Those studying to become pharmacists who like working with different individuals at different work sites may be interested in a career as a floater pharmacist. Like many areas of pharmacy practice, floater pharmacists must have graduated from an accredited pharmacy school and have obtained a license in order to practice.
A floater pharmacist covers vacancies of other pharmacists. A floater pharmacist can either work for only one pharmacy or work for a large chain pharmacy and cover staffing vacancies at more than one work site.
Because the work environment may be different from one day to the next, it is important that a floater pharmacist be able to easily adjust to working with different employees, different work site setups, and different schedules. Floater pharmacists may be asked to cover the vacation absences of a regular pharmacist and so may report to the same location for several days at a time. On the other hand, a floater pharmacist may also be called in to cover unscheduled absences of a regular pharmacist and therefore may drift from one site to another as dictated by these absences.
Excellent communication skills are essential for any pharmacist, but they are especially critical for floater pharmacists. These individuals must be able to deal with patients from different socioeconomic groups and cultures and must be able to work with different staff members. A floater pharmacist will likely need to leave detailed information for the regular pharmacist in anticipation of his or her return. This information can be compiled by keeping a log or otherwise recording data as dictated by company policy.
Because a floater pharmacist will likely need to work at different sites, some travel will be involved. This travel should be reimbursed by the company. Some pharmacists who are trying to gain work experience start their careers as floater pharmacists.
The work schedule of a floater pharmacist is usually dictated by the manager of the pharmacy. This ensures that there is always adequate staff coverage.
Those who are highly adaptable and have excellent communication skills may thrive in the floater pharmacist work environment.