Target Clinic Travels

I hope this blog entry finds everyone enjoying a happy and healthy summer season.  I can’t believe its already July.  Summers are always busy but this one has been especially so for me. I have taken my passion for retail health on the road attending 3 major conferences for healthcare professionals.

It started in early May with attendance at the Retail Clinician Education Congress – a CME program presented by the Convenient Care Association.  The CCA is a national trade association of companies and healthcare systems that provide consumers with accessible, affordable, quality healthcare in retail based locations. In addition to attending this great educational program, I was also able to present 2 Target Clinic practitioners with an Unsung Hero award which recognizes those that go above and beyond the call of duty in the retail clinic setting.  It was wonderful to be able to honor some of the great clinicians we have on our Target team!

A week later I was in Boston, MA for the American Academy of Physician Assistants annual CME conference.  The AAPA is an organization of over 40,000 PAs with a mission to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence, and recognition of physician assistants, and to support their efforts to enable them to improve the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered health care. Once again the CME was superb. At this conference I had the additional opportunity to be a speaker for a CME session educating others on the role and importance of retail health.  It was a great opportunity to learn, teach and make some new connections with other PAs from around the world. It wasn’t all work though- I was able to enjoy “PA night at the Park” with a tour of Fenway Park,

From Boston, I went on to my next conference in Nashville, TN to represent Target Clinic at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners annual conference. The AANP is the largest, full-service professional membership organization for nurse practitioners and represents the interests of approximately 155,000 NPs. This conference serves as an opportunity for NPs to build community and share in medical education.  I had the pleasure of meeting hundreds if not thousands of amazing NP’s at our booth in the exhibitors hall. It was great to see so many people interested in the work of Target Clinic – to provide high quality, low cost, convenient care to our communities.  It was clear that these NP’s work hard and study a lot – but we were also able to insert some fun with a trip to the Grand Ole Opry and some line dancing on Broadway Street.

This travel has been nothing shy of amazing and I am grateful for these wonderful opportunities to meet such marvelous PA’s and NP’s and share our healthcare journey.  If I missed you in Minneapolis, Boston, or Nashville or you just want to connect and share your passion for healthcare, Target, or retail clinics please don’t hesitate to drop me a line- I’d love to share a part of this summer with you.

target healthcare, now at a holiday near you

This is my favorite time of year. All of my free time is filled with family, friends, and traditions. I’m sure you all have some favorite holiday activities and traditions. Recently my friends and I got together to take part in one of my favorites – our annual cookie bake.  We have just the right number of people which means just the right number of cookies and the perfect cookie platters. Thinking about it further, I couldn’t help but think about how grateful I was that we were all healthy and able to participate in this cherished event. This got me thinking about the important role the Target Healthcare team plays in traditions.

I would bet they don’t think about it often, but our clinicians will be a part of so many family traditions this year.  They will help treat our out of town guests who are visiting their relatives for ear infections, allowing them to attend the annual holiday recital. The clinicians will help our guest struggling to get over a cough so he can propose to his girlfriend on New Year’s Eve.  They will treat our younger guests for strep throat so they can visit Grandma for what might be her last Christmas. Our clinicians will even be there checking Grandpa’s blood pressure when he has had too much holiday ham, helping to keep him healthy for all the holidays to come.

The same can be said for our pharmacists– they will be playing a large role in the holiday traditions of our guests too. When an out of town guest forgets their maintenance medication at home, our pharmacists will work to get them the medication they need to enjoy a safe and healthy trip. When our guest comes down with sinusitis our pharmacists will work quickly to fill their antibiotics and make supportive care recommendations to get them on the road to recovery faster so they can join in all the family festivities. Our pharmacists also give our guests influenza vaccines to help keep them from picking up the flu wherever their travels and traditions may take them.

Our pharmacists and clinicians make a difference in the lives of so many people. They make and keep our guests healthy so they can be a part of the traditions they love.  This healthcare team comes in early and stays late to ensure our guests can make memories they will cherish for a lifetime. That is important and AMAZING work.  I feel blessed to work with individuals who play such a big role in the communities they serve. So I raise my holiday cookie to you Target healthcare teams – you make a difference just by being there and by being YOU!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

Amazing Nurse Practitioners at Target Clinic

Last month I shared how much I love my profession and recognition. Well, I would be completely remiss if I did not share my love and recognition for another medical profession that staffs Target Clinic in Minnesota– Nurse Practitioners (NP). And since National Nurse Practitioner Week is celebrated this month I thought this would be perfect timing.  I asked one of our fabulous NPs, Kristen, to share more about the profession and what she enjoys about working at Target Clinic.

Lexie: What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Kristen: A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has expanded his or her education and passed a national certification exam. Some nurse practitioners are known as “Advanced Practice Registered Nurses”. As an NP, I am trained to diagnose and treat most medical conditions. I can also write prescriptions for medications and order lab tests and x-rays. I have also been trained to preform minor office procedures such as: casting, suturing, and mole/wart/skin tag removal- just to name a few. Though, I don’t do all of these things at Target Clinic, they are all within the scope of my training.

