Pharmacists are increasingly switching from retail to hospital pharmacy settings over the past five to ten years according to both the US Department of Labor statistics and numerous industry experts. With the COVID-19 pandemic still currently raging out of control in the United States, a the forecast of “doom and gloom” that’s projecting a very scary winter season this year for the pandemic, many healthcare professionals are “calling it quits” or switching to less stressful jobs according to a new article released by the New York Times yesterday.
How are US Healthcare Workers Responding to the COVID Pandemic?
Many healthcare workers are simply calling it quits. As an example, thousands of medical offices and practices have closed during the pandemic, according to a survey released by the non-profit group known as the Physicians Foundation. In a July survey of approximately thirty-five hundred US physicians, eight percent of the doctors reported closing their offices already. An additional four percent responded to the survey saying that they planned to shut their practices down within the next six to twelve months.
The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic On Healthcare Professionals
Many healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses are retiring early, taking leaves of absence, or simply quitting their jobs. A majority of them worry about their own health because of their age or a medical condition that puts them at high risk, but many are afraid of contracting the virus at work and then spreading it to their family, loved ones and neighbors. Some practitioners stopped practicing during the worst of the outbreaks and now state that they simply don’t have the energy required to start practicing again. Many just needed a break from the stress and death toll that the pandemic has taken among their ranks and their patients.
Another revealing study just released by the non-profit group Primary Care Collaborative (at the Larry A, Green Center), reported similar results and patterns. Nearly twenty percent of US primary care clinicians surveyed in September
reported that someone in their practice plans to retire early or has already retired because of Covid-19, and fifteen percent said that someone has left or has plans to leave the practice.
Pharmacists also painted a grim picture of their lives, as the pandemic entered into a new and robust period resulting in record cases in the United States on a daily basis. Already mentally exhausted, many pharmacists are worried that retail settings may not offer the best solution to their current and/or future job needs.
Switching From Retail to Hospital Pharmacy
Many retail pharmacists have already switched to hospital pharmacy jobs recently. Hospital pharmacists decades ago were paid salaries that were lower compared to salaries for retail, community , independent and chain store pharmacists. Now studies show that the reverse of this is true. Taking into consideration longevity of being in a position, geographical considerations and the nature of the pharmacy position and duties being performed by the pharmacist on staff, hospital pharmacy salaries now surpass those of most retail positions. Additionally, hospital pharmacies offer a wide range of possibilities for advancement that cannot be found in most community retail pharmacy environments.
Are you a retail or community pharmacist thinking about switching to a hospital pharmacy position? Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can help you! Hospital pharmacy positions comprise between 15 -20% of all available practicing pharmacy jobs these days, but making the switch can be challenging. Transferring from being a retail or community druggist to a position in a hospital setting can be a major challenge even for well qualified pharmacists. Hospital pharmacy has become a very competitive portion of pharmacy staffing positions and transferring from the retail community pharmacy environment to the hospital sector can therefore present numerous challenges for pharmacists. Mary Evans, Chief Pharmacist at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, is involved in the recruitment of senior hospital Pharmacy staff, and has seen the process change over the years. “If you go back ten years or so, most hospitals had some pharmacists in dispensing roles, so community pharmacists could move more easily into a dispensary pharmacist or dispensary manager role,” she says, “but now that route no longer exists because dispensing has become more technician-led.” Keep in mind that as a community pharmacist you do possess skills that many hospital pharmacists lack. These are basically patient centered consultation and customer oriented experience that many hospital pharmacists do not have. Customer service skills and consulting with patients regarding their medications and needs are being valued as important skills in a hospital pharmacy role and most community pharmacists have the experience and skill set required. As noted in The Pharmaceutical Journal, “Hospital pharmacists tend not to be as good at those skills, especially those in junior roles. Hospital pharmacists can get distracted by drug charts, patient notes and so on, and can avoid talking to patients if they are nervous of it, so can lack patient-facing experience, which community pharmacists do have. Confidence is the thing”.
Tips for Transitioning to Hospital Pharmacy From Retail
A “quick” list of some tips and things that a pharmacist should consider before making the Retail to Hospital Pharmacist transition include:
- Hospital Pharmacy is a “fast paced environment”. It may not be the slow paced environment that many of us remember from the “old days”.
- Although you may not have to deal with “difficult” customers, keep in mind that doctors and nurses can also sometimes be difficult to deal with.
- Compounding medications is a skill that is taxing on an individual. Many pharmacists do not realize the physical nature of mixing injectables in a Laminar Flow Hood. Pharmacists with back problems may find this a major negative.
- The hours can be a negative (especially if you are the “newbie” and hired for the infamous “graveyard shift”). Hospitals never close, even on holidays. That means 24/7/365!
- Keeping up on your clinical knowledge is a must! Changes in hospital pharmacy occur more quickly than elsewhere. It is essential that the hospital pharmacist continuously read clinical journals and articles on a regular basis.
