Is super really that important?

In the fast-paced world of the modern gig economy, where flexibility and autonomy are prized, the importance of superannuation, commonly known as “super,” can sometimes be overlooked. Yet, for on-demand shift workers, sole traders, and locum pharmacists, understanding the significance of super is vital for establishing financial stability both in the present and for the future.

 

But what exactly is super, and why does it matter? Superannuation serves as a long-term savings plan designed to provide financial support during retirement. Typically, it involves mandatory contributions made by employers on behalf of their employees, calculated as a percentage of their earnings. For sole traders and on-demand shift workers, the responsibility often falls on their shoulders to manage their super contributions.

 

Now, let’s get into the specifics. Understanding the rates of super contributions is crucial. Currently, in Australia, the standard rate of superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions stands at 10% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. However, it’s worth noting that this rate can vary based on specific circumstances or agreements.

 

For locum pharmacists and on-demand shift workers, navigating the complexities of super can be challenging. One crucial aspect to grasp is the distinction between super inclusive and super exclusive rates. Super inclusive involves including super contributions as part of the overall pay rate, whereas super exclusive entails paying super on top of the base rate. At Locumate, your rate of pay is displayed excluding super, providing clarity on your take-home pay.

 

Now, let’s discuss why super matters, particularly for those in the gig economy. As an on-demand shift worker or locum pharmacist, you essentially act as your own boss, responsible for managing your finances and securing your future. Contributing to super ensures that you’re building a nest egg for retirement, safeguarding your financial well-being down the line.

 

Thankfully, Locumate has streamlined this process, enabling automatic super contributions through the app. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of super similar to a permanent employee while maintaining the flexibility of an on-demand employer.

 

In conclusion, super isn’t just another financial obligation; it’s an investment in your future self. For on-demand shift workers, sole traders, and locum pharmacists, understanding the nuances of super contributions is essential. By prioritising super, you’re setting the stage for a secure and prosperous retirement, ensuring that your hard work today pays dividends tomorrow.

What can I do with my pharmacy degree?

Are you thinking of studying pharmacy? Or are you already in the middle of your degree still wondering what you can do after you graduate? Fortunately, a pharmacy degree in Australia can lead to various career paths within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Some common jobs are outlined below!

Community Pharmacist

As the most common pharmacy role in Australia, these pharmacists are especially important in being first points of contact to the public. They are primarily involved with long-term management and supply of medications to patients, however their knowledge spans multiple areas: they must be skilled in diagnosing common ailments, recognising referral points, and recommending treatments available without a prescription. They are also responsible for overseeing dispensing medications, counselling on the safe and effective use of medications, and offering general health advice. Other services that can be offered are vaccination services, travel health recommendations, and compounded medications. 

Locum Pharmacist

If you like the idea of working as a community pharmacist but want more freedom with scheduling shifts, becoming a locum pharmacist may be the perfect pathway for you. They are contractors or “fill in” pharmacists in community pharmacies – so depending on what shifts you take, you could be in pharmacies close to home, travelling all over your state, or maybe even around the country! This role is suited for pharmacists who excel in adapting to new environments, and gives a unique opportunity to broaden your skills and services by having experience in different workplaces. If you would like to know more on locuming, visit locumate.com.au for more practical information.

Hospital Ward Pharmacist

Working in a hospital setting lends itself to typically more complex health problems. This includes communicating with doctors, supplying medications to nurses, and preparing admission and discharge plans to ensure optimal medication therapy. They provide direct patient care, whether it is through participating in patient rounds, creating medication action plans, and assisting in the selection and monitoring of medications. As a highly clinical role, you are guaranteed to learn something new every day!

Academic Pharmacist

There are many roles that can be attributed to include teaching and conducting research, or evaluating the safe use of medications to contribute to the advancement of and integration of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences. For example, clinical educators in hospitals facilitate education sessions to disseminate the most updated information. Quality Use of Medicines pharmacists oversee pharmacy processes in facilities (usually hospitals) to ensure the safe use and administration of medications. These roles are important in guiding the current and next generation of pharmacists to optimise their practice. 

Industrial Pharmacist

They are responsible for the development, manufacturing, and quality control of medications, as well conducting research and development of new drugs. While this role is not as clinical, extensive knowledge of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is essential. If you have a keen interest in the chemistry behind how medications work, this could be a rewarding career pathway both to advance your own personal knowledge, but also contribute to greater medication research. 

