Every pharmacy is required to have a pharmacist on duty to open their doors. And some small town pharmacies have no backup so relief pharmacists are necessary to fill in.
In our fast paced world today, relief pharmacists
are becoming in high demand. And some pharmacies have very little lead time when a relief pharmacist is needed.
That is why it is always good to have an ongoing relationship with a pharmacy staffing agency. You may not always need them, but when you do, it's good to be proactive and have all the necessary paperwork and details complete before that time comes.
"Some of our employees prefer to work relief shifts, said Derrik West," Pharmacy Recruiter at AHS PharmStat. Some enjoy the change of scenery, but most say they enjoy the extra income on their days off work.
"We have a pool of relief pharmacists
and technicians that we can call on a moments notice and they are ready and willing to fill in where needed," said West. And as a pharmacy owner, that is great news. Some pharmacies call and request a particular pharmacist or pharmacy technician. They have worked relief at their pharmacy
in the past so they are familiar with their computer system and employees which helps when walking in the door.
A relief pharmacist should spend the first 10 minutes with an internal checklist. Its items may be small in themselves, but overlooked, they will make the day considerably harder.
Checklist: Drug arrangement
- Are generics indicated by brand or alphabetically?
- Are "fast movers" separate?
- Are topicals, eye/ear, liquids separate or mixed?
- Location of Schedule II (CII) cabinet
- Location of water and any supplies used for compounding
- Rx filing system (CIIs, CIII-Vs, Legend)
- Location of filing boxes
- Location of computer terminals
- Location of printers
- Location of box noting "Doctors called for additional refill request"
- Direction of flow
- Basket system or self-bag?
- NDC scanners
- Vials and bottles
- Are hard copies scanned in or sent to you?
While not exhaustive, this list will help orient the relief pharmacist and reduce the need to keep asking questions. It should take about 5 minutes to go through.
Next, the relief pharmacist should grab a label printout, making a copy if necessary, and highlight the following:
Within the first 30 minutes, it is most important to be able to perform the following:
- Where is "new prescription" or "refill" indicated?
- Doctor information
- Patient date of birth
- Easy-caps or not?
- Check filed prescriptions: Which part of label attaches to hard copy?
- In bagging area: How is label folded and attached to bag? (Consistency will help to prevent bagging errors.)
Many of the items discussed here pertain to retail pharmacy. Agency pharmacists working in hospitals have similar challenges, but usually these assignments are longer in duration and almost always involve more orientation.
- Make a final verification check
- Access a patient profile
- Perform a transfer out
- Check the queues
If you are interested in joining our Relief Shift Call Team, go to our website: www.ahspharmstat.com and complete a Quick Apply
. Once in our system, you will be one of the first notifed of jobs in your area. At AHS PharmStat, our team is on-call 24-7 to take care of your staffing needs.
Darius Randeria, RPh, BPharm, MRPS
VP Staffing AHS PharmStat