L: Last month I talked about PA education and training. How does this differ from a NP’s?

K: There are a number of differences ranging from the clinician’s background to practice guidelines. Nurse practitioners are required to have a bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse and to practice as a registered nurse for at least 1000 hours prior to beginning an NP program. Nurse Practitioner programs can be either a masters or doctoral program and generally take 3-4 years to complete. After completion of a NP program, NPs must pass a national certification exam in order to become certified. In order to maintain that status a NP must practice at least 1000 hours and maintain a specified number of continuing education credits every five years.

L: So with NPs able to work in a variety of settings, what brought you to Target Clinic?

K:  Prior to coming to Target, I worked as a registered nurse for seven years. My cohorts frequently ask me why I work for Target Clinics; the answer is simple- I LOVE my job! As an NP I am driven by the ability to help patients meet their healthcare needs through innovative, quality and convenient service which Target Clinic offers all of their guests. I have also always been very passionate about development, leadership, and leading amazing teams to be successful. These are all opportunities that I have been presented while working for Target Clinics. Additionally, I am fortunate to work with amazing leaders who are invested in my future and who support my personal development every step of the way.

L: Anything else you’d like to share?

K: I am proud to be one of more than 171,000 certified nurse practitioners in the US. I truly have a sincere appreciation and passion for the profession, which is why I am an NP. As National Nurse Practitioner Week was November 10-16, I would like to recognize all of the fabulous nurse practitioners that I work with at Target Clinics for all of their hard work, dedication and professionalism. The patients that we serve deserve the best and that’s exactly what they get when they are seen at Target Clinic!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

PA’s at Target…..What’s a PA?

One thing I love about working at Target is the culture of recognition. It feels wonderful to be recognized for the great things you do for our guests, team, and business. This month that recognition is especially exciting for me as it celebrates my profession, physician assistant. To help spread the word about the profession I asked one of my team members, Jill, to share some additional information on both.

Lexie:  What is a physician assistant?

 Jill: A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. At Target, PAs work in our retail medical clinics located in select Target stores providing healthcare to our guests for everything from minor illnesses and vaccines to biometric screenings and sport physicals.

L:  How are PAs educated and trained?

J: A PAs education is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The PA course of study is rigorous and intense.  Applicants to PA programs must complete a bachelor’s degree with a course load similar to the premedical studies required of medical students.  Once a PA student, there are many hours of classroom and laboratory studies. PA students also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in various practice settings which include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Practicing PAs participate in lifelong learning. In order to maintain national certification, a PA must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. A PA must also take a re-certification examination similar to the way a physician would.

 L: What can PAs do?

J: PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals.  At Target Clinic, PAs provided high quality medical care to our guests and team members.

 

Now let’s take time to recognize!

I would like to recognize all of my PA colleagues for all of the hard work and dedication you exemplify to the healthcare profession and for Target Clinic. Research shows that patients are just as satisfied with PA-provided care as they are with physician care and I think that is AMAZING! Keep up the hard work and thank you for all you do to keep our guests and team healthy!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

Shoo, Flu

We have officially entered my favorite season – fall! I love fall for so many reasons: the weather, the return of football, the colors of the leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes, and of course flu vaccines! Now, I don’t actually love getting the shot but I do love everything they do for our guests and our teams so I thought I would share a bit about it.

Influenza, more commonly called the flu, is a respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches and a runny or stuffy nose. The flu spreads when people cough or sneeze causing the bug to land on nearby people – gross! Flu illnesses typically peak in January or February and effect anywhere from 5% to 20% of the population. The Flu can cause lots of complications including sinus infections, ear infection, and pneumonia. Complications like these cause on average 200,000 Americans to be hospitalized each year and 3,000 to 49,000 deaths – now that’s serious!

The good news is we have a seriously good way of preventing the flu from getting you – the flu shot! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent getting the flu and the CDC recommends that EVERYONE 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine. Even better news? You can get your flu shot at your nearby Target Pharmacy or Target Clinic- talk about convenient.  Target also offers several different vaccine options in addition to the traditional flu shot including a nasal mist, micro needle, preservative free, and high dose. Our Target clinicians and Target pharmacists are psyched about flu shot season and are ready to help our guests make the best choice for them.

Our pharmacy and clinic teams have been hard at work protecting our guests with flu vaccines for about a month now and they have given 150,000 shots already! But we don’t just want our guests to be healthy; we want our team to be healthy too! That’s why Target provides free flu vaccines to all Target team members. Being a partner in health to our team and guests while protecting our communities from the flu is really rewarding. So rewarding that our clinic and pharmacy teams are asking everyone they see if they want to get their flu shot today and having some really fun competitions to see who can give the most flu vaccines this season. And while they are giving those flu shots, I will be right there with them to help everyone to have the biggest, best and safest flu vaccine season ever.

