I got the news that my hours were being cut and my employer-sponsored insurance plan was being cancelled In April of 2014. I happened to be six months pregnant at the time.
I began frantically searching for more work while I was still reeling from that blow. That was really the first time I truly understood how tightly knit we are as a community of pharmacists. Other pharmacists spread the word, work came quickly and my schedule stayed booked solid as a relief "floating" pharmacist until I delivered my daughter in early July. I continued working as a relief pharmacist once I was back from maternity leave. The schedule was flexible, it allowed me to plan my days, I always had enough work, and I only worked when I wanted to.
I went from a very scary situation to now having a dream job. I was working 40-50 hours per week, every other Saturday and Sunday, and on-call pretty much 24/7 before the layoff. There were times when I would receive calls from nurses in the middle of the night firing off medication questions at me in my confused, half-awake state. Now I make my own schedule, I pick up shifts as needed and I try to make myself available to other pharmacists when they need help. If we need to take a vacation, I don't feel bad about it, I just work extra time to make up for the days missed.
One such opportunity to help came from a pharmacy where I was working relief a few days each month. They asked me to take over their MTM patients because they did not have the time to complete their cases. I was concerned about billing Medicare and whether I have the time and skills needed to offer their patients this valuable clinical service. As it turns out, I could not have been more wrong! It takes planning, organization and a great can-do attitude to succeed in anything. This attitude is one of the most important skills you can have.
A common way to describe a passionate person is that the person "has a fire in their belly". Providing MTM services ignited a fire in me. I had lost my passion for pharmacy, but clinical services reignited it! I dove head first into everything MTM. I learned as much as I could about it, and I continue to learn more and more about it every day.
I hope that my story will inspire you to discover your passion for pharmacy, create your dream job and reignite your belly fire!
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About The Author
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent clinical consultant pharmacist living and working in the Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Dr. Thielemier is committed to helping advance the practice of pharmacy by providing training and guiding implementation of new clinical services in community pharmacies. Learn more and contact her at BT Consulting.
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