Industry Voice: Asking For What You Want: It Works

Pharmacy CareersPharmacy Careers Fall 2015

Ask for what you want. Seems simple, right?

Ask for what you want. Seems simple, right? It is, and it can produce big results. By applying this to your pharmacy career, it can become one of the most valuable tools you use to expand your practice, increase career opportunities, and impact pharmacy practice as a whole.

Below are 2 pharmacists’ experiences in applying this simple concept and finding out where it would take them.

, PharmD, BCACP, Albertsons Companies:

“I started my pharmacist career as a Safeway pharmacy manager straight out of school. I was happy running a clean, efficient community pharmacy, but after a few years, I realized I wanted to do more. I reached out to the patient care services manager on how I could help advance our patient care services. As a result, I received many opportunities from that simple request.

To start, I was given goals to expand comprehensive, year-round immunization services in my pharmacy and neighboring locations. This engaged me in medication therapy management MTM services, leading our pharmacy to receive a regional award for MTM delivery. I became an MTM champion, promoting practical implementation of MTM service delivery within our pharmacies across 5 states. This spurred our pharmacy to embark on a new patient diabetes care service, and I became a faculty member for a diabetes care certificate training program and taught our pharmacy teams about patient-centered care. I also train our pharmacists on ventrogluteal drug administration, which allows us to care for patients on certain specialty medications.

Due to my dedication and efforts in expanding patient care services, I was appointed as residency program director when Safeway and Regis University Rueckert-Hartman School of Pharmacy partnered to establish a postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) community pharmacy residency program. In this role, I also help train and implement our national smoking-cessation service and biometric screening program, and I have expanded our travel health services.

New opportunities are on the horizon at the Albertsons Companies because I continue to ask. Try it, and see just how much you receive!”

, PharmD, BCACP, Albertsons Companies:

“Early in my role managing patient care services, I became involved with the Colorado Adult Immunization Coalition, which focuses on increasing immunization rates. By asking for opportunities through this coalition, much has developed, including establishing one of the first groups to deliver the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in our communities, partnering with our Department of Health to provide various routine vaccines to underserved communities, and working with local public health to provide post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies.

When I became involved with our travel health coalition, I asked to present how community pharmacy can help fill needs, such as medication counseling and selection. Based on our educational efforts and partnership with rabies vaccinations, this led to providing care for travel health patients when a county health department discontinued their service.

In launching and expanding our MTM services, I established Safeway preceptors’ inclusion in MTM certificate training. We also expanded and focused our MTM service delivery through a patient care center focused on MTM service delivery, as well as an MTM advanced practice pharmacy experience rotation in partnership with the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy.

In looking to the future of community pharmacy practice, I asked our Safeway pharmacy leadership to allow expansion of our established PGY1 residency program to the Denver, Colorado, area. Through the relationships I established with Regis University, I received their commitment to a partnership, which establishes a PGY1 community pharmacy residency program and changes the perception of community pharmacy, as well as attracts and develops the most talented pharmacists.

Don’t be afraid to ask outside of your group of pharmacy practice. You might be surprised how many opportunities there are to fill the gaps in our communities.”

The above examples clearly illustrate the amount of growth that can arise from simply establishing a habit of “asking.”

This is important to remember, not only as a new pharmacy team member wanting to expand current patient services, but as a veteran who is looking for new career development. Using this tool can enable individuals at all levels of pharmacy the opportunities to expand their pharmacy care services and personal career. It’s really that simple.

Debbie Eaton is the director of pharmacy talent acquisition at Albertsons Companies. Contact Eaton and her team with pharmacy-related questions at

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