pinkpharmd

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Apr 14, 2016
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For those that work at the VA, do you feel like your job will be gone due to COVID-19? I was reading a thread on here with comments on how clinical pharmacist are a luxury and at the end of the day it is the dispensing pharmacist that are needed most. I do everything at work staff and clinical but do not have a scope of practice.

With some downtime at the VA, I have been reading about all these great programs, ClinicalHUB, TelePrimary Care Pharmacist. My management provides little guidance and for those that are informed, what is the direction of the VA? I would not mind a work from home job during these uncertain times. Thank you for your time in advance - Kate
 

lord999

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No,will write more later, but unlike full Title 38 employees who can be let go, the hybrids have career tenure rights. Sucks if you have not been here three years who can be let go, but if you do, the worst is that you will be understaffed and overworked with a management given tacit permission to make your lives a living hell until you quit with no hire behinds leading to a vicious cycle.

If you are in the CSRS generation, you know how this works. If you are in the FERS generation, it's just like 2007. If you are in the RAE or FRAE generation, you are in for an experience. My advice is to endure, play the management games necessary to retain your role, and go home and do not let management get to you. If you are still career conditional, do NOT screw up.
 
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pinkpharmd

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Luckily, I am FERS. With ten years at the VA, I am told I am crazy if I leave now. Unfortunately, it has come down to go to work do your job and smile and go home. Between the favorites and lack of moving the profession forward, that place saddens me so much. The errors made by other pharmacist disgust me. Management has no leadership or goals, they simple come to work and collect a paycheck.

I was not aware about the tenure rights. Thank you

With COVID-19, some are just complaining about lack of hazard pay, lack of recognition when this what we are meant to be doing.

We already had one person retire and I am sure that position won’t be filled in years
 

ValeRx

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Well if you think about it, the VA is really the only place you'll ever get a guaranteed pension. They don't exist anywhere else anymore.
 

samven582

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Luckily, I am FERS. With ten years at the VA, I am told I am crazy if I leave now. Unfortunately, it has come down to go to work do your job and smile and go home. Between the favorites and lack of moving the profession forward, that place saddens me so much. The errors made by other pharmacist disgust me. Management has no leadership or goals, they simple come to work and collect a paycheck.

I was not aware about the tenure rights. Thank you

With COVID-19, some are just complaining about lack of hazard pay, lack of recognition when this what we are meant to be doing.

We already had one person retire and I am sure that position won’t be filled in years
I feel you and I work at the same VA
 
Nov 11, 2019
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@lord999, Do you know anything about the federal government now requiring applicants to have at least one year of hospital pharmacist work experience (or preferably residency completion) to qualify for general staffing (I.e., non-clinical) positions at military base pharmacies? Is this a new minimum entry-level criteria for all staff pharmacist positions at federal facilities?
 

ValeRx

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@Hedgehog32 Just put together your profile on USAJOBS and start submitting applications. The worst thing they'll do is not refer you. I personally put in about like 80 applications over the years.
 
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@Hedgehog32 Just put together your profile on USAJOBS and start submitting applications. The worst thing they'll do is not refer you. I personally put in about like 80 applications over the years.
What's interesting is that one of my former preceptors (don't want to post information publicly that's too specific), who is very high-up in the pharmacy administration at the federal facility I rotated at (equivalent of DOP), reached out to me a couple weeks ago with what was basically a tentative job offer. After recovering from the shock provoked by the event, I accepted the offer (obviously).

However, the preceptor got back in touch with me just the other day and said that federal HR blocked the hiring request on the grounds that they were only considering pharmacists with either residency training or at least 1 yr of inpatient hospital work experience for all hospital-based positions (whether staffing or clinical) moving forward. That's why I was wondering if this was a new federally-mandated minimum criteria for all pharmacist positions at federal facilities.
 

ValeRx

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What's interesting is that one of my former preceptors (don't want to post information publicly that's too specific), who is very high-up in the pharmacy administration at the federal facility I rotated at (equivalent of DOP), reached out to me a couple weeks ago with what was basically a tentative job offer. After recovering from the shock provoked by the event, I accepted the offer (obviously).

However, the preceptor got back in touch with me just the other day and said that federal HR blocked the hiring request on the grounds that they were only considering pharmacists with either residency training or at least 1 yr of inpatient hospital work experience for all hospital-based positions (whether staffing or clinical) moving forward. That's why I was wondering if this was a new federally-mandated minimum criteria for all pharmacist positions at federal facilities.
That's interesting. lord999 would definitely be able to give you a better answer on that but if you read any of the job postings, most entry level GS-12 pharmacist positions don't necessarily specify that they REQUIRE that, it may be recommended, but not a requirement.
 
