A day in the life of a relief pharmacist looks different from that of a typical pharmacist. Each shift can bring new challenges and learning opportunities. Working relief shifts is a great way to grow your pharmacy career as you are placed in new settings with different responsibilities. This helps you gain valuable information and skills you can take with you throughout your career.
Whether you’re a pharmacist looking to re-energize your career or a relief pharmacist looking for ways to enhance your opportunities, we can help. We’ve created a guide to help you get the most out of relief shifts to grow in your career.
PharmAchieve — Quick Refreshers for Critical Systems
One of the best ways to enhance pharmacy opportunities is with PharmAchieve. PharmAchieve is a government-certified institution that offers PEBC® prep courses and accredited continuing education courses. Their continuing education courses are beneficial for advancing knowledge of critical systems.
Different Dispensing Systems
To increase your likelihood of being hired for relief shifts, consider becoming familiar with the major dispensing systems used by pharmacies today. There are four major dispensing systems to consider to give you the best chance of competing in the market.
The most common pharmacy system is Kroll. It’s used by many large pharmacy chains and a significant percentage of independent pharmacies as well. Because Kroll is the leader in the industry, a relief pharmacist needs proficient knowledge of this system to be sought after. We also recommend looking into Kroll Paperless, as many pharmacies are transitioning to this system.
The second leading system in the industry is Healthwatch, which is used by Shoppers Drug Market. As there are multiple locations across the country, learning their computer system will give you more flexibility and control over the relief opportunities you can take on.
Nexxsys and PharmaClic RX
Nexxsys and PharmaClic RX systems are also valuable to know. The Rexall chain of pharmacies uses Nexxsys, and many pharmacy chains like The Medicine Shoppe and certain McKesson locations use PharmaClic Rx. These systems aren’t common among small family-owned pharmacies, but learning them and being independently proficient increases your ability to find great relief shifts across the country.
Know When to Start Planning
Knowing when to start planning is crucial to enhance your relief pharmacy opportunities. Depending on the position, you may be required to have certain licenses or other qualifications. Some of these requirements can only be obtained at certain times. Research your state’s requirements to determine what licensing you need and when and how you can obtain it.
"Knowing when to start planning is crucial to enhance your relief pharmacy opportunities."
Increase Your Certifications to Make Yourself More Versatile as a Relief Pharmacist
You may have the right qualifications to enter the pharmacy field. Still, continuing education is critical to stay on top of current pharmacy needs and trends. Identify which courses can help you excel in relief positions and find a classroom or online setting to complete them. As mentioned above, PharmAchieve is a great online source for completing certifications and taking relevant continuing education courses.
Even if you don’t want to take pharmacy-specific courses, you can consider business classes to understand pharmacy profitably or classes for improving people skills. The more certifications you have and the more multi-talented you are, the more likely you are to enhance pharmacy relief opportunities.
Pharmacist Advancement Opportunities
Consider pharmacist advancement opportunities such as executive positions, hospital management, medical specialties, or research programs. Some of these positions require more schooling, but allow you to learn additional skills that can be beneficial for relief shifts.
Pharmacy Career Goals
Consider your pharmacy career goals. Why do you want to advance your pharmacy career? Are you looking to make some extra money or change up your routine? When you determine your pharmacy career goals, you can consider your options. Working different kinds of relief shifts can help you better achieve these goals as you gain experience in various settings.
Pharmacist Career Path
Determine your career path. Are you looking to be a pharmacy consultant or pharmacologist? Or are you looking to end up in drug manufacturing or pharmacy law? Whatever path you choose, relief shifts can help you learn valuable information you can use to excel in your career.
A Valuable Network
One of the best ways to enhance your relief shifts and advance your career is to network with local pharmacists. Find other pharmacists in your area and get to know them. Take time to talk with them about your own experiences and see what you can learn from them. Talking with other like-minded pharmacy professionals can help you gain new insights into the industry.
Another great way to network is to get to know the people you work with during relief shifts. This can include any other pharmacists on duty or even pharmacy technicians. If you have downtime during your shift, use that opportunity to learn from them and listen to their experience. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn by getting to know other pharmacy professionals.
Networking not only helps you gain more knowledge of the industry but also opens new relief shift opportunities. Other professionals may know of open shifts or be more inclined to recommend you for shifts in the future.
"Networking not only helps you gain more knowledge of the industry but also opens new relief shift opportunities."
How to Grow Your Career and Get More Shifts
Once you’ve determined your career goals and received the necessary training and certifications, it’s time to look for relief shifts. Here’s how to get more shifts to help you gain experience and skills for your career.
Be Willing to Travel
The most common pharmacy system is Kroll. It’s used by many large have to travel too far but make sure you’re willing to travel to nearby cities to find even more shifts. Finding shifts outside your area provides excellent networking opportunities, allowing you to meet new people who can help grow your career.
Stay Active in the App
The best way to get more shifts is to stay active in the ShiftPosts app. Create your profile and set your relief shift preferences. Once this is complete, we’ll match you with shifts that fit your criteria. After completing your shifts, continue to check the app to find even more relief shifts that meet your needs.
Find Shifts You Actually Want to Work
By working relief shifts, you gain valuable information that you can use for the rest of your pharmacy career. However, finding the shifts you actually want to work often involves putting in the extra effort. Learning new systems, expanding your knowledge, and increasing your certifications are excellent ways to prepare yourself for every kind of shift. You should also set goals for the career opportunities you’re looking for and build a network of professionals willing to help you achieve those goals.
If you’re ready to start working more relief shifts, be sure to check out the ShiftPosts app. ShiftPosts is a free and easy-to-use app to find nearby pharmacies with open shifts. Browse shifts, read employer reviews, and receive payment for your work. Set preferences and only fill shifts that work for you. Discover how ShiftPosts can help you advance your pharmacy career!
Pharmacy networking is the process of building meaningful connections with professionals. It is used for career growth opportunities but isn’t exclusive to job candidates or job positions — it is something that should be continuously practiced throughout a person’s career.
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