Relief and Temp Pharmacists

Relief Pharmacists in FL, GA, AL, NC, SC, TXMany 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:
– Florida
– Georgia
– Texas
– South Carolina
– North Carolina
– Alabama

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!

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Emergency Relief Pharmacists

relief pharmacists in FL, GA, AL, NC, SC, TXEmergency relief pharmacists are always in demand, but the recent announcement last week in California that over 1,400 Pharmacy Practice Exams were invalidated is already having a “ripple effect” regarding the profession’s ability to meet emergency needs. The students that were impacted make a valid point that many have lost job opportunities and money because of the exams being invalidated. Many students are facing repayment of their student loans coming due before they’re able to afford repaying them. Yet on the “flipside” of the story is the effect this situation has on numerous employers like pharmacy owners and managers. It’s important to always keep in mind that in situations such as these the end result can be a possible shortage of pharmacists available to do temporary and relief work in some emergency situations.

Temporary Relief Pharmacists in Emergencies

Needing temporary pharmacists during emergency situations can sometimes pose what seems like insurmountable obstacles to the pharmacy owner and manager. Last year in 2018 the hurricanes in both Texas and Florida had triggered discussions with several HCC clients regarding various scenarios and situations that can occur when an emergency relief pharmacist can be of critical importance to your drugstore even being open for business. Because a pharmacy can not legally be open for business without a registered pharmacist on duty, sometimes the pharmacy owner or store manager is faced with the dilemma of finding a pharmacist quickly or having to close the pharmacy’s doors and shut the business down until a pharmacist can be found.  Emergencies such as the severe weather that accompanies a hurricane can prevent a pharmacist scheduled to work a certain shift from returning safely from evacuation if it’s required. This also applies if the pharmacist was on vacation and severe weather leads to the closing of airports that will simply impede or delay his or her return to work.

Additionally, the death of a family member, personal illness, accidents and other unforeseen events can lead to emergency situations that can force a pharmacy to shut down. This not only results in lost business, but can cause severe stress and frustration to loyal customers and patients who rely on the pharmacy being open for their medications and health needs. This can be even more critical in rural communities and small towns where sometimes only one pharmacy is open and operates. With no pharmacists to rely on for “back-up”, emergencies from not having a registered pharmacist available can quickly turn into an escalating crisis for an entire community.

Why Use a Pharmacy Staffing Agency?

In the past it was often the case that a pharmacist’s co-workers would simply fill in when needed to. To cover for an illness, vacations and situations like a death in the family, all of the other pharmacists simply worked overtime or called their friends to fill in. Yet for several reasons this has shifted to the utilization of pharmacy staffing agencies and staffing firms over the past decade.

The first reason is that several recent studies have linked long shifts and hours worked by pharmacists to severe increases in medication errors. In one study published by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Advisers (NAPRA) it was noted that “pharmacists who are overburdened and understaffed present a very real threat of harm to the patients who depend on them”. Another study performed at the Houston Methodist Hospital documented that an exponential relationship can be seen between a pharmacist’s workload and working long shifts to an alarming increase in medication dispensing errors. Some states are even considering legislation over the past several years regarding setting limits on how many hours per shift and hours a week that a pharmacist should be allowed to work.

The second reason cited for the shift to using pharmacy staffing agencies is that overworked pharmacists have been shown to “burn out” and to quickly develop a negative attitude toward their profession. A great article in Pharmacy Times noted that excessive overtime, long shifts and being on-call constantly, all contribute to the extremely high rate of “burn out” seen in the pharmacy profession. The result is that more and more pharmacists are choosing not to work part time jobs or do relief work any longer.

Lastly is the expense and cost. By using a pharmacy staffing agency for relief pharmacists, the pharmacy can save on all of the following:
– Hiring expenses and the time required
– HR expenses such as criminal background checks, license verification, drug screening and paperwork
– Payroll taxes
– Accounting expenses
– Insurance
– Overtime pay
Some accounting experts estimate that all of the above expenses can add up to an increase of over 60% per hour when compared to hiring a pharmacist on staff paid by the hour.

Choosing an Emergency Pharmacy Staffing Agency

As with all other vendors, choosing the right pharmacy staffing agency is critical. You want one that is not too small as to be geographically constrained and that has a limited number of viable pharmacists that meet your specific needs. You also want one that is not too large and therefor is not service oriented when dealing with a “smaller” clients immediate needs.

The perfect choice if you’re pharmacy is located in the Southeast is HealthCare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing. Our emergency pharmacist staffing service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. HCC maintains one of the largest active pools of emergency pharmacists in the nation, thus allowing us to quickly locate available, qualified and reliable pharmacists in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Our proprietary online system allows us to match your needs with the most qualified candidate to work relief during your emergency. HCC also ensures that all of our emergency pharmacists comply with all HIPAA requirements and maintain professional liability insurance. As always, with HealthCare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing, your satisfaction is guaranteed!

Please also note that HCC can fill all of your emergency relief staffing needs regarding pharmacy technicians (in Florida only). HCC has been the leading provider of qualified, registered, licensed and professional pharmacy technicians (CPhTs) in Florida since 1989. As with emergency pharmacists, satisfaction with our emergency pharmacy technician staffing is guaranteed!

We strongly urge you to be proactive regarding establishing a relation with us now (this way all required paperwork is completed before an emergency situation actually occurs). Then, when you require an emergency relief pharmacist, HCC will be ready to meet your needs so that you can relax and rest easy. Call us now at (800) 642-1652 or take a moment and Contact Us Online and an HCC in-house staffing consultant will contact you as soon as possible to discuss all of your emergency and staffing needs.


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