About Children's

Questions and Answers

Careers in Pharmacy

Why do pharmacists want to work for Children’s Hospital?
Pharmacists come to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC hoping to make an impact on a child’s life. Pharmacists at Children’s Hospital are also able to have a quality life and flexible scheduling and not just be a pill counter. You truly make a difference in our patients' and families' lives.

What is the environment like? 
The environment is fast-paced and with a high level of acuity. It is an intelligent and stimulating environment in which pharmacists can be challenged and put their skills and knowledge to use.    

How many pharmacists work in your department?
There are 53 pharmacists on staff, comprising full-time, part-time, casual, and clinical pharmacists.

How is the Pharmacy set up?
The main dispensing pharmacy is on Floor 5 of the main hospital in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. This is the area that dispenses the 24-hour supply of both oral and IV medications, including TPN. There is an OR pharmacy on Floor 4 that services the OR from 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and a chemotherapy pharmacy on Floor 9 that prepares chemo for both inpatients and outpatients. 

Would I be considered if I only have a retail background?
Yes, you would be considered if you have only a retail background. Every employee hired by the Pharmacy Department at Children’s goes through training in the IV room, order verification, and dispensing areas.

Is overtime available?
There may be some opportunities for overtime, although it is not guaranteed.

Will I be rotated through all hospital pharmacy functions? 
Possibly. This may include cart and Pyxis filling/checking; chemo prep and checking; IV and TPN functions; crash cart and other emergent med functions; and controlled substance dispensing. 

What are some of the learning opportunities, for example, in-services, CEs, etc? 
The clinical staff tries to provide pertinent in-services on a routine basis; CEs are provided by manufacturer reps on a limited basis.

Will I have any clinical opportunities, for example, attending rounds, working on clinical projects, etc.?
The clinical staff tries to provide pertinent in-service on a routine basis; CEs are provided by manufacturer representatives on a limited basis.

How have the Pharmacy’s role and pharmacists' role expanded upon moving to the new hospital? 
There is a general consensus to move staff toward more clinical involvement. Pharmacy will be called upon more and more as new technological initiatives occur, such as the positive patient identification program.

How is Pharmacy perceived by other health professionals in the hospital?
The department is counted on heavily for medication-related quality assurance issues, as well as medication-related technological implementation. Pharmacy works closely with nursing, respiratory, physicians, dietary, and other disciplines, such as social work. The clinical program has progressed to the point where it is looked upon as integral to patient care.

What is the new hospital like?
The new Children’s Hospital is located in Lawrenceville. Our main pharmacy is approximately 7,700 square feet on Floor 5, and it has windows. 

Last Update
January 29, 2014
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Last Update
January 29, 2014
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