Managing the Risks of A Locum Pharmacist Job

Shutterstock 430087837 Sml   News Update

​Working as a locum is an amazing and rewarding opportunity. From flexible schedules to many travel opportunities, what’s not to love!

Whilst there are many locum work benefits, there are also some risks, and in this article, we discuss how to manage or avoid them altogether.

What Are Some Locum Job Risks and How to Manage Them?

1. Lack of Locum Assignment Information

As a locum pharmacist, a lack of information about the locum assignment may be considered a significant challenge and this may affect the success of your shift.

So, the best thing to do is to gather as much information as possible before you start your first locum pharmacist assignment.

You can research the pharmacy, and if you are given an information pack, read and understand it carefully.

There are locum hospital and locum community pharmacist jobs both short and long term in Australia and New Zealand, and pharmacists working in these areas are required to cover short-term absences. However, in a survey from 2018, it was stated that 75% of locum pharmacists (out of 229) reported high levels of stress.

According to the respondents, this stress is caused by pressure and overworked staff.

In an interview from the Australian Pharmacist journal, a locum pharmacist stated that some of her day-to-day challenges include a responsibility shift and getting to work with new people whom she does not know.

Agencies like Raven’s Recruitment can help provide you with detailed information before your locum shift to ensure you are prepared and successful.

2. Locum Work is Uncertain

Locum work, by its nature, is unpredictable. Since most locum assignments are short-term, factors such as relationship-building and personal reputations may be critical as you develop your future career. 

It is vital to always display a positive attitude. In this way, you will be able to provide quality service to your patients, and at the same time, build professional relationships with your colleagues.

In addition it is important to maintain healthy relationships with the people and the agency you work with as this will affect the integrity of your reputation and the potential for you to continue your locum pharmacist career.

According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, pharmacy is not just about filling prescriptions. It is about promoting health awareness and contributing to the betterment of the community. However, it can also be outside the square, where Pharmacists also work as locums and in fields such as the military, law, journalism, academic teaching, research, pharmaceutical policy and in rural and remote areas, and even abroad.

Since the pharmacy profession is wide, a recruitment agency like Raven’s Recruitment can help you find the best pharmacy assignment and provide you with insight about store systems and other staff working with you.

3. Unrealistic Expectations

It is normal to have expectations of how a pharmacy should run based on your past experience when it comes to a new locum job. If pharmacists find a locum assignment through the help of an agency, the agency can provide certainty around these expectations.

Pharmacists should have clear communication with the agency to avoid false assumptions about the pharmacy and what will be expected of them.

An important aspect of the locum job is the handover. When handovers are inadequate, headaches, burnouts, and pressures might occur during the shift.

By raising concerns and setting specific parameters, an agency like Raven’s Recruitment can give you not only the best locum career options but also help you become a more prepared and successful pharmacist.

In addition, locum pharmacists who do not own a pharmacy may join the Associate Membership program of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to get more benefits including senior pharmacist advice when you need it.

Recruitment Agencies Can Help

At Raven’s Recruitment, we understand that there can be challenges working as a locum. To help you out, we offer a free Locum Pharmacist Guide for all pharmacists.

You can click here and learn more about how Raven’s Recruitment can help you have a successful locum career.


Since 1987, Raven's Recruitment has been specializing in Pharmacist recruitment, so we have expert knowledge in this space. If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a locum pharmacist or want a permanent job, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants today.​​​​​​