If you’re a pharmacist or pharmacy tech and have been thinking of looking into work as a healthcare traveler, you may be wondering if it’s a good step in your pharmacy career.
Read below for the pros and cons of working as a pharmacy traveler.
- Traveling is not easy. It can be exciting. It can be fun. It can be a great way to meet new people and visit great places, but it’s not easy. You’re moving every three months or so. You can get mighty lonely. It can be hard to make real friends while on assignment. Traveling truly is not for everyone.
- You may not be able to get an assignment right after your current one ends; you may experience a gap in working and that means a gap in income. If you absolutely must earn a full-time living, understand that you could see a gap of a few days or a few weeks between assignments. (The higher pay and tax breaks you receive as a traveler can offset the “spotty” income, but you need to be aware that there could be some big gaps between your assignments.)
- While this is rare, there are some pharmacy professionals and hiring managers who believe that anyone who worked as a traveler isn’t a “serious” pharmacist or pharmacy technician. That is, they believe you aren’t determined to grow your pharmacy career because working as a traveler isn’t “real” pharmacy work. If you ever decide you want to go back to “just one” pharmacy or hospital at some point after your traveling experience, you may find it a bit more difficult to move back. This could be the case for any pharmacist who wants to move into pharmaceutical research.
- Many pharmacists get burned out after just a few years working in one hospital or retail pharmacy. Let’s face it, working in the same place day in and day out, doing the same thing can get boring pretty quickly. Working as a traveling pharmacist helps you step out of your familiar comfort zone and stretch your pharmacy “legs.”
- You’ll be constantly learning. You’ll learn new techniques, new ways of doing things as a matter of course. Why? Because you’ll have to. Every workplace is different and each has its own personality. One pharmacy may be all about making sure its staff is constantly keeping abreast of new pharmaceutical studies, techniques, etc. While another is a little more laid back. Pharmacies also have different ways of processing patients and their medications. You’ll have to learn how each pharmacy operates.
- You’ll be paid more. You’ll receive terrific tax benefits. You could receive paid-for housing. You also could receive a daily rate for your meals.
- As your reputation grows, you could have your pick of the plumb assignments. Don’t be surprised, as well, if a hospital/pharmacy practically begs for you to join them full time, offering you a quite generous compensation package. Or another pharmacy/hospital will tell your travel staffing service that they want you and only you for an upcoming assignment. The knowledge that you’re in such demand can be quite satisfying.
Whether you’re a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to work as a traveler, please contact a MedPro Healthcare Staffing recruiter. We’d love to answer your questions and tell you more about this terrific pharmacy career path. Contact us today.