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jdad84

Pharmacists - how did you find supervised practise? Recruitment tips?

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It's a long shot here but wondering if there are any pharmacists lurking on the forums..

 

I just sat the CAOP exam and will find out in 10 days whether I've passed, should things go well I need to start looking for a job.

 

As I'm coming out on a 457 defacto visa I won't need sponsorship....so basically it's the supervised practise which I need to do before I can start a role.

 

Just wondering whether anyone has been in a similar situation and managed to get supervised practise from a hospital/community pharmacy when we're not on the skills shortage list?

 

Would appreciate any tips on finding work...

 

Thanks,

 

J

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UPDATE:

 

I'm still awaiting results from the exam, however my wife offered an interesting perspective and that was to view this as 2 steps rather than the 1 step I was viewing it as:

 

1) Get registered

2) Get a job

 

Whereas I considered them both to be the same thing....

 

If I can work on a casual basis to gain registration this isn't so much of a commitment needed from a business... i.e. they'd basically have me working for a few months till I qualify, which thinking about it can be a great exchange of value as I'd happily take minimum wage whilst I work over the counter and get to grips with the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and gain registration at the end of it.

 

Will start firing emails out this weekend and report back here, will also update when I get my results.

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Just an FYI - I have a couple of pharmacist friends here in Oz. Apparently the field is getting extremely saturated, and it is very difficult to get jobs. Wages have also taken a hit, down to $25/hr in some metros. I think its a bit better in the country so hope that is where you're heading?

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I'm not heading into the country, money's not the most important thing though...when I qualified in the UK I joined the NHS ;) Thanks for the heads up.

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Hi

 

Looking for some advice on the CAOP exam, Hospital pharmacist of 10 years plus. Planning on getting hold of the AMH and APF (BNF already my bed time reading......) do I need anything else.

 

Thanks Damien

damiendowling@hotmail.com

 

Hi Damien, good luck getting a hold of the AMH...as I'd got into the exam at a late stage I wasn't able to arrange to have one shipped over. It's not possible to buy from abroad and have it shipped so you need a contact or to buy one second hand from ebay etc, with that said if you have a contact who is willing to ship it on your behalf you're on to a winner.

 

I sat the exam without the AMH, it was challenging. I'd read the APF before going into the exam so was familiar with it (and would recommend giving it a thorough read - it's) but didn't take it into the exam and just chose to take the BNF in.

 

I'd recommend practicing doing the exam and timing yourself on similar questions as with less than 2 mins/question the biggest issue is time management, you'll also find out whether it's worth you taking in all of the books or whether, like me better to focus on whether you can answer the question and double checking it with your old friend (the BNF).

 

Calculations - you can take in your own calculator, I didn't find this very difficult....other than forcing myself to use the calculator...so perhaps practice getting comfortable using a calculator

 

I'm sure you'll be fine though...you've 9.5 years of hospital experience over me :)

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Hi Damien, good luck getting a hold of the AMH...as I'd got into the exam at a late stage I wasn't able to arrange to have one shipped over. It's not possible to buy from abroad and have it shipped so you need a contact or to buy one second hand from ebay etc, with that said if you have a contact who is willing to ship it on your behalf you're on to a winner.

 

I sat the exam without the AMH, it was challenging. I'd read the APF before going into the exam so was familiar with it (and would recommend giving it a thorough read - it's) but didn't take it into the exam and just chose to take the BNF in.

 

I'd recommend practicing doing the exam and timing yourself on similar questions as with less than 2 mins/question the biggest issue is time management, you'll also find out whether it's worth you taking in all of the books or whether, like me better to focus on whether you can answer the question and double checking it with your old friend (the BNF).

 

Calculations - you can take in your own calculator, I didn't find this very difficult....other than forcing myself to use the calculator...so perhaps practice getting comfortable using a calculator

 

I'm sure you'll be fine though...you've 9.5 years of hospital experience over me :)

 

Thanks for the advice, I had not though the AMH would be difficult to get hold of, a few emails to old mates and one to the amh@amh.net.au and it will be in the post for the small sum of $240. I will let you know in a years time if it is money well spent.