So this fall while you are enjoying the changing leave colors and the return of football also think about preventing the flu with a vaccine. Our providers and pharmacists are ready to help you stay well this season – you can even enjoy a pumpkin spiced latte while you are visiting us!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

Happy Anniversary to Me

This month I will celebrate my fourth anniversary with Target Clinic. While this may not be a milestone anniversary like 5, 10 or even 20 years,  it still has caused me to reflect on the last four years- what brought me to Target Clinic, what I love about working at Target Clinic, and what my future here holds.

After graduating from PA school I took a job in family medicine. I liked my job- I had great colleagues and wonderful patients. However, after a few years I found myself feeling a little less engaged. I had great ideas for improving patient care, for helping the business grow, and making the transition from student to provide easier for our team but there was no avenue for me to share these ideas. I was no longer challenged and invigorated by my work. I had a former colleague who was working for Target Clinic and she loved it. Knowing what an amazing provider she was I thought if she loved it, then chances are I would too! And I do!

Lots of people come to Target this way; as a referral from a trusted friend or colleague. It turns out great people love working with (and for!) other great people. Once I was here, I saw the opportunity to do all those things that I was not doing in my last job.  I was able to share ideas for improve patient care through my role on the clinic safety and quality team. I was also able to help the business grow by generating ideas for our new clinic services committee.  Both of these opportunities, as well as many others, helped me to develop not only as a healthcare provider but also as leader.

Development is one of the things I love most about working for Target Clinics.  My leaders’ investment in my development helped me grow from being a healthcare provider in one of our clinics to now being an area clinic manager supporting many clinics. I now have the ability to help develop other providers both as clinicians and as future healthcare leaders. Helping others to develop as leaders and achieve career goals is one of the most rewarding things I do in my current role.

As for what my future at Target Clinic holds? While I’m not entirely certain, what I do know is that I have leaders who are passionate about helping me continue to develop my leadership skills and achieve my personal and professional goals. With their amazing support I know that my future at Target Clinic is bright and I look forward to celebrating my next anniversary!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

Target Clinic goes to Vegas

In my position as an area clinic manager, my business travel is typically limited to the area where I manage Target Clinics (in this case the great Twin Cities of Minnesota) but recently I had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas! “Why Vegas?”,  you might ask. To attend the annual conference of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners™ (AANP), of course! The AANP is the largest, full-service national professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NP) of all specialties and represents the interests of approximately 155,000 NPs. This conference serves as an opportunity for NPs to build community and share in medical education.

I got to spend my time at the conference doing two of my favorite work things – interacting with amazing medical professionals and talking about Target Clinic. I was part of a team manning a booth to spread the word about Target Clinics to nurse practitioners from across the country. Target currently has clinics in only six states so a lot of NPs were (pleasantly) surprised to see us at the conference.

Turns out Target Clinic and the AANP have a lot in common. The AANP is an advocate for providers of high-quality, cost effective, patient centered healthcare and Target Clinic looks to provide these things to our guests – a perfect match! The providers I met were really excited to learn more about retail healthcare and the services we provide to our Target guests and communities. They were also pretty excited about the healthcare tins of Target facial tissue, bandages, and hand sanitizer we were giving away (I think the bandages most of all since several NPs, like me, had blisters from walking the Vegas strip and dancing!)

Even with the blisters the conference was a huge success. I met some great NPs that I would love to see become Target Clinic team members! It was also great opportunity to share more about retail healthcare and Target Clinics growing presence in this arena. So for all you NP’s out there, keep your eyes peeled- a Target Clinic could be coming to your area soon!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

school is out & new graduates are here

Right now is my favorite time of year!  We are on-boarding new graduates and interns in every part of our business.   As our new grads start their professional journey, they are excited, nervous, anxious and last but not least READY!  One thing I can guarantee if you start your profession with Target, you will be ready.  We have a five week training program that incorporates leadership and technical knowledge that prepares our new team members  to care for our guests’ healthcare needs.

Target also connects our new leaders to a network of other executives to support them along the way.  There are a multitude of resources to set them up for success.  We have a best practice and training for everything, so when you are in doubt you can look it up!

Our training is not only for technical expertise; we also start our leaders with resources for their individual development. My journey as a pharmacist started off a little different with another retailer and I am proud to say I am now part of a team that values training and a successful kickoff to a long career.  The resources we have at Target helped me gain the confidence I needed to be a successful leader and I have felt that way in every step of my Target journey.

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: T is for TWENTY!

Photo: retired

I can’t believe this is my TWENTIETH post and am sad to say it will be my last.  After 13 months of writing about the wonders of Target pharmacy, I will be retiring my blogging torch.  I can only hope the next pharmacist blogger has as much fun as I have.

Special thanks goes out to my pharmacy team for modeling for the photographs, giving me ideas when I was stuck (that “J” post was a tough one!), and proofreading my posts.  My personal favorite was the “C” post, about being part of the community.  There were many times it came to mind since writing it, as I continually run into guests outside of Target.  My favorite picture was of my technician Nang bowling in the “L” post.  We got some crazy looks from guests when they saw me standing on a ladder taking pictures of the pharmacy!

