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Locum Pharmacy Part 1 - Why Chose Locum Pharmacy As Your Career?

July 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 200

This article series assumes a number of things. It assumes that you are already - or are about to become - a qualified pharmacist in the UK. It also assumes that you have little or no experience of being a locum pharmacist.

A locum pharmacist is a pharmacist that works for themselves. They are not affiliated to any one group or chain of community pharmacies and tend to operate from their own limited companies or as a sole trader.

Locum pharmacists act as a vital resource to support community pharmacies when the regular pharmacist is unavailable. This could be to cover holidays, days off or between periods of time when a regular pharmacist is being sought due to a vacancy. More recently, pharmacists are being used in another capacity by supporting local doctors to manage their drug budgets. The traditional role of the pharmacist is changing rapidly.

This article is the first in a series that explores the world of locum pharmacy. It also provides you with advice and tips in general when starting off as a locum pharmacist for the first time.

So why would you want to become a locum pharmacist? The general answer is simple - to become independent and provide an element of freedom for your life.

The Advantages of Being a Locum Pharmacist

Most pharmacists will mention that they enjoy working for themselves because it enables them to provide the service that they have been trained to perform but without the everyday hassles of managing a very busy pharmacy. It allows them to take time off when it suits them and provides a wider experience than simply working in one pharmacy full-time. It also pays more than the equivalent employed pharmacist position.

The Disadvantages of Being a Locum Pharmacist

Locum pharmacy does come with drawbacks. The recent changes in the dynamics of community pharmacy coupled with the current economic climate have made it more difficult for pharmacists to find regular placements. This has meant that locum pharmacists have faced increased competition from other pharmacists in both the locum and the employed sectors. Ultimately locum pharmacists have no guarantee of work or a steady pay cheque in an increasingly aggressive economic environment.

Ultimately, the decision to 'go it alone' is not something that everybody will be comfortable with. Being a locum also means that you will need to develop and market yourself as a brand while ensuring that you are up to date with current clinical developments. You do not have the backing of a large employer organisation to help you with your training. It is therefore not as easy as many think it to be.

In conclusion, the advice is simple. If you prefer security over flexibility and greater financial reward then being a locum is not for you. However, if the opposite appeals to you then locum pharmacy may be an option for you to consider.

In further articles in the series, we will explore locum pharmacy in more depth and discuss what the future of the locum pharmacist will ultimately be.

Dipen is both a community pharmacist and Managing Director of True Aspiration Ltd - an organisation dedicated to supporting the health industry in Medicines Management. He has considerable experience in both the commissioning and procurement of pharmacy related services, health needs assessments, health service development and pharmacy related legislation.

In his spare time, he provides locum pharmacist services to a variety of different organisations including high street chemists. Further information can be found at

Source: EzineArticles
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