 

Have you found work since completing the exam ?

 

Thanks

 

Damien

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So, got the results on 9th January...I passed!

 

We fly out on January 20th and basically as soon as we land I'm going to go canvas for work, I'll write back here with my experience of the process.

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UPDATE:

 

So, I found it quite hard to find a job/supervision. Pharmacists are in excess supply at the moment, so applying for a pharmacist position with all of the extra baggage of the supervision and registration at the end of it is a hard sell.

 

I applied for jobs in hospital and retail and began ringing up pharmacies...after a few dozen phonecalls offering to work as a counter assistant/tech and logging my hours with the pharmacy I kept hearing back pretty much the same thing of 'not hiring at the moment' I decided to visit some pharmacies.

 

I approached one pharmacy and immediately felt good vibes from the owner, he just seemed a genuine guy and he wanted to help out. He wasn't hiring but would consider giving me the supervised hours if I were to get up to speed. I made the decision to do some unpaid work for experience. I worked for 6 weeks unpaid and found the experience invaluable. The PBS scheme is so different from how retail pharmacy runs in the UK, moreover whilst there is a large overlap in products there are different products and a multitude of generics 'brands' to contend with and it was a massive shock...for a couple of weeks I literally felt like the first day I'd set foot in a pharmacy and couldn't find anything and struggled with the dispensing system.

 

The process of applying for the supervised practice took longer than anticipated, I missed the march committee meeting and the April meeting was literally 6 weeks away. The supervised practice didn't work out with this placement (but now I'm up to speed have received paid work ongoing from the same pharmacy - they just didnt have the budget to fund me..it may have worked out had AHPRA approved me sooner...but hey ho!).

 

After the palava of AHPRA taking their time and the placement not being feasible I decided (with some motivation from my wife) to just apply for everything out there whether it be a technician post, counter assistant or pharmacist.

 

I struck lucky with a position which is due to start at the end of this month, dependant on AHPRA approving my supervised practice. The only minor detractor being it is 75KM outside of sydney. However the bonus is that I visited the town and it seems like a beautiful place to work.

 

If I were to offer any advice it would be to consider going regional. There are several positions in rural NSW which offer salaries far above what you can achieve in Sydney and the surrounding suburbs and some even offer cars and accommodation. These positions are more likely to consider someone who is not yet registered as there is far less competition.

 

I've managed to confirm the next steps with AHPRA and the big pain in the behind is that after applying for limited registration they state it will be a further 4 weeks after logging hours/sitting the oral exam to register as a pharmacist...this is frustrating as they are 99% the same form/documents except for sending in my supervision log.

 

Anyhoo will update as things progress.

Edited by jdad84
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Bit of a long overdue update...After registration I worked for 6 months in that post. I applied for a position in regional far north Queensland (FNQ) and gained sponsorship...which after a year my employer supported my application for permanent residency.

I've now been in FNQ for 2 years - my previous advice still stands... regional/rural positions provide well paid opportunities - where Australian pharmacists would rather not be.

City-based retail pharmacy has an oversupply...wages have deflated and I certainly would not choose to migrate here again if I were the sole breadwinner to support my family on a city pharmacist wage.

Hospital pharmacy on the other hand has better remuneration. I have hosted some uni pharmacy students at my pharmacy and the feedback I've heard is that competition is fierce. Again rural opportunities would be the place I'd look.

Overall I have no regrets for making the move or where my career is now and am very happy here in FNQ.

Jamie



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Bit of a long overdue update...After registration I worked for 6 months in that post. I applied for a position in regional far north Queensland (FNQ) and gained sponsorship...which after a year my employer supported my application for permanent residency.

I've now been in FNQ for 2 years - my previous advice still stands... regional/rural positions provide well paid opportunities - where Australian pharmacists would rather not be.

City-based retail pharmacy has an oversupply...wages have deflated and I certainly would not choose to migrate here again if I were the sole breadwinner to support my family on a city pharmacist wage.