I’m thinking of spending my retirement from blogging in our  furniture department, catching up on some reading and answering guests’ questions from the comfort of our lounge chairs.  Something tells me that won’t last long!  In the meantime, I hope to work for Target for another 20 years and then really retire to see the world.  Luckily, I feel secure knowing I’m working for a strong company, with a great family of co-workers, and in the best store in the world!

 

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: S is for Staffing

Photo: backup cashier request button

Attention all pharmacists, interns, and technicians:  Raise your hand if you have ever heard from your boss, “You aren’t using enough technician hours.” I’m guessing the only hands in the air are those of Target team members.

These were the exact words from one of our managers on his last visit to our store.  Hearing that we need to increase our staff is something I’m guessing isn’t normal everywhere. Luckily, we have a pool of over 200 team members right in front of our eyes as potential technician candidates.  Those 200 team members are the great people that already work for Target in our store. They are perfect to transition into the pharmacy since they are already familiar with the expectations of the company and the demographics of our guests.

Over the years, I think I have only hired a handful of people that weren’t already Target team members. In fact, our entire pharmacy is currently staffed with team members I pulled from the store after seeing how great they were. Anneva came from price change, Nang from electronics, Rae from the front lanes, Annette from cosmetics, and Jessica from the front lanes. It just goes to show that at Target, the career possibilities are endless!

Increasing the number of backup cashiers is another focus in 2013. We have a button on each register and by the workstation we can press when a little extra help is needed when we get unexpected rushes.  Once the button is pressed, all back-up trained team members from the sales floor come running to the rescue.  In the event more help is needed,  we have trained every executive in the store  to respond to calls for backup too. Yes, even our store manager, Travis, has been known to ring up pharmacy guests when needed! Our goal is to have even more sales team members added to our resources when needs arise. Who knows, one of these helpful backups might just turn out to be our next shining star technician!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: R is for Refill

Photo: target pharmacy app

My first pharmacy job was in 1992. It was the classic mom-and-pop operation, and my job was head  (and only!) cashier and chief phone operator. The majority of business was delivering  prescriptions to nearby nursing homes.  So, every morning, the nurses would call in numerous refills for their residents, and I would manually write down the hundreds of numbers they were spouting off to me. Remember, this was long before voicemail, email, and even fax machines.

We’ve come a long way, baby! Twenty years later, there have been vast improvements in getting prescriptions refilled to help cut down on the number of phone calls pharmacies receive and the time guests spend requesting those refills.

Automated phone systems and Target.com/pharmacy were the first two advancements to aid in refill requests. With the automated phone system, guests can call and just type in the prescription numbers they need, day or night, over the phone. They don’t have to wait until we are open, nor do they have to wait on hold to speak to someone. With the internet feature, there are lots of cool options, from refilling prescriptions, transfering from other locations, and even setting refills up for Auto Refill.

Speaking of Auto Refill, this system was designed to eliminate the need to request a refill at all. Guests that are taking a regular medication can set their prescription up to automatically refill when it is due. That way, it is here at the pharmacy waiting for them when they need it.

Recently, Target developed an app for both the iPhone and Android systems that allows our guests to manage prescriptions from their phone. What I love most about the Target Pharmacy app is that you can view your entire prescription profile to request refills when needed. This eliminates the need for a prescription number at all.  All our guests have to do is click on the needed medication, and the pharmacy will then refill it for them. This really comes in handy when you need a refill on an eye drop and the box with the prescription number on it was long thrown away.

The app also has a feature where the pharmacy can text the guest to let them know their prescription is ready. This feature was just added, so we are encouraging all of our guests to sign up to receive texts. Then next time you are in your Target pharmacy, ask about getting enrolled to be eligible.

Needless to say, technology has changed the face of pharmacy in a huge way since my days of pen and paper. I can’t wait to see what improvements Target has in store for the next twenty years!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: Q is for Q-Tips

What do cotton swabs and blood pressure medication have in common?  Quite a bit if you think of them as items that have to be stocked in Target.  So, who takes care of refilling these items once they sell out?  We have an awesome restock team that takes care of everything out on the floor, while the pharmacy team is in charge of restocking all the prescription inventory.

Target has a whole department that takes care of stocking our shelves, ironically enough called the “in stock” team.  This awesome team really takes the pressure off the pharmacy, which frees up time for us to do what we do best-help our guests.  Some retailers put all the pressure on the pharmacy team to keep the over-the-counter merchandise stocked, but not Target.  Also, Target’s system is great in that we are able to do a look-up on any item at any register to see if there might be more in stock in our backroom.

Let’s say we’ve had a run on Q-Tips, and a guest needs 20 boxes more. We are able to quickly determine whether there is an extra case in the back room.   It only takes a matter of minutes before one of our hard working in stock team members pulls the Q-Tips for our guest and brings  it out to them, saving us from having to run to the back and search the shelves.

Now to that quinapril (blood pressure medication).   We love that our wholesaler delivers to us each and every weekday. , We are able to order just about anything and have it the next day for our guests.  For example, one of our guests might be going overseas for a year and needs 365 quinapril to control his blood pressure.   It still amazes me that we are able to order his quinapril at 6:30pm on a Tuesday and have it delivered by noon on Wednesday.  That’s what I call service!

