Many pharmacy owners occasionally need a relief pharmacist or temp pharmacist quickly. The issues that many pharmacy owners face finding the right temporary pharmacist are numerous. Perhaps the pharmacy owner is planning a vacation or simply has an emergency situation and needs some help. Or perhaps a staff member quits, has an emergency of their own or simply needs a break. Many of us have been faced with the question of who can help us, and sometimes, help us quickly! Finding a qualified pharmacist to fill in quickly during a crisis or emergency situation and work relief for you is just like buying insurance sometimes: Nobody wants it until they actually need it!
What Are the Issues of Finding Pharmacy Relief Services?
The issues involved that one should think about in the finding a relief pharmacist can be summed up quickly:
– What staffing agency should I call?
Many find that the pharmacy staffing agencies are either very small or very large when needing one. The smaller ones have very limited resources, while the larger ones are harder to do business with as a new client (as they are focused primarily on satisfying their existing regular and mostly larger clients first).
– Do they have experienced and dependable Pharmacists to send for relief services?
Many pharmacy staffing agencies have a very limited pool of candidates to choose from. Being limited geographically may mean that their available resources are already being utilized, or that the pharmacists that they can offer may not be dependable. What could be worse than expecting some peace of mind while dealing with a personal emergency situation and getting a call that the temporary pharmacist was a “no show” that day?
– Quality choices that meet your specific needs are a major concern.
If you are operating any type of specialty pharmacy (compounding, IV infusion, oncology, mail order, etc.) you may realize that not just any relief pharmacist can walk in and function in your environment. This may be true in many retail community pharmacy environments also. Even with experience, is the pharmacist of the quality and possess the required experience and skills that you (and your patients) expect?
– Pricing and costs are always a consideration!
A major factor in choosing a pharmacy staffing agency to meet your relief needs is obviously the cost. In certain instances the pricing may be a secondary issue, but let’s be realistic: Price is always an issue. When it comes to supply and demand, an agency with few available candidates will charge more. Travel charges may also be added on that will inflate the cost of the fill-in pharmacist. Also keep in mind that in the 1990’s the average salary for a pharmacist was about $50,000. Comparing that number to the average pharmacist’s salary of between $112,000 – $119,000 in 2016, one can easily draw the conclusion that perhaps the cost of a relief or temp pharmacist prohibits a pharmacy owner from ever going on a vacation or having an emergency!
– Seasonality is sometimes a major concern when getting pharmacy relief for your business.
In many cases seasonality will affect both the availability and the price. High demand during certain times of the year are a normal factor on both pharmacist selection and cost. Holidays are a great example. How many qualified pharmacists want to actually spend the major holidays working? Recent statistics show that fewer and fewer pharmacists will give up their precious “free time” than ever before.
Fewer Pharmacist To Choose From?
Being in the pharmacy staffing industry for over 30+ years now, our experience is that there are far fewer pharmacists who choose to work extra jobs as relief. The same is true of those that choose to work only in temporary pharmacy staffing positions.
Based on a survey released by the AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy) in 2014 called the National Pharmacist Workforce Study, statistics revealed that only about 8% of all pharmacists nationally worked a second job as a relief pharmacist. Back in the 1990’s this number was estimated to be around 15%. Additionally, the average extra time worked by a pharmacist as relief was an estimated six hours weekly. This represents a significant decrease from the estimated 10 – 12 hours that pharmacists “moon lighted” back in the 1990’s. The study noted that a significant decrease regarding available pharmacists working part-time or as relief was seen every year since 2009. One can only see this trend continuing, leading to a smaller pool of pharmacists to choose from should you need them.
Being Prepared Versus Reactive
To avoid future problems when looking for a relief pharmacist and for available qualified pharmacists to meet any temporary needs you may have that arise, one must embrace the following adage that most major companies have learned over time: Hiring is an ongoing process not event. Another way of saying it is be prepared. Here at HCC Pharmacy Staffing we have been actively “preaching” to both clients and potential clients to be pro-active when it comes to the issue of getting a dependable and qualified relief pharmacist in place for when the need arises. Yet the reality is that the majority of pharmacy owners are reactive and not prepared when the time comes. The old cliche that has become HCC’s tagline over the past 30+ years is that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! This certainly applies to getting an experienced and dependable temporary pharmacist quickly when the situation requires one.
About Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing
At Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing we have been helping pharmacies throughout the Southeastern United States with temp and relief pharmacists for over 30+ years now. HCC centers its focus primarily on the following six states:
– South Carolina
– North Carolina
We encourage you to be pro-active in regards to the issue of getting dependable and qualified pharmacists for relief when the need arises for you. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing has been a national leader in regards to temporary Pharmacist staffing and is known as a “full service” Pharmacy staffing company since 1989. With all the services that we provide to pharmacies, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact the we are one of the most successful and respected pharmacy staffing firms in the nation. Our pool of qualified and dependable pharmacists available covers all aspects of job types: retail, hospital, clinical and specialty pharmacies.
Call us today at 800.642.1652, or contact us online to talk with our experienced staff to start a discussion on how we may be able to help you. That way when you do need a temporary or relief pharmacist, help is only a phone call away!