While these are just a few examples, there are still many other career opportunities available to pharmacy graduates in Australia depending on your interests and areas of specialisation. Whether you love talking to patients, you prefer to read through journal articles, or get hands-on with making medications, there is definitely a career pathway for every person after graduation. 

Pharmacy Update: Pay rate display change

Pay Rate display changes  

As part of our recent release of Locumate version 2.0, we made a few adjustments to make your experience on the platform even better. Today, we wanted to chat about the changes we made to how your pay rate is displayed.  

We know how confusing it can be when you are trying to calculate how much you can afford to pay the locum when there is super, travel, tax and so many other things to consider. To make this easier for you, we updated the rates advertised for each shift to now be displayed without super.  

So, what does this mean for you and your pharmacy?  

When you are posting shifts, you will see the payment range for the shift excluding super, so you know exactly what the locum will need to receive in their bank account. Our built-in calculator will then automatically determine the super amount and display the total compensation you will be expected to pay. This saves you time and effort in calculating total costs and enables you to budget accordingly.  

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Figure 1. When posting a shift, you will enter the payment range excluding super, and the Locumate calculator will automatically inform you of the super amounts and the total rates including super 

You’ll be able to see how much super you will need to pay the locum when you accept their timesheet. 

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Figure 2. View how much super you will need to pay the locum when you accept their timesheet.  

You can also review your super contribution when you receive your invoices.  

We hope this provides some clarity and explains how this change makes it easier for you to know exactly how much you are spending on your locums.   

Thank you again for your patience, support and for being part of the Locumate Family!  

Kind regards,  
The Locumate Team 

 

 

How to Transform Your Pharmacy into a “Green Pharmacy”

As the spotlight turns towards the pharmaceutical sector’s commitment to environmental sustainability, individual pharmacists emerge as catalysts for change. In anticipation of Earth Hour on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Eastern Australian Time), the call is clear: it’s time to make your pharmacy a green pharmacy. While large pharmaceutical companies undoubtedly play a significant role, recognising the potential for impactful contributions from individual pharmacists through small, everyday changes becomes imperative.

  1. Sustainable Packaging: A Lighter Load on the Earth

Start by minimising packaging waste, using only what is essential, and ensuring proper disposal methods. Actively encourage the adoption of eco-friendly packaging within the pharmacy, complemented by the initiation of recycling programs. Small changes here amplify the collective impact on waste reduction.

  1. Medication Disposal Programs: A Beacon of Responsible Practice

Be a champion of responsible medication disposal within your community. Educate patients on proper disposal methods and take the lead in organising local disposal programs. These initiatives not only align with environmental stewardship principles but also create a ripple effect, fostering a sense of collective responsibility.

  1. Energy-Efficient Practices: Illuminating a Greener Tomorrow

Contribute to energy efficiency by adopting simple practices—turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Encourage colleagues to follow suit and implement energy-saving measures within the pharmacy. Showcase how minor changes can make a substantial impact in reducing energy consumption.

  1. Digitalisation and Paperless Practices: Lighting the Path to Efficiency

Embrace digital platforms for prescription management and documentation to significantly reduce paper consumption. Transitioning to online systems such as e-scripts and email not only enhances efficiency but also demonstrates how individual pharmacists actively contribute to a more sustainable future, one digital record at a time.

  1. Pharmacist and Patient Education: Enlightening Minds for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Engage in ongoing education to stay informed about environmentally friendly practices within the pharmaceutical field. Become a catalyst for change by sharing this knowledge with patients, colleagues, and the community. Each pharmacist, through collective efforts, no matter how small, becomes an integral part of a sustainable healthcare landscape.

In conclusion, this article reinforces that while large pharmaceutical companies lay the groundwork for sustainability, the transformative power to make a difference lies in the hands of individual pharmacists. As Earth Hour beckons a symbolic dimming of lights, let every pharmacist illuminate the path to a greener future. These collective efforts, no matter how small, contribute significantly to environmental stewardship in pharmaceutical care, showcasing the immense impact that individual actions can have on our planet.

Overcoming Classroom Jitters: Navigating Pharmacy Roleplays

Pharmacy school can be a thrilling journey filled with classroom lectures, laboratory work, and clinical experiences. Yet, there’s one aspect of this educational adventure that often strikes fear into the hearts of many students – the dreaded pharmacy roleplays. I remember the first time we were asked to practise our medication counselling and history taking: it was a nerve-wracking experience.