So, the next time you find an empty spot for merchandise you are needing, stop by the pharmacy.  We will be happy to research it for you and give you an answer.  You never know when you might need 20 boxes of Q-Tips or a year’s supply of quinapril!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The abc’s of Target pharmacy: P is for Pediatrics

Nothing has made me a better pharmacist more than becoming a parent. Until you have to measure out 3.2 milliliters of antibiotic with one hand while holding an infant in the other, you just don’t understand how hard giving kids their medication can be.

Target has several awesome programs designed to help exasperated parents make sure “the medicine goes down, in the most delightful way!” Better than the spoonful of sugar Mary Popppins would have given, Target pharmacists have to ability to flavor any liquid medication using the FlavoRx system. And the best part is that Target does not charge for this service. Before having children, I secretly thought that kids should have to suffer the taste of medicine just like the rest of us did. Having a toddler with an ear infection changed all that. After she spit the sticky pink antibiotic all over the kitchen, I took it back to the pharmacy and let her pick out her flavor. Just her knowing she was more in charge of the situation by being out to blurt out “BANANA” helped us get all 10 days’ worth down. Having it flavored for free was just a bonus.

Another pediatric trick Target pharmacists have up their sleeves is the PIBA (press-in-bottle-adaptor) we put in all liquid medication bottles. This little magic gem allows the parent to put a measuring syringe in the top of the bottle, turn it upside down, and draw out the exact amount of liquid. This prevents all kinds of spills and messes from trying to get those last few doses from the bottom. Parents are so in love with our PIBAs that we have a few per week asking for some to put in their over-the-counter liquid medications, and I am more than happy to help them out.

Pediatric medications have come a long way since the days of chalky antibiotics and horrible tasting cough syrups. I love working for a company that is innovative and compassionate in their pursuit of getting the medicine down – especially for the little ones!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: O is for Ovidrel

Ovidrel, Menopur, and Follistim, oh my!  These were a few of the prescriptions I faced when I first started working at my current Target Pharmacy location. Truth be told, I wasn’t very familiar with them.

Little did I know the pharmacist before me had partnered with a local fertility specialty clinic and realized the opportunity for a pharmacy to carry fertility medication. Soon after, the pharmacist, was able to bring in fertility medications like Ovidrel, Menopur, and Follistim. Luckily, for me, the Target technicians and nurses at the fertility clinic were a wealth of knowledge and helped me quickly learn about how to use the medications and billing.

It’s exciting working for a company that allows their pharmacists to identify a need and empower them to fill it. If we had been confined to limited items or medication pricing, we may never have been able to partner with the fertility clinic so easily. That’s why I love working at Target.

One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing the entire journey of the arrival of a newborn baby to a family that has struggled with fertility issues. It is these families that we just love see start with Ovidrel, then prenatal vitamins, and finally pain relief medications after the arrival of their new bundle of joy.

Although filling prescriptions for medications was very daunting at first, I am now so thankful for my predecessor’s willingness to branch out, solve a need and for Target having the framework in place to make it happen!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: N is for Newbie

Photo: Trisha Training a Newbie

Congratulations!  You’ve made it past Target’s rigorous interview process, breezed through the pre-hire process,  passed your pharmacy boards and have been hired as one of Target’s newest pharmacists.  Now what?

Well, you get to go back to college, Business College that is!  Business College is the comprehensive training program (five weeks for health care) required for all new executives. During Business College, you will attend core classes, leadership training and complete position-based training using individual, position-specific Learning Plans. All new pharmacists at Target spend the first week on the job learning important details about the company along with all of other new executives from other departments. Business College has proven to be a great opportunity to network with other new team members and develop a better understanding of the roles throughout the store.

From the very beginning, Target invests in you and your development! However, our health care onboarding experience rivals others’ in breadth and depth of training. In addition to a comprehensive position-based training program that focuses on building skills and applying your learnings in dedicated practice, you will also be trained in Target culture, business ownership, personal/professional development and what it means to be a leader at Target. You will engage in a blended learning experience that leverages formal training, purposeful on-the-job experiences and devoted trainers and supervisors. Everyone soon finds that these four weeks will be invaluable to your success once you are practicing your new profession on your own.  Also, Target recognizes that based on State Board of Pharmacy requirements, you must complete continuing education credits to maintain your license. As a Target Pharmacist, you will have free access to Drug Store News and Pharmacist’s Letter to assist with these requirements. Target integrates this clinical education into your training through several required CE courses to support Target culture and process as well as recommends CE courses to support your role as a Target Pharmacist

By the end of your training period, you will have a closet full of red and khaki, a network of resources, and the confidence to be a Target pharmacist.

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: M is for Makeover

Photo: m is for makeover

Back in 2005, Target launched ClearRx, the first major change in prescription vials  since the early 1900’s.   When ClearRx was first launched, it was so exciting to be part of such an inovative company.  Pharmacists, and other medical professionals, from other venues would stop by just to check out the new bottles.  It was fun being the most popular pharmacy on the block.

