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MAY 22/2013

Why work as a locum pharmacist?

So, you spent an average of five years training to become a pharmacist but perhaps you have now taken a step back to examine your career path. Even though you are working in your ideal industry, you might be wondering what options you have for the future - how can you make the role more dynamic? Would you like to specialise? Is there a way to sample a variety of options before taking the next step in your career?

Working as a locum pharmacist gives you the chance to explore your horizons. Your day-to-day role may not provide much scope for development so incorporating an additional shift into your regular schedule can help with exploring your options. Working as a locum, via an NHS-approved recruitment agency, you will have the chance to work in a variety of settings and with a broad range of patients to help determine where you would like to be working in a few years' time. 

What are you doing now?

Having trained as a pharmacist, you might have opted to follow 70 per cent of your colleagues into community practice - that is, working in high street pharmacies delivering your expertise to walk-in clients. On the other hand, you may make-up around 20 per cent of pharmacists who opted to work in a hospital setting instead. Here, you have had the chance to get involved in case loads, working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide treatment programmes for hospital patients.

A handful of pharmacists decide to work in research, developing new therapies that often end up becoming future medications. Some trained pharmacists prefer to combine research with teaching, working in academic settings to help train up the next round of graduates to enter the field. Whatever you are doing now, there remains the chance to specialise in a specific area or take the plunge and delve into an aspect of pharmacy you have always wondered about.

How working as a locum can help

As a locum, you can choose to work in another area of the profession. Have you always wanted to carry out your role on a hospital ward? Now is the time to examine this aspect of pharmaceutical jobs. You might really enjoy this type of setting and find it offers your more satisfaction than a community-based role. Or, it might help you confirm your preference for high street pharmacies. Sometimes the best way to discover your true passion is with hands-on experience. At the very least, you will have the chance to work in a new setting. At the very best, you will come across the most exciting aspect of pharmacy you could have imagined.

It is not just working in a different environment that will inform your decision of where to take your career next. Often, a fresh perspective on things helps with making the best decision for your future. Working somewhere different puts you in contact with new people who can offer their advice and insight too. This personal touch is not often easy to come across, but as a locum pharmacist, you will meet a whole host of professionals that will be able to give you a good overview of what to expect if you commit to this new path. Once you have examined all your options, all that is left to do is draw on the power of experience to make a positive decision for your future.

Find out more about our current locum pharmacist opportunities.

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