In the world of pharmacy it used to be if a coworker was sick, took a leave of absence, or scheduled a vacation, other coworkers would work overtime to fill in. With no time, or limited time off, this leads to overworked pharmacists who quickly developed a negative attitude toward the profession.
Today, the trend has “shifted” (no pun intended) to using relief pharmacists or pharmacy technicians which are driving the growth of relief pharmacy and pharmacy technician jobs. These shifts allow a pharmacy to operate with a full staff when regular employees take time off or have an unexpected emergency. In theory, they represent a pool of qualified pharmacist or pharmacy technicians who are ready and available when needed. Therefore allowing permanent staff to take some time off and the pharmacy still operates at full capacity.
One advantage of using relief personnel is knowing you can keep your doors open even if there is a last minute emergency. You also have the opportunity to know the pharmacists in your area on a more personal basis. And knowing the ones who like to work relief shifts allows you the flexibility to have them “on call” in a moment’s notice. It also allows you to “try before you buy” so to speak. If you are in need of additional permanent staff you can try several relief pharmacists or pharmacy technicians before you hire them permanently.
Many pharmacy owners use a pharmacy staffing agency to help find qualified relief pharmacists to fill-in when needed. Many agencies will already have a qualified pool of pharmacists in their area or when called upon, can go and recruit relief pharmacists in their area. This takes all the burden off the pharmacy. Most agencies will perform license verifications, reference verifications, and criminal background checks for you to assure that you feel comfortable in your decision. This will save the pharmacy time and money in the long run since their time will be spent serving their customers rather than interviewing potential candidates.
Many times, pharmacies believe that an agency relief pharmacist is “just too expensive.” However, a closer examination reveals that the costs for an agency can be less expensive than an internal relief worker in many situations.
Here are some things that pharmacies should consider when comparing costs of using staff pharmacists and technicians versus using relief pharmacists and technicians.