This month, after considering guests’  feedback for the past 7 years, a few changes will be seen in our vials.  ClearRx Version 2 can be seen in the pharmacy starting in mid August, and we couldn’t be more excited!

The biggest change we will see is the addition of PINK as a color choice. With ClearRx, each guest has their own color band around the neck of the vial to help distinguish their medications from others in the household.    From day one, guests have been asking for pink, and I know of quite a few that will be so excited to see this addition.

Another big change our guests will see is the shape of the bottle.  The new design will now stand on either end, as the top of the old design has been flattened out, meaning no more pills spilling out.   The lids have also been improved with the addition of a “click” sound when the bottle is closed, ensuring our guests know it is indeed shut.

Finally, we are seeing a huge reduction in the number of components needed, down from 29 to 13.  The 4 bottle sizes can now be used to hold tablets, capsules, and even liquids, eliminating the need for seperate liquid bottles.  Also, the one lid size now fit any bottle.  Yippee!  We no longer have to stock 3 different lid sizes.  Since our pharmacy is so limited on storage space, this is a huge win for our team.

We are so excited about our new-and-improved version of ClearRx and can’t wait to hear what our guests have to say about it!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: L is for Layout

Photo: Pharmacy bowling

Besides a pharmacy,  I  also work in a bowling alley.  However, it’s not the kind of bowling alley with funny shoes and crashing pens.

Our “bowling alley” is actually the terminology Target uses for the layout at this pharmacy.  We are one of a few remaining bowling alley stores, as Target continues to improve on the designs of newer pharmacies and remodel older ones.  I like to think of the newer stores as “basketball courts” since they are so big and bright!

Since our store opened in 1998, several great changes have been to the newer stores including:

– Doubling the square footage to make room for storage.
– Adding full-sized fridges with freezers to allow for frozen vaccine storage
– Condensing the number of closing gates from 3 to 1
– Including a separate door so that team members can work in the pharmacy outside of pharmacy hours

Updates to the bowling alley stores have also been improved to include:

– CARPET!!
– Increased computer terminals from two before  to four now, with my favorite being the one by the drop-off window
– Shredding has gone from us manually feeding each page into a shredder to a service picking up our confidential information once a week, saving us hours per day
– Additional dorm-sized fridge for immunizations
– Paint color changed from grey to red to match the store

Features you won’t see in any Target pharmacy are:

– No drive-through; our format allows for more one-on-one guest experience
– No glass shield between the pharmacy and the floor, again improving the guest experience
– No coffee bar or on-staff masseuse…hint, hint!

I look forward to the many changes we will see in the coming years and am still keeping my fingers crossed on the bowling alleys getting remodeled into basketball courts!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Pharmacy: K is for Kylie

Photo: Kylie

I have dreamed about going to Pharmacy School since my sophomore year of high school.  The ability to combine my people skills, love of science and math, and my desire to help people had me hooked.  When I was accepted to the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy (class of 2015), I was thrilled.  I think I found an excuse to bring it up in just about every conversation and I couldn’t stop grinning every time I got another email from the school.  And even though I had NO idea what area of pharmacy I wanted to go into, one thing was sure…I had zero intention of going into retail.

Even pharmacy students have their own stereotypes and preconceived notions about different areas of pharmacy.  Logically I knew that retail pharmacists weren’t just standing behind a counter, counting pills, and doing paperwork all day.  But still, where was the patient interaction?  Where was the getting to be a part of a medical profession?  When I took a pharmacy internship with Target, I thought that it was just a summer internship to gain some experience.

It did not take long before I realized that everything I thought about retail was wrong.  Although I am just an intern, I am learning about so many different aspects of pharmacy…aspects that I never even knew existed.  At my pharmacy, guests are a number one priority.  The pharmacists are always ready to ask if guests need help with anything and are never too busy to answer their questions.  From dealing with doctor demands to infuriating insurance issues, Target pharmacists do it all with a smile.  I never realized that it was possible to be in a retail pharmacy, especially not a chain, and have the guests be the number one priority.  However, I learn something new every single day that challenges my original thoughts about retail.

As an intern, not only am I learning the in’s and out’s of the behind the scenes work (taking new prescriptions, filling scripts, helping guests to locate items, etc.), but I am also getting the opportunity to experience the importance of teamwork, leadership, and guest focus.  Through intern conference calls and pharmacy intern activities, Target works to guarantee that their interns are learning as much as possible about the company and what it means to be a Target employee (or Pharmacist, in my case).  The intern/campus recruiters have been with us every step of the way and I know that I can always find someone with an answer to my questions.

So if you ever find yourself thinking that retail pharmacists are just pill counters who try to hurry guests through as quickly as possible you definitely need to think again.  Thanks to my internship with Target pharmacy, I have changed my opinion on the retail setting once and for all…and it is safe to say that a career as a retail pharmacist for Target is now a path well worth pursuing!