Hospital pharmacy on the other hand has better remuneration. I have hosted some uni pharmacy students at my pharmacy and the feedback I've heard is that competition is fierce. Again rural opportunities would be the place I'd look.

Overall I have no regrets for making the move or where my career is now and am very happy here in FNQ.

Jamie



Sent using Poms in Oz mobile app



Hi there

Just starting the APC process now.

My wife is Aussie so going for a spouse visa.

Do I need the APC to comment on my work experience? I figure as my visa isn't dependant on my registration it is needless.

Also: any idea how to get a copy of the AMH?

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APC need to assess you - if you're degree trained in the UK that's via stream B. Very much a formality. At the time I had qualified just under a year and my previous pharmacy work as a dispenser was counted as relevant. I'm not sure what your question meant by the APC commenting on your work exp...but there's the process. For an AMH you can buy online.

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With my visa being a spouse one, rather than highly skilled or sponsored, i figured I might not need them to say that I have worked as a pharmacist. Easy enough to add in though. Thanks for the advice!

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I forget how different things are now I've practised longer in Aus than the UK. For anyone starting out or looking to start out in Australia I thought I might note down some things which ought to help orientate the overseas pharmacist.

I should preface this by saying some states have slightly different rules. I've practised in NSW and Qld and so will present my experience in that context.


Medicine scheduling
https://www.tga.gov.au/scheduling-basics

Medicines are built around a scheduling system. Schedule 2 (S2) are pharmacy medicines (i.e. cannot be sold outside of a pharmacy), schedule 3 pharmacist only (S3), schedule 4 (S4) prescription only and schedule 8 (S8) controlled drugs. In Qld S2 must be behind a counter and inaccessible to the public for self selection (NSW can be anywhere in the pharmacy), S3 must be behind counter also, supplied by a pharmacist and labelled as such (no label needed in NSW)....S8 locked in a cd safe.


Regulation
https://www.tga.gov.au/how-therapeutic-goods-are-regulated-australia

Medicines are regulated by the TGA - the Therapeutic Goods Administration - akin to the MHRA.


The pharmaceutical benefit scheme (The PBS)
https://m.pbs.gov.au/home.html

Unlike the UK - for a medicine to be subsidised by the government it must be listed on the PBS.

If no PBS listing a TGA approved medicine can be purchased via a private prescription - no set price.

If PBS listed a TGA approved medicine when prescribed for a PBS listed indication attracts a copayment.

For a general patient they will pay up to $38.80 (if the cost of the medication is less than this the pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee...they cannot charge above the copayment).

For a concession patient (patients with a pension card, healthcare card etc) they pay $6.30.

If a medicine is PBS listed for a certain indication i.e. lamotrigine
https://m.pbs.gov.au/medicine/item/2851C.html

It's pbs listing will indicate:

Authority Required (STREAMLINED)

5138

Epileptic seizures

Clinical criteria:

The condition must have failed to be controlled satisfactorily by other anti-epileptic drugs.

Meaning if prescribed for the above condition it would meet the costs above otherwise if for instance the dr prescribed it for bipolar disorders it is then a private prescription.

Some PBS items have no restrictions i.e. simvastatin so the doctor can prescribe for whatever condition he chooses (not that he would)

If something is restricted. Like the lamotrigine example above it is deemed an 'authority prescription'.

Some authority scripts the doctor can choose from the approved indications and prescribe. The prescription will list an authority number and a streamline approval number.

For some authority prescriptions the doctor must call Medicare for approval by a pharmacist - they still have authority numbers generated on the prescription - but have a 'telephone authority code e.g. z1234567.

It's worth noting that the pbs formulary lists medicines in set quantities with set repeats, in some instances an authority increases one or the other, or both.

For a standard PBS entry like simvastatin it comes as a quantity of 30 and with 6 or 11 repeats depending on the PBS entry chosen.

PBS medications tend to be supplied in 4 week/1 month quantities with the exception of s8's which are generally lesser quantities to ensure quality use of medicines.

