Working Together in Retail Pharmacy

MAY 09, 2018
In landing a retail pharmacist job, candidates strive to appeal to district/regional management, but what qualities do your pharmacist colleagues feel are most important to succeed as a new pharmacist? This is just as important, in my opinion.

In many chains, the PIC will conduct your performance review. Getting hired is just the beginning. You have to get along with the colleagues in your store on a daily basis, so let’s review what your colleagues want in a pharmacist. Once you ace your interview, use the tips below to become a valuable part of your new pharmacy team.

I polled pharmacists on social media, about what they look for in a fellow pharmacist. Some had hilarious answers such as Savannah—“Being able to get cursed at, yelled at, and understaffed, and not complain because nobody cares. Limitless blood sugar stores, and bladder space a must. Growing 16 arms to handle the workload. Answering the phone on the third ring, despite being on the other line and by yourself. Did you get 92 flu shots today?” and Matt, who suggested “a pulse and a license.” In all seriousness, though, these are the top qualities we all agreed on:
  • Keep the workspace clean—the worst feeling in the morning is to start your shift walking into a mess all over the counter, clean up after yourself!
  • Follow up on problems, do not let problems sit on your shift and wait for the next person—be proactive
  • Teamwork attitude—pitch in and help the techs when you can. Do not just stand in one place and verify. Grab the phone if everyone is busy, type a prescription if the data entry tech is talking to an insurance company, etc
  • Always be friendly to all colleagues and customers—no one wants to deal with/has time for complaints
  • Stay calm under pressure – do not let customers get to you
  • Personality came up again, and again in many variations—do they 'play well in the sandbox,' smile, go above and beyond, is this someone you can work with side by side every day
Keep these qualities in mind so you can start off on the right foot, and continue to be a valuable member of your new pharmacy team.

Karen Berger, PharmD
Karen Berger, PharmD
Karen Berger, PharmD, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2001. She has worked in community pharmacies for over 16 years as a Pharmacist in Charge, staff, and floater pharmacist for a large chain. Currently, she is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Northern NJ. She can be reached at karenmichelleberger@gmail.com
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