 

While it’s normal to feel nervous, these are some strategies I have used to overcome these anxieties in class to perform the best I can in my assessments:

Preparation is Key: Prepare thoroughly for the roleplay by reviewing relevant material from lectures, tutorials, and workshops. Ask for help from your teachers and your classmates – they may be struggling with the same concepts as you! The more you know beforehand, the more confident you’ll feel in class.

 

Seek Feedback: After the roleplay, ask for constructive feedback from peers and professors. This is especially helpful for communication adjustments, such as the speed in which you are talking and the language that you use. Use this feedback to improve your skills and confidence (and remember not to take it personally).

 

Don’t Fear Failure: Failure can be a stepping stone to improvement, so don’t let it deter you. Shift your mindset from fearing roleplays to seeing them as valuable learning opportunities. Remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Plus, it is better to make mistakes in class than in the exam and in real life!

 

Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become. I found it easier to roleplay with my friends outside of class for more practice as it was a more comfortable environment to talk through content without feeling like others were listening.

Pharmacy roleplays may be anxiety-inducing, but they are an essential part of your education. They provide the practical skills and experience necessary for your future career, firstly in internship and then beyond. Overcoming the nervousness associated with roleplays takes time, practice, and a shift in mindset. With determination and a commitment to learning from your experiences, you can navigate these challenges and come out a more confident and capable pharmacy student, ready to take on the world of pharmacy practice!

Locumate 2.0 Update(Pharmacy Edition)

Hey Locumate Community, 

We hope you’re doing well!  

You might have noticed a few changes on the app over the last few days and that’s because we recently released Locumate version 2.0! We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your patience and support as we’ve been hard at work bringing you these significant updates. 

With any major product release, there may be a few bumps along the road. Your patience and cooperation during this time are invaluable to us. Rest assured; our dedicated team is working diligently to address any issues swiftly. 

So, what can you expect from the latest version of Locumate? 

  1. The ‘First Come, First Served’ vs ‘Apply’ feature: We know that sometimes choosing the right talent for your pharmacy can be challenging. This is why we created the Apply feature to empower you to make informed decisions.  
  • When creating a new job, you can either allow locums to book shifts immediately by choosing ‘First Come, First Served’ or ask for locums to apply for the shift when outside a radius of your choosing.  
  • Once locums apply for the shift, you can review their applications and offer the position to the best candidate. Locums will have 24 hours to accept the offer before you can choose to offer it to someone else.  
create job

2. New text tags on your search window of the app: To give you a quick snapshot of the status of all your shifts, we introduced a colour-coded tagging system as show in the image below. Now you won’t need to click into each shift to get an update

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3. Flexibility over locums: To give you more control over your locum search, we introduced the Block feature and the Preferred Locum feature. These features give you the ability to categorise your locums. With the Block feature, you can stop a particular locum from viewing or booking shifts at your pharmacy. By making a locum a preferred locum, you can create an exclusive list of locums you know and trust for future shift bookings. But don’t worry, you can reverse this just as easily. This can be done at the time of timesheet approval, feedback provision and via the locum’s profile.  

 

We really hope these updates make your Locumate experience even better! And your feedback is always welcome so please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions or suggestions.  

Thank you again for your patience, support and for being part of the Locumate Family!  

Kind regards,  
The Locumate Team 

Locumate 2.0 Update(Locum Edition)

Hey Locumate Community, 

We hope you’re doing well!  

You might have noticed a few changes on the app over the last few days and that’s because we recently released Locumate version 2.0! We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your patience and support as we’ve been hard at work bringing you these significant updates. 

With any major product release, there may be a few bumps along the road. Your patience and cooperation during this time are invaluable to us. Rest assured; our dedicated team is working diligently to address any issues swiftly. 

So, what can you expect from the latest version of Locumate?  

  1. Pay Rates: We know how confusing it can be when you are trying to calculate your total compensation as well as your super contributions. To make this easier for you, we updated the rates advertised for each shift to now be displayed without super. You can review your super contribution when you receive your invoice, when you submit your timesheet and via your Earnings Dashboard on the app in your profile section.  
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 2. The Apply vs Accept Shifts feature: You might notice that some shifts will have a blue Accept button while others have a yellow Apply button. We built this feature to give you more flexibility and options for managing your schedule and time.  