I'll leave this post here and pick up back tomorrow...didn't realise how involved it would get. I'll try organise things better and when I have time add some pictures of scripts for example so please trewlat this as a work in progress.

Jamie

















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17 hours ago, neilpharm said:

With my visa being a spouse one, rather than highly skilled or sponsored, i figured I might not need them to say that I have worked as a pharmacist. Easy enough to add in though. Thanks for the advice!

I think you still need to be assessed, my missus is dependent on me as the main applicant but still needs to sit an exam in the next month to be registered with the charter.  She has been working in the hospital for 10 years plus and i think she whizzed though some of practice questions rather quickly. The deadline for the next sitting is closing soon so you might want to consider registering...not cheap thought, i believe she was moaning it was something like AUD1,700   

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I think you still need to be assessed, my missus is dependent on me as the main applicant but still needs to sit an exam in the next month to be registered with the charter.  She has been working in the hospital for 10 years plus and i think she whizzed though some of practice questions rather quickly. The deadline for the next sitting is closing soon so you might want to consider registering...not cheap thought, i believe she was moaning it was something like AUD1,700   

Thanks leeecat

We're aiming for 2019 to be in Australia so aiming for the January sitting.

Glad that your wife found it straightforward though, I'm dusting off my references!

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Hi Guys

Looking to sit the exam in 6 weeks.. is this enough time to revise?! starting to panic now

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8 minutes ago, Lia said:

Hi Guys

Looking to sit the exam in 6 weeks.. is this enough time to revise?! starting to panic now

Missus just sat the paper last week, she was in full study mode for 4 weeks (no leave, just burnt midnight oil) and did all the past papers and mentioned that she thought the actual paper was still quite hard and kinda weird as its done on a computer so going back to previous questions was kinda awkward..  should be ok for 6 weeks i guess...

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5 minutes ago, leeeekiat said:

Missus just sat the paper last week, she was in full study mode for 4 weeks (no leave, just burnt midnight oil) and did all the past papers and mentioned that she thought the actual paper was still quite hard and kinda weird as its done on a computer so going back to previous questions was kinda awkward..  should be ok for 6 weeks i guess...

What did she feel was particularly difficult if you don't mind me asking?

 

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She found the calculation to be a breeze and somewhat managed to spot the essay topics correctly, so its the actual MCQ questions that she found somewhat tricky in terms of navigating through the PC and coupled with the fact that she only studied the BNF and not the OZ equivalent might contribute to her finding the MCQ hard.  She also mentioned that the past papers were outdated in terms of being up to date with the BNF/OZ equivalent that led to some furious muttering as she was checking through her answers 

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Oh thank you, I've got the AMH so I'm going to familiarise myself with that- assume that there's no point going through the past papers then if they are wrong!

51 minutes ago, leeeekiat said:

She found the calculation to be a breeze and somewhat managed to spot the essay topics correctly, so its the actual MCQ questions that she found somewhat tricky in terms of navigating through the PC and coupled with the fact that she only studied the BNF and not the OZ equivalent might contribute to her finding the MCQ hard.  She also mentioned that the past papers were outdated in terms of being up to date with the BNF/OZ equivalent that led to some furious muttering as she was checking through her answers 

 

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Sorry for another question, can we apply for intern roles? or do we need to get supervised practice in another role?

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well, seems like the next step is to get any form of work and your new line manager will be your supervisor.  The charter will then decide how long would be deemed relevant and also if you need to sit an oral exam after your supervised period.  i would recommend doing past papers...just that the model answers are outdated, so don't get so hung up on them and just refer to the latest BNF for the correct answer..if that makes sense

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45 minutes ago, leeeekiat said:

well, seems like the next step is to get any form of work and your new line manager will be your supervisor.  The charter will then decide how long would be deemed relevant and also if you need to sit an oral exam after your supervised period.  i would recommend doing past papers...just that the model answers are outdated, so don't get so hung up on them and just refer to the latest BNF for the correct answer..if that makes sense

Thanks a lot! I'm just worried that I won't be able to find anywhere to do my supervised practice!

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