  22. ravuu

    ravuu Junior Member
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    In my pharmacy, there is only one stool and my pharmacist is pregnant at the moment so I always let her sit. The only time I get to sit is during my lunch break when I go out to eat, which is about 30 minutes. That's enough for me because while clocked in, I work at a comfortable pace that is flexible. :)

    Yes, pacing yourself is very important. Although some patients can be very impatient and want their medications immediately, we as healthcare professionals cannot afford to make mistakes. They as patients don't know that we can because they have very high expectations. :mad:
     
  23. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
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    usi...I'll try to clarify...I didn't switch from "clinical" to "retail". I switched from hospital pharmacy to retail pharmacy - both are very clinical. Hospital and retail describe my practice settings. Clinical describes the type of pharmacy I practice (and I would argue - ALL pharmacists are clinical because each task or interaction requires clinical judgement). Back to the actual question though....I graduated in 1977 (how did you guess???) and at that time, those of us who were "early" clinical pharmacists had tremendous independence and were encouraged to begin pharmacokinetic monitoring, patient education, TPN monitoring, etc. It was also a different reimbursement era. We had support from hospital and medical administration for programs we instituted. The last 10 years has been impacted by reimbursement issues which have resulted in program and staffing cutbacks. Hospital patients average shorter stays and those who do stay beyond the 2.4 days are very sick and usually followed by hospitalists (at least here in CA) who are very specialized physicians (unless they are on cardiovascular or other services). These physicians are very good at what they do and IMO need less support from pharmacists than years earlier. So..my actual decision was a result of becoming bored with checking technicians, fewer interactions with medical staff and scary staffing situations (ie one pharmacist supervising too many techs doing too many urgent tasks). Don't get me wrong - there are still really great hospital jobs - my own personal history just makes them less stimulating than what I did before and what I'm doing right now. I am a firm believer though that ALL practice settings are clinical! Physicians and patients have put their trust in us that we use our best judgement in interpreting their order, dispensing their medication and educating them so they receive the very best therapy. (Sorry for the long post......)
     
  24. baggywrinkle

    baggywrinkle cranky old fart
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    Don't rule out civilian government practice folks. Breaks & lunch are the norm. The Federal government bends over backwards to find an excuse to take a day off. (read that three day weekends). Speaking for me personally, I have NEVER had a job that has touched me emotionally as much as this one has. Just today I took care of a young soldier with his arm all up in a cast
    and his hand badly munged up. I asked him what happened. Normally the answer you will get is auto accident, accident at home, yada yada. Not this time! He was leading his team into a house full of bad guys in Iraq ,SWAT style. He opened the door and it was booby trapped with a mortar shell. He and several of his guys were injured in the blast. He lost a finger yet I have rarely met a more upbeat can-do positive personality. I work with these guys every day. They are polite (as in YES sir, NEGATIVE sir) and eager to please. Their worst problem is an acute allergy to sand :rolleyes:

    When I came here I was jaded to the public and worried about the young. Working with these young soldiers leaves me feeling that the future is in good hands.

    Oh yeah, I have a chair and can sit or stand as I choose....


    [​IMG]
     
  25. usi

    usi
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  26. usi

    usi
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    See, every body keeps telling me I am going to go to school for 4 years, get in debt, and then be bored with a job counting pills, or dealing with management.
    I am sure pharmacy has bad days, I have no fantasies, I know is a job. But I think it has many moments that are rewarding. I love problem solving, and feel good when I can answer questions that affect people positively. I love science, I don't want to be in a lab forever. I need human contact.
    I am convinced this is for me! I've been in the workplace in big corporations for almost 9 years. I know in line management, and I don't like it, but I have learned to live with it. I just hope the people that I end up working with know how to enjoy themselves and don't spend most of their time paranoid about their performance reviews, or scheeming to get rich.
    No this post is super long...but it feels good to get this off my chest.
     
  27. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    I'm glad to hear that you like your new job. You are getting one of my former techs as a new employee this week.
     
  28. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
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    Don't worry---you're in it for the right reasons. You'll do fine. :)
     
  29. usi

    usi
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    Thank you!,
    You are not in the admissions commitee at UF by anychance? I could use the help
    :laugh:
     
  30. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
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    Sorry to say I'm not.

    If I was, I'd recommend you :thumbup:
     
  31. Moxxie

    Moxxie Rained out
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    Usi -

    Thank you so much for articulating exactly the way that I've been feeling! I too have a lab background (not as extensive as yours, and in molecular biology/biochemistry), but after 2 and a half years in a PhD program I realized that while I love science and enjoyed the people that I worked with, it wasn't something that I could see myself doing longterm. It's been a journey for me - leaving grad school was traumatic - but I'm glad that I made the choice and I hope that if (when?) I get into pharm school there are other wonderful students there like you.

    You go girl! After reading many of your posts I think that any admissions committee that would reject you is plain bonkers.
     
  32. Moxxie

    Moxxie Rained out
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    I'm a dork for double-posting. Oh well - it's a Friday and our lab Holiday party is in a few hours. Yay!
     
  33. usi

    usi
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    I had no idea how strange the world of Scientific Excellence Dog eat dog world was in graduate school. It also carries on into the workplace.
    I am sure there are some good friends in lab that you won't forget.
    But in general is pretty competitive and lonely...
     
  34. Sosumi

    Sosumi Senior Member
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    I was in the same boat as you guys. I was pursuing my PhD in pharmacology but realized after several years that it's not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I met cool people, loved traveling to scientific conferences across the world, and doing research, but the pressure of getting grant funding and the difficulty finding a job (met too many people who were post-docs longer than 3 years :eek: ) were not what I had envisioned.

    I switched to pharmacy and have no regrets, except that I should have done it sooner and not let professors and others talk me out of it years ago.

    Good luck to both of you (Moxxie and usi)! I'm sure you will get into a good pharmacy school. Did you publish many studies? Admissions committees are very impressed by that.
     
  35. usi

    usi
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    I have several patents and publications and posters at national meetings. I was wondering how they (admissions comm) view that. Because it could be viewed as a burn out (this is just me speculating, nobody said anything). I loved getting published, and I know in pharmacy there are many opportunities to also do posters and go to meetings, so I am looking forward to it.
    I think I rather take the abuse from a patient than from a professor any time. At least they have more to loose than just their reputation, so is ok for them to get cranky at me.
     
  36. Sosumi

    Sosumi Senior Member
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    Admissions committees look very favorably on your publications. I had 6 and 1 pending when I was interviewing. The professors who interviewed me recognized the perseverence required to get published, and it shows how hard you'll be willing to work in pharmacy school. Even better that you have that experience if you ever want to do a special project with one of your professors and to help them get published.
     
  37. Moxxie

    Moxxie Rained out
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    I'm co-author on only one paper (the slow pace of research being done in my lab was one of the reasons I decided to leave), but the one thing that I appreciate most from my years in grad school was the chance I got to teach. I was a TA for several courses, but I also got the chance to be an assistant instructor at a national conference/training course in Woods Hole, MA. That was a blast and something I'm still proud of.

    Now I'm working as a research assistant in another lab, but I'm not sure if I'll be getting any publications out of it (my main job is to manage a transgenic mouse colony - we have about 10,000 mice!). But my current lab group is great and sometimes I want to stay with them. I'll be sad to leave, but I really think that pharmacy will be a great career for me. Sometimes being in the lab all day, even with people you like, can be stifling. I like to interact with others and feel like I'm making at least a tiny impact on individual lives.

    I suppose that this thread has gotten a bit offtopic, but I'm glad that these things have been brought up :)
     

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