Choosing to pursue a career as a locum pharmacist with an agency such as Pharma Seekers is just the beginning of an exciting and potentially life-long journey. You’ll get to work in a wide variety of different clinical settings, from massive hospitals to tiny community pharmacies in rural villages. As a result of how varied your career can be, it’s difficult to know what to expect – that’s why we decided to give it a closer look, so you can know what to look forward to.
Provide people with medical advice
One of your main duties as a locum pharmacist will be to provide people with general medical advice. You will likely be asked a whole host of questions on subjects such as what sprays might be best for sore throats, what pain medication to take for headaches, and how to settle a sore stomach. While you may have to send some people to get a secondary medical opinion, you will often act as a first point of contact for people with minor medical issues.
Handing out prescriptions
Another of your main duties will be to dispense prescriptions. After people have gone to see a specialist or a GP, they will be given their slip of paper and told to come to a pharmacy to get their medicine.
You’ll have to interpret the prescription, find the medication, and get it all ready in the right doses, checking that everything is safe. You will then likely need to explain to the patient why they’re taking the medication, and other details such as whether they should be taking it with food or what to do if they experience side effects.
Work in clinical trials
Some locum pharmacists might also end up spending time working in clinical trials. In this capacity, you might be responsible for doing research into how the individuals being monitored are responding to new medications, or potentially in a laboratory doing slightly purer research-orientated work. This kind of work is less commonly something that a locum pharmacist would find themselves doing, as they would normally be in a more patient-facing role.
Some pharmacists will generally be responsible for deciding which medication a pharmacy or hospital should be stocking at any given time, and then ensuring that there are appropriate supplies on hand at all times. In this capacity, you’ll be responsible for buying and storing medications, checking when anything in storage might have gone out of date, and then disposing of it as necessary.
Pharmacists can obviously be faced with a broad variety of different responsibilities in the workplace. As a locum pharmacist, you’ll have a lot more of a say in what it is that you end up doing. It’s partly this high degree of variety and control that attracts so many people to locum work. Not only will you get to experience a wide range of different workplaces, but you’ll also have lots of time left over to spend time on the things that matter to you.