Is there a crisis in community pharmacy staff recruitment and retention? What do you think?
In a column, recently featured in AJP, leading recruitment specialist Sue Muller declared there was a crisis in attracting staff to community pharmacy, even for locum work.
It is increasingly difficult to find pharmacists to fill locum placements, Ms Muller says, declaring the situation “the worst it has ever been”.
“Community Pharmacy is certainly not the flavour of the month as far as graduates are concerned,” Ms Muller said, offering two major explanations:
- Graduate pharmacists’ first choice will mostly be hospital pharmacy followed closely by industry roles. “What is the attraction? Money?,” she said.
- Pharmacy is commonly used as an undergraduate degree in order to study medicine, dentistry or anything that pays more than pharmacy.
Readers have agreed with Sue in comments on her column.
“Pharmacist locum rates are so low as to be insulting – effectively permanent rates. There are plenty of unskilled roles that pay the same or more without responsibility and without travelling all over the place,” commented reader Michael Post.
“Hospital and Industry bosses don’t expect you to work while sick and other degrees and even trades offer much more career progression and income. I love my job but I’d seriously reconsider if was starting all over again,” said Shannon Mullen.
“Who wants to work somewhere that you can’t get a locum to have a holiday or an unplanned sick day?, said Philip Smith. “Outside of poor wages is poor work life balance in rural communities working 6 days a week. Plenty of health jobs pharmacist can apply for with better pay, work life balance and career progression”.
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