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Rx1992

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What's interesting is that one of my former preceptors (don't want to post information publicly that's too specific), who is very high-up in the pharmacy administration at the federal facility I rotated at (equivalent of DOP), reached out to me a couple weeks ago with what was basically a tentative job offer. After recovering from the shock provoked by the event, I accepted the offer (obviously).

However, the preceptor got back in touch with me just the other day and said that federal HR blocked the hiring request on the grounds that they were only considering pharmacists with either residency training or at least 1 yr of inpatient hospital work experience for all hospital-based positions (whether staffing or clinical) moving forward. That's why I was wondering if this was a new federally-mandated minimum criteria for all pharmacist positions at federal facilities.
What about IHS? That is step below VA. Are they only hiring residency trained grads. I would check IHS or Board of Prisons.
 
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ValeRx

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What about IHS? That is step below VA. Are they only hiring residency trained grads. I would check IHS or Board of Prisons.
Based off his previous comments on other threads, he has no desire to go out to BFE and that's pretty much where all IHS positions are.
 

lord999

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@lord999, Do you know anything about the federal government now requiring applicants to have at least one year of hospital pharmacist work experience (or preferably residency completion) to qualify for general staffing (I.e., non-clinical) positions at military base pharmacies? Is this a new minimum entry-level criteria for all staff pharmacist positions at federal facilities?

No, the qual standard for 0660 pharmacist has NOT changed, that requires OPM concurrence which something like that would be unacceptable for an entry level position. Your preceptor lied to you.
 
Nov 11, 2019
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No, the qual standard for 0660 pharmacist has NOT changed, that requires OPM concurrence which something like that would be unacceptable for an entry level position. Your preceptor lied to you.
Thanks for the info. Ouch. Just for additional clarification, is it still possible that for the hospital staffing position I was supposedly being considered for, the HR department legitimately requires applicants to have at least 1 yr of inpatient staffing experience to be considered eligible for consideration for the job? Or is there no such experience requirement for any inpatient staffing position at any federal/military hospital in the US?
 

ValeRx

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Thanks for the info. Ouch. Just for additional clarification, is it still possible that for the hospital staffing position I was supposedly being considered for, the HR department legitimately requires applicants to have at least 1 yr of inpatient staffing experience to be considered eligible for consideration for the job? Or is there no such experience requirement for any inpatient staffing position at any federal/military hospital in the US?
From every job posting I've seen, all you really need is the degree and license. The lower the GS level, like GS-11 is more entry level. GS-12 seems to be positions for people with experience but most of the jobs have "preferred" experience items that they want.
 
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From every job posting I've seen, all you really need is the degree and license. The lower the GS level, like GS-11 is more entry level. GS-12 seems to be positions for people with experience but most of the jobs have "preferred" experience items that they want.
The thing is, the job was only verbally mentioned to me (I never saw a typed or online job listing), so I'm not sure if it's a GS-11 or GS-12 position. Guess I'll just wait for it to show up on USAjobs.
 

ValeRx

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The thing is, the job was only verbally mentioned to me (I never saw a typed or online job listing), so I'm not sure if it's a GS-11 or GS-12 position. Guess I'll just wait for it to show up on USAjobs.
It won't always. Sometimes the VA will do direct hiring without ever posting on USAJobs.
 

ValeRx

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Basic Requirements for the GS-11 (or equivalent) Grade Level
3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree, Ph.D., Pharm.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

Basic Requirements for the GS-12 (or equivalent) Grade Level
In addition to the requirements for the GS-11 (or equivalent) level, applicants must have a minimum of one year of professional pharmacy experience.

Basic Requirements for the GS-13 and above Grade Levels
In addition to the licensure and educational requirements described above, a minimum of one year of professional pharmacy experience that is equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.


From my understanding of these requirements... someone with zero experience would qualify for a GS-11 position.
 
Nov 11, 2019
595
166
Basic Requirements for the GS-11 (or equivalent) Grade Level
3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree, Ph.D., Pharm.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

Basic Requirements for the GS-12 (or equivalent) Grade Level
In addition to the requirements for the GS-11 (or equivalent) level, applicants must have a minimum of one year of professional pharmacy experience.

Basic Requirements for the GS-13 and above Grade Levels
In addition to the licensure and educational requirements described above, a minimum of one year of professional pharmacy experience that is equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.


From my understanding of these requirements... someone with zero experience would qualify for a GS-11 position.
Thanks. Based on the criteria you posted, I'm assuming that the job I was being considered for was a GS-12 position, assuming my preceptor wasn't feeding me a line of BS altogether.
 

ValeRx

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It's hard to say. I would assume the preceptor would know what he was talking about before potentially offering you a job? Either way, lord999 has much more intimate knowledge of appointments to the federal system so I may be way off here.
 