Guest post by Kylie, Pharmacy Intern

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s Target pharmacy: J is for J.D. Power

Photo: J.D. Power recognition

Target pharmacies were recently ranked #1 in satisfaction by J.D. Power for the FIFTH year in a row.  I always thought J.D. Power only gave awards to car companies, but I’ve learned they do extensive surveys on all kinds of industries.  Evaluation of pharmacies began five years ago, and I am so proud to work for a company that has won in the “brick and mortar: mass retail” category every single year.   See the press release here.

Of the 975 companies J.D. Power has reviewed, only seven companies have maintained their #1 ranking for five consecutive years.  I am so proud of us!

All of our hard work in the stores has not gone un-noticed.  After Target pharmacies were recognized by J.D. Power, Target execs got to work on door clings, posters, and advertisements that could be seen in all stores, sharing the news about our award.  They also sent out certificates to each store’s pharmacy team, congratulating us on the top honors.

So, what sets Target pharmacies apart, allowing us to keep our #1 status?  I think it all comes down to attitude, both in our team members and our guests.   Team members throughout the store are “fast, fun, and friendly”.  The positive attitude from our entire store team helps the pharmacy by providing a pleasant shopping experience not found in other retailers.

From the moment they walk through the doors, most guests seem excited to be in Target.  Our reputation of providing fun, affordable, and quality merchandise helps me in my job by providing a shopping experience for our guests while waiting for their prescriptions to be filled.   Shopping for pain relievers and bandages in other stores isn’t near as much fun at browsing Target’s seasonal aisles!

So, although the pharmacies were recognized, it took an entire company’s efforts for us to win.  Thanks to our awesome advertising, merchandising, cart-pushing, popcorn-making, internet-designing, logistics-ing, and pharmacy-supporting teams for all that you do!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target pharmacy: I is for Immunizations

Photo: Two brave team members

Had I been told when I was in pharmacy school that I would have to give shots to patients, I would have high-tailed it out of there.  Goodbye pharmacy, and hello accounting! After all, I have suffered from trypanophobia all my life.  Anytime syringes were involved, I was sure to pass out.  The list of my fainting episodes is a running joke in my family including when:

  • I saw my sister get her ears pierced when I was 9.
  • my friend gave herself her insulin before a meal, and my head ended up in my plate.  Luckily there was no food in it yet!
  • my boss gave me the details of his knee surgery, especially the anesthesia part.
  • at least eight times I had to get blood drawn or immunizations.
  • the two IV’s I was given with the c-sections of my two kids.
  • and, the best one, the first time I sold syringes in a pharmacy.

My heart dropped when I read that Target pharmacists were going to start giving immunizations.  My first instinct was to tell my boss the truth, that I was the equivalent of a 4-year-old when I saw any syringe.

But, then I decided this was my one chance to overcome my phobia and face my fears head on.  After dipping my toes in the water with the online training, I attended an 8 hour live training where I dove in head first.   I survived without a single scene being made.

Since then, I’ve grown to enjoy giving immunizations.  It’s forced me to learn something new and step out of my little pharmacy box.   I was worried the whole process would disrupt work-flow, forcing my regular guests to wait longer than usual.  I was worried someone else would suffer from trypanophobia and would faint on me also.  I was worried I might fall back on my old ways and faint while giving a shot.  Knock on wood, none of my worries have come to pass…

I’d like to say I’m 100% cured, but that wouldn’t be true.  Last winter, I had some blood drawn and passed out on the poor nurse.   I wasn’t as grown up as I thought.  So, next fall when I’m giving you your flu shot, do as I say and not as I do and just “Be brave!”

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: H is for Hot Shifts and Holidays

Photo: Cate the Staffing Angel

Most pharmacist’s dream schedule would be Monday through Friday 9-5, no weekends, no holidays.  For 99 percent of us, it is only a dream.  But, now that I’ve worked 12 hour shifts, weekends, and holidays for so long, I don’t know that “banker’s hours” are for me.

I’ve grown to enjoy having a day off during the week, where I can shop without the crowds, see the doctor without worrying about leaving work, and even participate in my kids’ school activities.  Our pharmacy is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Luckily, my partner is willing to trade off weekends, so very rarely do I have to miss an event if I know about it far enough in advance.

In Texas, Target’s full-time pharmacists are salaried, with additional pay for any extra shifts that are picked up.  These extra shifts are known as “hot shifts” in our market.  I’ve worked all over the state of Texas and even at a  few stores in Oklahoma picking up hot shifts when I can.  Odessa, Lubbock, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City have all made for interesting experiences.  Now that I have kids, I haven’t been able to help out as much, so I really appreciate when others pick up my shifts that need to be covered!

Our region has a main scheduler that is an absolute angel!  Cate works her tail off figuring out needs, re-arranging schedules, and making magic happen to ensure all of her 52 pharmacies open with a smiling face 362 days per year.  We use a scheduling tool called staffing angel, and Cate is truly our region’s staffing angel.  That’s her pictured above working her magic.