  • Shifts with the Accept button can be booked immediately, while the shifts with a yellow Apply button require you to submit your resume or CV to join the pool of candidates being considered.  
  • Once the pharmacy reviews your application, you will receive a notification via the app and email to communicate the outcome. If you receive an offer, make sure you respond to it within 24 hours. 
  • To ensure you can use the Apply feature, make sure you have an up-to-date resume or CV uploaded to your profile on the app. You can do this via the Documents section.  
  • If you Accept a shift that falls with the date range of another shift you have Applied for, any pending applications will be automatically withdrawn.  
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    3. Block a pharmacy: If you prefer not to see shifts from a particular pharmacy, you now have the opportunity to block them. And you can reverse this just as easily.  

    4. Hourly email notifications for new shifts posted: We want to make sure you’re across all the latest opportunities without inundating you with emails and messages. That’s why we’re introducing an hourly email notification which will give you a list of all the shifts that we posted within the last hour, giving you full visibility on demand. This feature has been paused for now while we iron out a few minor kinks. Once it’s back on the system, we will let you know.  

We really hope these updates make your Locumate experience even better! And your feedback is always welcome so please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions or suggestions.  

Thank you again for your patience, support and for being part of the Locumate Family! 

Kind regards,  
The Locumate Team 

The Power of Personal Branding as a Pharmacist 

In today’s fiercely competitive job market, personal branding has become indispensable for professional success. This holds particularly true for early career pharmacists who are navigating the complexities of establishing themselves in the field. Personal branding involves crafting a unique identity, shaping a reputation, and projecting an image that distinguishes professionals from their peers.

 

Why is Personal Branding Vital for Early Career Pharmacists?

 

Personal branding serves as a potent tool to set early career pharmacists apart by accentuating their individual strengths, skills, and values. In a crowded job market, a compelling personal brand becomes a beacon, capturing the attention of potential employers and collaborators. Beyond mere visibility, a robust personal brand enables early career pharmacists to shape a positive professional reputation, paving the way for career advancement. Moreover, a well-established personal brand has the magnetic power to attract mentors, networking opportunities, and exclusive invitations to industry events, contributing significantly to ongoing career development.

 

Crafting Your Personal Brand: A Roadmap to Success

 

Define Your Values and Unique Selling Points:

 

Identify your core values, strengths, and areas of expertise.

Reflect on what sets you apart in the field and the impact you aspire to make as a pharmacist. This self-reflection forms the bedrock of your personal brand.

Craft Your Personal Brand Statement:

 

Develop a concise and compelling statement that communicates your unique value proposition.

Highlight your expertise, the value you bring to patients or employers, and what makes you stand out. This statement becomes the essence of your personal brand.

 

Online Presence:

 

Establish a professional online presence on platforms like LinkedIn and Locumate.

Optimise your profiles to showcase your achievements, expertise, and interests. Engage in industry discussions, share valuable content, and connect with influential professionals to expand your network and boost visibility.

 

Consistent Messaging:

 

Ensure your personal brand messaging is consistent across all channels.

Align your message from your resume and cover letter to your social media profiles and professional interactions with your personal brand statement and desired professional image.

 

Build Relationships and Network:

 

Actively participate in professional organisations, attend industry conferences, and engage in networking opportunities.

Foster relationships with mentors, colleagues, and industry influencers. Collaboration and mentorship can amplify your personal brand and open doors to new opportunities.

 

Continual Learning and Growth:

 

Invest in continuous learning and professional development.

Stay updated with the latest trends, advancements, and research in pharmacy. Demonstrate a commitment to growth, staying ahead in your field, and strengthening your personal brand.

 

Personal branding is not just a buzzword; it’s a crucial strategy for early career pharmacists looking to thrive in the competitive landscape of pharmacy. By crafting a strong personal brand, you not only differentiate yourself but also build a positive professional reputation, creating opportunities for career advancement. So, start today by developing your personal brand statement and optimising your LinkedIn page! Embracing personal branding not only enhances professional growth but also positions early career pharmacists as confident, competent, and influential healthcare professionals in the pharmacy field.

How do I get involved in Pharmacy outside the classroom?

By Isa Bautista (Student Engagement Lead, Locumate & Intern Pharmacist)

As a newly graduated pharmacy student starting my internship in early January, I have found myself reflecting on the last 4 years I have spent at university. I am grateful that my journey has been filled with excitement, challenges, and a continuously growing passion for the field of pharmacy. It has been such a rewarding experience, from the early days in the classroom to the invaluable hands-on training in placements. Besides staying on top of my studies, I have also been involved in numerous extra-curricular activities which have been instrumental in developing my communication skills, leadership roles, and making new connections. If you’re looking for ideas on how else to get involved in the pharmacy community as a student, I have listed all the pharmacy-related activities I have been involved in throughout my time as a student!

