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What You Need to Know to be a Successful Locum Pharmacist
- Remember that when you have made a booking to do a locum, either verbally or in writing, you and the owner or manager have a binding contract. If you find you are unavailable, such as a result of illness or bereavement, contact the proprietor immediately. Of course, this also applies to owners who want to change arrangements.
- Always double check dates and times you have agreed to work, including any “after hours” duties, such as deliveries, and also what the arrangements are in relation to lunch breaks.
- Ensure that you have the full name and address of the pharmacy and a telephone number for both the pharmacy and, if possible, an emergency number for the owner or manager.
- Always contact the owner or manager beforehand, because he or she may want to give you additional information, which may not have been provided at the initial booking.
- Note that every Pharmacist (locum or permanent) must carry Professional Indemnity Insurance.
- Find out in advance which computer system the pharmacy uses and how many of the staff are familiar with it.
- Find out how many support staff there are, their hours of work and what their level of experience, training and responsibilities are.
- Find out if the pharmacy serves any registered drug addicts and, if so, how many.
- Find out if the pharmacy services any homes and, if so, how many and on which days of the week and what your role is likely to be (eg, deliveries, review of medication, etc).
- Find out who holds the keys to the pharmacy and what is expected of you in relation to locking up and setting the burglar alarm.
- Get an idea of what the rush hour traffic is like and where the car parking facilities are or where the nearest train station or bus stop is, so you can allow plenty of time for arriving at the pharmacy promptly.
- Remember that reliability is the hallmark of a good locum.