Reexamining shift work pharmacists in Illinois

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BackgroundEvidence suggests that pharmacists engaged in shift work might present unique characteristics, which has implications for labor supply and pharmacy services delivery.ObjectivesTo characterize shift-work pharmacists by comparing them: (1) with nonshift work pharmacists and (2) by type of shift schedule.MethodsA 4-page self-administered Biennial Pharmacist Compensation Survey was mailed in late 2007 to a random sample of pharmacists licensed and residing in Illinois, United States. Pharmacists were classified as shift work pharmacists if they answered the question asking if their gross base earnings included a shift differential. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, and t tests were used to compare shift work pharmacists with nonshift work pharmacists.ResultsIn Illinois, pharmacists receiving shift work differential pay were more likely to be staff hospital pharmacists who have children. Compared with nonshift pharmacists, they spent significantly more time dispensing and less time on business management activities and “other” functions. The most common types of alternative shifts reported were evening and night shifts.ConclusionsRepeated analysis of pharmacists engaged in shift work in Illinois evidences unique characteristics from pharmacists not involved in such work schedules.

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