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Rx1992

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Based off his previous comments on other threads, he has no desire to go out to BFE and that's pretty much where all IHS positions are.
I think Hedgehog32 had no desire to go to BFE to become a floater pharmacist in CVS/Walgreens. I think he is open to working in a hospital in the BFE.
 

pinkpharmd

2+ Year Member
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Well if you think about it, the VA is really the only place you'll ever get a guaranteed pension. They don't exist anywhere else anymore.
I am not sure about other states, but city and state hospitals also guarantees a pension
 

pinkpharmd

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I haven't been with the VA very long but am I the only one that actually enjoys working here? lol
Depends, what is a very long time? But yes, I do think most people are not happy at the VA. The list would be too long to type.
 

pinkpharmd

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@lord999, Do you know anything about the federal government now requiring applicants to have at least one year of hospital pharmacist work experience (or preferably residency completion) to qualify for general staffing (I.e., non-clinical) positions at military base pharmacies? Is this a new minimum entry-level criteria for all staff pharmacist positions at federal facilities?
My center just hired somebody with no hospital experience. Unsure of the individual's GPAs. They knew someone inside the VA and that is all it takes, and in the same department
 

pinkpharmd

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From every job posting I've seen, all you really need is the degree and license. The lower the GS level, like GS-11 is more entry level. GS-12 seems to be positions for people with experience but most of the jobs have "preferred" experience items that they want.
I thought all the pharmacist position now start at GS-12?
 

pinkpharmd

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Does anybody have any insight in academic detailing positions? I am not sure how this is any different from some of the roles of individuals in PBM.
 

Versed06

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Jan 26, 2008
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Does anybody have any insight in academic detailing positions? I am not sure how this is any different from some of the roles of individuals in PBM.
I talked to an old coworker way back who's now in this position. As this person had described it, the AD pharmacist basically works on "campaigns" in which the Academic Detailing Team focus on reevaluating/developing the logistic management/prescribing within a therapeutic area in conjunction with related therapies (Opioid Use disorder/naloxone spray, Smoking cessation/Chantix, nicotine patch, etc.). From what I could tell and had read about, it entails understanding the ins and outs of ordering the therapy for the condition and educating prescribers on the topic and ordering the therapy within CPRS, then using reports to track the success of implemented projects (reduced incidences of Opioid overdose/smoking cessation requests, etc.). I'm sure it's a bit more complicated than that, but I view it as a niche role as other people never REALLY know what you do, so depending on where you are, you might have the benefit of the good ol' GS-13 pay with few and uncertain expectations while all the GS-12s work in the trenches dealing with BS.
 

pinkpharmd

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I talked to an old coworker way back who's now in this position. As this person had described it, the AD pharmacist basically works on "campaigns" in which the Academic Detailing Team focus on reevaluating/developing the logistic management/prescribing within a therapeutic area in conjunction with related therapies (Opioid Use disorder/naloxone spray, Smoking cessation/Chantix, nicotine patch, etc.). From what I could tell and had read about, it entails understanding the ins and outs of ordering the therapy for the condition and educating prescribers on the topic and ordering the therapy within CPRS, then using reports to track the success of implemented projects (reduced incidences of Opioid overdose/smoking cessation requests, etc.). I'm sure it's a bit more complicated than that, but I view it as a niche role as other people never REALLY know what you do, so depending on where you are, you might have the benefit of the good ol' GS-13 pay with few and uncertain expectations while all the GS-12s work in the trenches dealing with BS.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I have asked some individuals who currently are not FTEE for AD and they can't even tell me what they do. The most I have gotten is: work on projects, call MD to tell them to do this and not that. It is unclear to me if they are not willing to disclose their job duties due to fear of job insecurity? The idea that I was getting was doing nothing!!! Since they are not FTEE they are not GS13. Others, that I have asked have stated these are the jobs to try to get to as it is not demanding. At the end of the day, what will matter is how much the PBM or VISN executives want to move a certain campaign forward.

Seeing patients is great but at times can be demanding, not sure if it is a long term plan. I am aware of all the BS
 

Rubisco

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How is the current VA pharmacist job security ? Seems like a lot of hospital RPHs are getting their hours cut , due to the hospital system with decreased elective procedures being their biggest money maker...although some hospitals seem better insulated than others so some may not experience as much change.

I’m wondering If the VA is as affected as their private/public counterparts.
 

pinkpharmd

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In terms of the pharmacist that were seeing patients face to face, their needs has actually increased during COVID due to medical and nursing staff needed for inpatient duties. As of now, we try our hardest reaching out to patients via telephone. I have yet to hear about cuts.
 

