Guest blog, Locuming

How to know if Locum pharmacy is for you.

How to know if Locum pharmacy is for you.

As any freelancer will tell you, being your own boss can be tough. The same is true of Locum Pharmacy. While you might be free to choose your own shifts and decide your own holiday time, you are also soley responsible for your monthly income and sourcing work.

For some, this kind of career is just too stressful, too uncertain. For others, however, the variety, change and control which locum work offers means it’s the perfect fit. So,do you think you could manage it? Before swapping your 9-5 for a life of shifts, ask yourself if you are the sort of person who is...


Locum pharmacists typically cannot hang back and wait for work to come to them. Like any freelance career, half the battle is locking down your jobs. In the UK, locums typically have to tour dozens of pharmacies to offer them a business card and contact details, or find alternatives to this.

Locum Passport, for example, is an app which cuts out the hassle of visiting and contacting pharmacies yourself. Instead, you can easily upload your compliance documentation to the app, and then transfer it to Locum Passport’s extensive list of agencies and employers, allowing you to focus on doing the work instead of acquiring it.

Another app, Locate a Locum, is similar. It has a network of over 8000 pharmacies across the UK, which it puts in direct contact with locum pharmacists. Employers are able to post their open locum shifts, and locums are able to confirm their availability for them with the click of a button.
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As we’ve already mentioned, locum pharmacy requires you to seek out your own shifts. Once you have then confirmed those shifts, it is also up to you to manage them.

Locate a Locum has been able to introduce a handy calendar feature to their app, which allows you to review your time month by month, block book your holiday time and also prevents double booking.
You can use other methods, of course, such as manually entering your shifts into an online calendar such as Google Calendar, or keeping track of your shifts on an Excel sheet.

In locum pharmacy, you’re not just in charge of your time, but your finances, too. It’s up to you how many shifts you take on, but if your monthly outgoings exceed your incomings, simple mathematics would indicate you need to find more work to cover your expenses. Therefore, if you’re someone who just about glances at their bank account month to month, then perhaps locum pharmacy isn’t right for you.
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If you like variety in your day-to-day, you may be well suited to locum work. Creatures of habit, however, should stay away.
Locum work requires you to cover shifts wherever you might be needed. This means getting to know the rhythms of different pharmacy branches and adapting to their unique processes, such as how they as well as getting to know new colleagues and learning just where everything is located.

Your income may also change. As any freelancer will tell you, there can be fruitful months and not so fruitful months. It is the latter which typically stresses out those of us who prefer a steady, regular income. For more flexible personalities, ready to adapt to such circumstances, this can feel empowering.

Like we’ve already said, locum pharmacy puts the power into your hands, and it’s whether you genuinely enjoy and are capable of managing that independence which will make all the difference for your career. It can be a fascinating day-to-day job, with new people to meet and different places to see, but shouldn’t be viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Instead, it should be considered the same way we do any job: by weighing up our strengths and weaknesses, and deciding whether it really is right for us.

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