Who Can Help You Switch From Retail to Hospital Pharmacy?
If you are seriously considering making the change from retail or community pharmacy to hospital Pharmacy, HCC can help you to “boost” your chances for success. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing has been known as a full service Pharmacy staffing company since 1989. With all the services that we provide to both pharmacies and pharmacists, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact the we are one of the nation’s most successful and respected Pharmacy staffing and placement firms in the pharmacy employment area. Pharmacy staffing and job placement are our primary business now for over 31+ years now. If you are a pharmacist looking for a new position, we urge you to talk with us. With placement positions immediately available, contact us today online or call us at 800-642-1652 to get started.
The real possibility of a shortage of pharmacists nationally, fueled by the increased demand for pharmacists due to the COVID-19 pandemic was a topic that we discussed on our blog posts all the way back in March of 2020 and then again in early April. Now with the publicly accepted recognition that the pharmacy profession received nationally as “frontline essential workers” during the current COVID pandemic, plus newly proposed expansions of a pharmacist’s responsibilities and job duties, the current demand for pharmacists is almost staggering.
Why is there an Increased Demand for Pharmacists?
- The role of the pharmacist as an integral member of our national “Healthcare Team” has been expanding rapidly fo some time now. As an example is the expanded role of the pharmacist that was demonstrated yesterday in the State of California. Pharmacists in the State of California now have the legal authority to order and administer COVID-19 tests throughout California in an attempt to meet Governor Newsome’s objective of testing at least sixty-thousand residents of the populous state daily. Known for easily being the most accessible healthcare providers in California, the state’s 48,000 practicing pharmacists (who in California must possess a Doctor of Pharmacy or PharmD degree) are in a unique position to reach thousands of Californians who are just “emerging” after having been sheltering in place for weeks. Going to the local community retail pharmacy for a coronavirus test administered by a highly trained health professional such as a Doctor of Pharmacy is by far the easiest and safest solution available for Governor Newsome to meet the 60,000 residents tested daily goal that he has set in his populous state.
- There is a tremendous increase in the number of potential “telehealth” jobs and online positions that will require a Registered Pharmacist to operate or function properly and legally. Looking at the massive transition that’s currently taking place in the US regarding online education and distance learning as an example, and one can easily see the same opportunities of increased safety and reduced economics applying to many areas in the practice of pharmacy. Some examples that quickly come to mind are in practice areas such as patient counseling, continuing education and staff training.
- The long awaited entrance of Amazon into selling prescriptions and other pharmaceuticals online is expected to finally take place this year. Many pharmacists will be recruited by Amazon as a part of their anticipated national hiring spree that’s projected to require as many as one-hundred thousand pharmacy workers and employees for the new pharmacy division’s operation at the online retail giant.
- Additionally, according to Cole Market Research, the demand for online shopping by consumers has increased exponentially since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Consumers are now viewing the use of major online retailers as the preferred method of shopping and believe that purchasing prescriptions online to be both secure and reliable since the onset of sheltering from the coronavirus pandemic started.
These are just several of many reasons that this increasing demand for pharmacists is taking place throughout the nation. All have contributed to the increased demand, especially for retail pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Here are a couple of key facts to support the actual presence of the increased demand, regardless of the causes:
– Back in the middle of March this year, CVS stated that it would immediately fill over fifty-thousand full and part-time positions in its stores nationwide.
– Walgreens also released publicly that they would fill almost ten-thousand existing full-time, part-time, and temporary positions in their stores throughout USA. They even began by offering a signup bonus of $300 for all new full-time workers and $150 for new part-time workers at the end of April.
These “hiring sprees” are a reversal of the trend seen over this past year in retail pharmacy. That trend was for many of the major drugstore chains closing stores and cutting back on their pharmacy staff.
About Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing
If you are a pharmacy requiring temporary or permanent staffing help, HCC Pharmacy Staffing can help you! We have a professional staff who can find you the right pharmacist or technician* to match your needs, whether it be in a retail, hospital or a specialty pharmacy setting (*Technician staffing limited to Florida only). We work with businesses of every size – from the corner drug store to national corporations and organizations – with only one goal in mind: to improve your pharmacy’s business operations. We can assist with expert advice in any area of your pharmacy business or practice.
Also keep in mind that, while specializing in pharmacy jobs, staffing and placement services for over 31+ years now, HCC can help you with all of your pharmacy needs. HCC is recognized as a nationally leading Pharmacy Consulting Firm and a sample of some of our additional services include:
– Equipment needs assessment
– Policy & Procedure Manual review, recommendations and customization
– Medicaid/3rd party review
– Moving a pharmacy to a new location
– Out of state licensing
– Exit strategies
– Audit, surveys & mock inspections
– Expanding, redesigning and overhauling your pharmacy
– Compliance review for compounding pharmacies (USP 795 & 797)
We urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Staffing services and Pharmacy Consulting services can help you improve your business now, plus be ready for the future. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all pharmacy settings. Contact us online now or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.