If you’ve been planning for a pharmacology career, it helps to know how COVID-19 has affected job prospects in the field.
The pandemic has resulted in disruptions in people’s lives as well as industries in Ireland and around the world. Now, many people work from home. Others who work in sectors such as retail and hospitality are out of work.
However, some industries are experiencing increased demand. For instance, hospitals and care facilities across Ireland are in desperate need of skilled health professionals.
For instance, the virus has transformed the role of pharmacy jobs. As healthcare providers in Ireland work to manage the impact of COVID-19, there’s a growing demand for pharmacists. This demand has created many opportunities for fledgling druggists.
To learn more about how pharmacy jobs are affected by COVID-19, keep reading.
Health and Medicine in Ireland
Today, all ten of the top global pharmaceutical companies base their operations in Ireland. Furthermore, Ireland is among the top ten exporters of pharmaceutical products in the world.
The pharmaceutical industry will play a critical role in the development of a cure for coronavirus. It will also play a vital role in the manufacturing and distribution of that drug to the masses.
Meanwhile, the pandemic is changing the way that people seek healthcare. For this reason, pharmacies need more staff members to help meet the growing demand for services.
The shortage in the healthcare field is so severe that a politician has devoted one week a month to help fight the pandemic. As of March, Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is now working one shift a week caring for patients.
The practitioner will draw on his previous career as a doctor to help fight the pandemic. Varadkar urges healthcare professionals from all fields to register to assist in the fight against the coronavirus.
This noble action highlights the critical demand for healthcare professionals in Ireland and around the world. There’s never been a better time to answer the call to serve the healthcare needs of the public.
Pharmacists in Action
Like other medical professionals, pharmacists take great joy and pride in helping improve the health of others. If you share this sentiment, a career in pharmacology may serve you well.
Pharmacists manage all aspects of delivering patient medication. They earn advanced training to work in the field.
This training typically includes the study of drugs, their uses in their potential side effects. It also includes learning about drug interactions and how to monitor drug use. As a pharmacy student, you might also learn about how to monitor drug effects and track patient progress.
Pharmacists deliver both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication. Patients do not need a prescription for OTC meds. However, a doctor will provide a prescription for recommended medication.
The pharmacist will then prepare the prescription medication. They’ll also explain the purpose of the drug.
Those instructions will include important points, such as dosing information. It will also include advice on how to use the prescription drug safely.
However, not every patient receives suggestions for medicines from a doctor. This point is especially valid with the emergence of the pandemic. Now, many people forego doctors and go straight to a pharmacy.
In this instance, a pharmacist is the first contact a patient has with the healthcare system. The pharmacist will advise patients about minor ailments.
They might also recommend a suitable drug intervention. However, the pharmacist will refer consumers to a physician if a patient’s symptoms warrant further assessment by a doctor.
Pharmacy Jobs in the New Normal
The pandemic is having an immense impact on the pharmacy community. It’s changing the typical workday for pharmacists.
Now, pharmacies are experiencing a massive demand for services. Currently, patients have trouble accessing healthcare providers. As a result, visits to medical professionals such as general practitioners, dentists, and hospitals have dropped drastically.
Since the start of the pandemic, emergency room visits have dropped to half of those compared to the previous year. Some believe people are unwilling to visit hospitals because of the pandemic.
Other patients have delayed treatment for less severe conditions. During these changes, pharmacy specialists have offered important services and access to treatment advice during the lockdown.
The pandemic has also seen the relationship change that pharmacists have with the medical community. Now, pharmacists enjoy a more collaborative relationship with other healthcare professionals.
Furthermore, they have more involvement with primary care networks. Once the pandemic subsides, pharmacy professionals hope that this collaboration will continue.
Now, people go to pharmacies rather than the doctor when possible. As a result, pharmacists find that they are communicating with customers more. What’s more, doctors have been more open to discussing patients’ medicinal needs with pharmacists.
For instance, this kind of transformation has taken place in dentistry. Now, many dental surgeries have been delayed because of the pandemic.
As a result, many dentists drop off prescriptions for patients. They also speak with pharmacists to find out what products are available to help meet the needs of their patients.
The Changing Face of Pharmacology
In some regions, pharmacists are also experiencing more engagement with primary care networks (PCNs). Since the start of the pandemic, independent pharmacy owners have seen their relationship with local PCNs improve.
In London and other areas, for instance, local PCNs have formed emergency response units. These units are called community pharmacy teams.
The teams pool the resources of general practitioners and volunteers. They also work with mental health practitioners and nursing teams.
The community pharmacy teams meet with these stakeholders regularly. They also offer support for vulnerable patients.
The pandemic has increased the workload for pharmacists. However, it has also created a funding gap in the field.
Some legislators have taken steps to help address this gap. In England, for instance, legislators earmarked millions of pounds for community pharmacies. The funding was negotiated by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.
For now, this funding is helping to fill the monetary gap. However, there’s concern about how pharmacies will repay the funding. Legislators are trying to find a way to prevent contractors from having to face large repayments.
Legislators have also earmarked advance funding in areas such as Scotland and Wales. This kind of financing has helped to keep the economy functioning as pharmacists do their part to aid in managing the pandemic.
Getting Hired for a Pharmacy Opening
If you plan on getting hired for a pharmacy job, it’s helpful to think beyond the basics of the field. Pharmacists can do more than deliver medications.
In many cases, a pharmacist takes on a managerial role. For example, you’ll manage many day-to-day administrative tasks if you become a lead pharmacist.
Pharmacist positions vary by location. However, it’s helpful to mention managerial experience in an interview. You never know what doors your management experience may open.
Also, now more than ever, pharmacists need exceptional people skills. Since the pandemic, pharmacists-customer interactions have moved beyond basic transactions.
Now, a significantly larger number of people look to pharmacists for advice. As a result, it’s always a good idea to showcase your customer service skills during an interview.
Breaking Into the Field
The path to becoming a pharmacist is challenging but highly rewarding. However, it may not prove easy to find employment once you’ve earned your accreditation.
In this instance, it may prove helpful to work with a staffing agency. A healthcare staffing agency can help connect you with new jobs as they emerge.
However, there’s something that you need to consider before approaching an agency. It’s easier for an agency to place you if you have some idea of where you’d like to go with your career.
As a pharmacist, there are many career paths that you can pursue. As a result, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about what you’d like to do with your pharmacology skills.
New pharmacy roles emerge as researchers create innovative technologies. Furthermore, the demand for pharmacists changes over time.
For instance, you may use your skills to fulfill one of many roles. These roles might include:
• Hospital pharmacist
• OTC counter assistant
• Pharmacy assistant
• Pharmacy technician
• Support pharmacist
A healthcare recruiting agency could help you find a role that suits your work-life balance if you consider your desires beforehand. What’s more, understanding how your skills align with available roles will help you and the agency narrow the search.
If you’re not sure of your career paths, it’s helpful to call an agency to learn more about their services. A skilled hiring agency is more than happy to answer your questions. It’s important to find the right match before making a commitment to work with an agency.
An agency can help you to conduct your research as you choose a career path. That research will inform your decisions and help you to make the right choice about your future.
Launch Your Career With a Trusted Agency
Now that you know more about how the pandemic has increased the demand for pharmacy jobs, you’ll need a top-notch agency to help you launch your career.
Med Pharm is a subsidiary of Med Doc Healthcare. We’re the leading pharmacy recruitment company in Ireland.
With Med Pharm, you’ll enjoy best in class service. Our specialists work to provide candidates with the positive experience that they expect—and deserve.
Register today to jumpstart your pharmacology career or feel free to contact us at 00353 1 9011730 for more details.