BC_89

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Well if you think about it, the VA is really the only place you'll ever get a guaranteed pension. They don't exist anywhere else anymore.
I am curious as well (I think you mentioned your were AD before joining the VA). I've heard of the 3 year investment clause to secure a spot (whether how true or not is in the air). Would they count military vets years of service toward being invested for the VA? I do understand you can do a buy-back of your military service toward an endpoint pension but was curious as far as the actual time at the VA (it would make sense if it wasn't seeing that the military service had nothing to do with the job duty of a pharmacist but never hurts to ask).
 

ValeRx

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I am curious as well (I think you mentioned your were AD before joining the VA). I've heard of the 3 year investment clause to secure a spot (whether how true or not is in the air). Would they count military vets years of service toward being invested for the VA? I do understand you can do a buy-back of your military service toward an endpoint pension but was curious as far as the actual time at the VA (it would make sense if it wasn't seeing that the military service had nothing to do with the job duty of a pharmacist but never hurts to ask).
If you have Veteran's preference then yes, you do get some time added in. From what I've understood from lord999, if you have an Honorable discharge you are automatically given permanent tenure status rather than having to put in the 3 years to become "career" or "career-conditional" status.
 
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BC_89

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If you have Veteran's preference then yes, you do get some time added in. From what I've understood from lord999, if you have an Honorable discharge you are automatically given permanent tenure status rather than having to put in the 3 years to become "career" or "career-conditional" status.
I've heard both sides of that as well concerning potential tenure as an honorable discharged vet. In my case I also have a service connected rating and have heard through the grape vine that those with a 10 pt preference upon being hired are bounded in the system as well.

@lord999 I try not to bother you about these questions like I have been this past year lol but I'd also be curious what you may know about this topic as well? My question I suppose is similar to OP as far as job security (especially for those during a pandemic) but in the sight of a service connected rated veteran.
 

ValeRx

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From the information I've read on the OPM website a SC veteran has a 10 point preference, whereas a vet with no disability is a 5 point preference. There is no benefit between the two when it comes to tenure status but I believe if it came down to it, a 5 point vet would potentially be let go before a 10 point vet if any sort of reduction in force were to take place.
 
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lord999

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I've heard both sides of that as well concerning potential tenure as an honorable discharged vet. In my case I also have a service connected rating and have heard through the grape vine that those with a 10 pt preference upon being hired are bounded in the system as well.

@lord999 I try not to bother you about these questions like I have been this past year lol but I'd also be curious what you may know about this topic as well? My question I suppose is similar to OP as far as job security (especially for those during a pandemic) but in the sight of a service connected rated veteran.

You should be entered as a 1 (Career) with career status on your SF 50 if you have completed an honorable or a medical discharge and were contiguously in for three years and have the same rights. You can be a 0, like me, if you are in a position that does not have tenure by law but your retreat rights are to competitive if you came from there (many do not and are appointed). My version is coded 0 and reappointment eligibility as 1, because I occupy a position that is not in the competitive service by law, but I have retreat rights into a competitive service position should I no longer be of service at the pleasure of the President. Residents and fellows are in 3, which is a term appointment.

The actual hiring rules when vets are involved and when the list must be consulted (though Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy are listed exceptions to those rules based on the direct hiring law) is here:



There's a specific loophole in a disabled vet's favor due to VRA. A 30% or more disabled vet (unlike anyone else) may be hired to a temporary appointment, but then immediately converted in 60 days to a competitive appointment WITHOUT requiring a hire. So, management can "try out" a vet and if they seem ok, we keep them without having to bother with the application process. Quite a number of my appointments were done this way from signals. I

 
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BC_89

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You should be entered as a 1 (Career) with career status on your SF 50 if you have completed an honorable or a medical discharge and were contiguously in for three years and have the same rights. You can be a 0, like me, if you are in a position that does not have tenure by law but your retreat rights are to competitive if you came from there (many do not and are appointed). My version is coded 0 and reappointment eligibility as 1, because I occupy a position that is not in the competitive service by law, but I have retreat rights into a competitive service position should I no longer be of service at the pleasure of the President. Residents and fellows are in 3, which is a term appointment.

The actual hiring rules when vets are involved and when the list must be consulted (though Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy are listed exceptions to those rules based on the direct hiring law) is here:



There's a specific loophole in a disabled vet's favor due to VRA. A 30% or more disabled vet (unlike anyone else) may be hired to a temporary appointment, but then immediately converted in 60 days to a competitive appointment WITHOUT requiring a hire. So, management can "try out" a vet and if they seem ok, we keep them without having to bother with the application process. Quite a number of my appointments were done this way from signals. I

Nice links. I'll give it a read through and see what may / may not be expected.
 
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