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AIBU?

To think most people have no idea how much a pharmacy dispenser earns?

228 replies

Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:22

Following on from another thread I’ve seen today about TA’s I was wondering if people had any idea how much a pharmacy dispenser earns? And if you think they should be paid more/less than they currently get.

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Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:34

BarelyLiterate · 27/01/2024 20:33

So they do some basic product training in the same way that shop workers in, for example, Currys or B&Q would do?

It’s an NVQ level qualification.

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SoDoffYourHat · 27/01/2024 20:34

I know exactly how much they earn because my sister is one. A few pence above min wage in her case Sad The crap she has to put up with is unbelievable; her pharmacy has a lot of people getting methadone prescriptions who become aggressive; also people getting stroppy about not being able to get non-prescription meds for children; and due to lots of pharmacies closing in the area, they are hugely over-subscribed. Plus all the normal retail stuff such as shoplifters ...

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Rainsew · 27/01/2024 20:36

Toottooot · 27/01/2024 20:29

Doesn’t everybody think they should be paid more though? 🙄

Probably, but with the crisis in community pharmacy provision I suspect people would like to be able to get prescriptions when they need them, so perhaps it's in societies interest to ensure roles like this have a decent wage to attract and retain enough staff? Of course hospital and other settings vitally important too for dispensers.

It's clear from this thread lots of people have zero clue what a pharmacy assistant does though. It's not just reading a prescription and popping pills into boxes. In community especially its advising on OTC medicines/serving customers, answering what can be quite complex queries & gathering info for the pharmacist to review, liaising with doctors/care homes etc on prescriptions & deliveries, ordering/rotating stock, fulfilling what can be literally hundreds of scripts a day, updating systems etc. Sure you generally don't need quals to join (although you do need training once in role and to progress you certainly need NVQs); bit it is a demanding job.

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:36

if they do all that before it gets to me why do they ask if its my first time using a medication I've used for years? Every time.

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SoDoffYourHat · 27/01/2024 20:37

Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:34

It’s an NVQ level qualification.

I saw the materials when my sister was taking the qualifications - heavy going, and lots of coursework stuff as well as the actual tests.

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:37

Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:32

Ahh OK.
In that case I change my answer to a pound or two above a shop assistant.
I actually have no idea what minimum wage is now £11 or so? So may this role should be £13 an hour, I know a teachers starting salary is £19 an hour (32.5 hrs a week for the number of weeks in school + 6 weeks holiday) so it should be less than that but more than a shop assistant.

They could kill someone if they do it wrong though so I think above a teacher.

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:39

Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:34

It’s an NVQ level qualification.

NVQs come in various levels. Which level NVQ?

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Shinyandnew1 · 27/01/2024 20:39

It looks like a Level 2 qualification, @Froggy99 -is that right? Equivalent to a gcse?

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Greensleevevssnotnose · 27/01/2024 20:39

My mum was a dispenser for 25 years in a doctor's surgery. She has a degree in pharmaceuticals and pharmacology. She earned well and retired at 50 on full NHS pension. Took over the practice manager's role afterwards as she was bored as a retired. Not sure if that is different to a dispensing assistant. Before that she was a counter assistant in chemist shop which was more lowly paid.

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Rainsew · 27/01/2024 20:40

saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:36

if they do all that before it gets to me why do they ask if its my first time using a medication I've used for years? Every time.

So that they can check you're alright with how it's administered etc. Whoever hands it out to you isn't necessarily the one who dispensed or checked it, they don't exactly print or check on the computer everyone's history once the label is popped on ready to be handed out to see whether it's worth asking or not.

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Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:40

saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:37

They could kill someone if they do it wrong though so I think above a teacher.

Fuck off is working in a shop worth more than a profession that requires a degree and a post graduate qualification.
The pharmacist yes, that's who does the real checking.
Counting out pills and pouring medicine into a bottle with a NVQ (which incidently can be taken by school leavers) is not worth more than teachers.
Behave yourself.

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KissTheRains · 27/01/2024 20:41

Aren't a lot of people.on low wages put through training courses to an NVQ level?