Student pharmacist

Having a part-time job as a student pharmacist, especially in a community pharmacy, is perfect to supplement your studies and consolidate the content you learn in class. Additionally, it is the best way to practice your counselling skills which you will use for the rest of your career. An easy way to keep up to date with job ads is by signing up to Locumate/Jobs in Pharmacy!

Pharmacy technician

I had the opportunity to be a pharmacy technician in a private oncology hospital in my final year of study. This role helped me to understand that being a reliable pharmacist is larger than knowing all of your clinical knowledge, but also having a good grasp of how the PBS works, how to navigate medication shortages, and the importance of interdisciplinary care.

Committee member in student association

Getting involved in your university’s pharmacy student association is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, but also to strengthen your connections with the greater pharmacy industry through helping organise education events, attend sponsor meetings, and advocate for student engagement with the school.

Pharmacy student ambassador

Representing your degree to prospective students alongside other allied health students is a fun way to cultivate interest in the profession. Going to school expos, talking to interested students at Open Days, and making lifelong friendships with the other student ambassadors are experiences I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do during my time at university.

Tutor

Some universities offer casual positions to high-achieving students as tutors for students in younger years. This is a great way to recall content from previous years to keep it fresh in your mind. It is also fulfilling to know that you are helping others in your field to understand challenging information.

In summary, extracurricular activities in a pharmacy program are not just about balancing your academic pursuits with other interests; they are a means of enriching your education, personal growth, and skill development, ultimately making you a more well-rounded and competitive pharmacy professional after graduation. 

 

Why everyone is quitting their 9-to-5: The 5 Benefits of On-Demand Work

In the dynamic landscape of today’s workforce, the rise of on-demand workers is reshaping traditional employment paradigms. From flexibility to increased pay and a better work-life balance, the benefits of on-demand workers are transforming the way we approach employment. Let’s delve into the advantages that come with embracing the on-demand work model.

Flexibility Redefined

One of the standout benefits of on-demand work is the unparalleled flexibility it offers. Unlike traditional 9-to-5 jobs, on-demand workers have the autonomy to set their own schedules. This flexibility caters to diverse lifestyles, making it an ideal option for parents, students, and those seeking a better integration of work and personal commitments. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, on-demand work allows you to tailor your schedule to fit your peak productivity hours.

Better Pay

On-demand work often comes with the potential for increased earnings. The gig economy, characterised by short-term and freelance roles, allows workers to take on multiple projects simultaneously, diversifying income streams. Many on-demand platforms reward skill and efficiency, providing an opportunity for workers to be compensated at rates that reflect their expertise. This increased pay is not only a financial incentive but also a recognition of the value on-demand workers bring to the table.

Better Work-Life Balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a perpetual goal for many professionals, and on-demand work excels in facilitating this equilibrium. The ability to control when and where you work contributes to a more harmonious integration of professional and personal life. Whether it’s attending a midday yoga class, spending quality time with family, or pursuing personal hobbies, on-demand work empowers individuals to craft a lifestyle that aligns with their priorities.

Access to a Diverse Range of Opportunities

On-demand work opens the door to a diverse range of opportunities that might be otherwise inaccessible in traditional employment structures. This diversity can span industries, projects, and collaborations with different teams and organisations. On-demand workers have the chance to explore their passions, acquire new skills, and build a versatile professional portfolio, enriching their overall career trajectory.

Adaptability in a Changing Economy

As the economy evolves, on-demand work proves to be a resilient and adaptable model. It caters to the gig economy’s demand for flexibility and efficiency, allowing workers to quickly pivot between projects and adapt to changing market needs. This adaptability enhances job security and empowers workers to stay relevant in an ever-changing professional landscape.

The benefits of on-demand work extend far beyond the conventional notions of employment. From the unparalleled flexibility that accommodates individual lifestyles to the potential for increased pay and a better work-life balance, on-demand work is revolutionising the way we approach our careers. Embracing the on-demand model not only opens up new opportunities but also empowers individuals to take control of their professional destinies. As we navigate the evolving world of work, the advantages of on-demand workers continue to reshape our understanding of what a fulfilling and successful career looks like.