I'm sure I've seen jobs advertised to earn Barista NVQs and Pets @ Home NVQs

Care workers too, don't they have to do all sorts of training and qualifications etc and they get paid two steps down from nothing.

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Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:42

Greensleevevssnotnose · 27/01/2024 20:39

My mum was a dispenser for 25 years in a doctor's surgery. She has a degree in pharmaceuticals and pharmacology. She earned well and retired at 50 on full NHS pension. Took over the practice manager's role afterwards as she was bored as a retired. Not sure if that is different to a dispensing assistant. Before that she was a counter assistant in chemist shop which was more lowly paid.

That is clearly very different, she would be involved in actually mixing the medicines.
This role appears to be counting tablets.

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Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:42

Shinyandnew1 · 27/01/2024 20:39

It looks like a Level 2 qualification, @Froggy99 -is that right? Equivalent to a gcse?

Yes it’s level 2. Many of us would like to go on to a Pharmacy Technicians course but not many employers are willing as they feel a dispenser is all they need in community pharmacy.

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Backtothe90ties · 27/01/2024 20:43

So you don’t think that teachers should be paid enough to keep children safe! 🤯

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:43

Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:40

Fuck off is working in a shop worth more than a profession that requires a degree and a post graduate qualification.
The pharmacist yes, that's who does the real checking.
Counting out pills and pouring medicine into a bottle with a NVQ (which incidently can be taken by school leavers) is not worth more than teachers.
Behave yourself.

Just because it doesn't require a degree doesn't mean it's worth less money! It's way more responsibility.

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UpUpUpU · 27/01/2024 20:44

Isn't NVQ L2 the same as a decent grade GCSE? So not a high qualification. I believe the pharmacist checks everything before its dispensed so whilst its a job that requires diligence, it doesn't carry full responsibility.

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:44

Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:42

Yes it’s level 2. Many of us would like to go on to a Pharmacy Technicians course but not many employers are willing as they feel a dispenser is all they need in community pharmacy.

Could you find it yourself?

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SoDoffYourHat · 27/01/2024 20:44

Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:40

Fuck off is working in a shop worth more than a profession that requires a degree and a post graduate qualification.
The pharmacist yes, that's who does the real checking.
Counting out pills and pouring medicine into a bottle with a NVQ (which incidently can be taken by school leavers) is not worth more than teachers.
Behave yourself.

Well, the pharmacist doesn't exactly earn a marvellous wage either - starting salary is about £35k rising to £60k for an experienced pharmacist. Given the life or death nature of what they do, that isn't a lot.

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Rainsew · 27/01/2024 20:44

They shouldn't be paid more than teachers but the comments about just counting tablets are so wildly ignorant. I bet people moan about having to wait x days for their prescriptions and all.

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Backtothe90ties · 27/01/2024 20:45

Backtothe90ties · 27/01/2024 20:43

So you don’t think that teachers should be paid enough to keep children safe! 🤯

Sorry this was meant to quote the post by @saltnvini a huge part of teaching is keeping children safe and making sure no harm comes to anyone all day.

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FUPAgirl · 27/01/2024 20:45

I would definitely have expected the pay to be £2-3 over minimum wage.

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Llamallulu · 27/01/2024 20:45

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saltnvini · 27/01/2024 20:46

Backtothe90ties · 27/01/2024 20:45

Sorry this was meant to quote the post by @saltnvini a huge part of teaching is keeping children safe and making sure no harm comes to anyone all day.

They can't kill a child easily with a mistake though. Unless they are a science teacher I guess.

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Froggy99 · 27/01/2024 20:46

KissTheRains · 27/01/2024 20:41

Aren't a lot of people.on low wages put through training courses to an NVQ level?

I'm sure I've seen jobs advertised to earn Barista NVQs and Pets @ Home NVQs

Care workers too, don't they have to do all sorts of training and qualifications etc and they get paid two steps down from nothing.

The pay doesn’t rise when the qualification is complete and I totally agree about care workers. They should definitely be paid a whole lot more as should a lot of people in caring roles.

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