As far as holidays go, all Target pharmacies are closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  My partner and I trade off the other holidays to keep it equal.  Although I would rather be off, working a holiday is usually an easy shift and is a great opportunity to get caught up.  I have to admit, I get a  little jealous when ringing up guests for their sunscreen, margarita mix, and beach towels on July 4th.  However, I never get jealous of guests buying aspirin on New Year’s Day!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: G is for Guest Survery

Photo: Rae being green

We’ve all seen them ­– you  know, those surveys that print out at the bottom of receipts.  Target is no exception.  If I didn’t work in retail, I would have no idea how valuable input from guests was from those surveys.

Each month, we get a report with the results from every survey that was completed from our pharmacy.  There is nothing more encouraging than reading great feedback, and, on the flip side, negative feedback can be a great motivator to make ourselves better.

We are “graded” in six different areas and are awarded either  red (boo!), yellow (boo!), or green (yea!). You can guess what color we strive for monthly.  The more surveys we have completed, the better our score seems to be.  Lucky for me, I have great support staff among my team that really knows how to encourage our guests to make the extra effort and leave us positive feedback.  Thanks to Anneva, Rae, Emily, and Annette, we have a longstanding green record!

Now that I know how valuable a positive response can be, I try to fill out most of the surveys I receive from other vendors.  Who knows, I might just be their next big winner!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: F is for Fringe Benefits

Photo: Derek and his popcorn

I’ll be honest here.  I had no intentions of working in retail pharmacy longer than I had to.  When I first moved to Dallas, I went to work for Target because it made financial sense.  I was going to work  here for six months and then quit to go to work at the big, fancy downtown hospital.  Sure, I was going to take a pay cut, but it sounded so glamorous.

So, why am I still here twelve years later?  What keeps me from going to work for one of the other retailers seen on every corner in town? For the fringe benefits of course!  Where else am I going to get:

  • One stop shopping.  It is so nice being able to pick up fresh groceries, diapers, a cute outfit for the evening, and a movie all in one place without even leaving work.  Every now and then I have to go shopping somewhere else, and it is torture.
  • 10% off on the coolest stuff.  Remember the Missoni for Target craze? It all sold out in one day, but I was able to score an awesome shirt and even save a little money on it.  Practically everything in my house came from Target, and I just love it when visitors ask, “Where did you find that?”
  • People watching.  The public never ceases to amaze me.  Enough said.

There are a few of us in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that have been Target pharmacists for over 10 years.  Here are some of the awesome responses they gave:

  • Tamara said, “I must say the number one thing that keeps me here is my team.  We’ve built great relationships with each other and it would be extremely hard for me to leave them.”
  • Lori said, “My partner and my team”  (good to know since she is my partner!)
  • Becky said, “Continuing to work with teams on developing and providing a great resource to guests.”
  • Cate said, “The first thing I think of is my peers.  There are so many of my team members that are so much more than just that.  I consider them friends as well!  The support I get from them is amazing!  Target sees the reason most of us became pharmacists in the first place…to take care of people.”
  • And, finally, our resident comedian Derek (pictured above) said, “I love the smell of fresh popcorn and I believe there is a direct vent from the pharmacy to Food Avenue.  Who could leave that?”  HA!

If it isn’t evident from these responses,  so many of us consider our pharmacy teams as family. I couldn’t agree more!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: E is for Education

Photo: Kevin practicing his skills

Because Target pharmacists give immunizations, we are required to be CPR certified.  We renew this certification every two years, and my renewal date came up this month.  So off to one of the Fort Worth Target stores I went after completing an online course and test.  Thankfully, the whole certification is all set up and paid for by Target, so all I have to do is show up and prove my “abilities.”  Thanks to Kevin, pictured above, for demonstrating proper technique.  Hopefully, we won’t ever to have to use our knowledge in a real life situation.

Pharmacists are also required to get a certain number of continuing education hours, depending on the state.  Texas requires thirty hours every two years.  I end up getting most of my hours through Pharmacist’s Letter, an excellent publication that gives lots of information about medications.  Pharmacist’s Letter is one of my favorite resources for staying current because it is completely unbiased publication that does not take money from any drug companies.  Their continuing education normally costs $30 per year, but Target picks up this cost for all of their pharmacists.  It’s just another benefit of working for this awesome company!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: D is for Dress Code

Photo: Monica's Closet

When, I was first hired WAAAAY back in 2000 (ha, it seems like yesterday!), I owned exactly one red article of clothing, a  swimsuit cover-up.  It wasn’t exactly appropriate for the red shirt/khaki attire that you see most of us wearing.  Luckily, Target sent me a welcome packet that included a cute red polo shirt that got me by on my first day of work.

Since then, the number of red shirts I own far outnumbers any other color in my closet.  I’ve notice that when I go shopping now, the first thing that draws my eye is anything red.  It’s considered a great success if I can find cute work shirts on the sales rack!  I have grown to love the red and khaki dress code, as picking out an outfit each day takes exactly 10 seconds.  Gone are the days of agonizing over what I am going to wear to work. Oh, and just an FYI, the Merona Ultimate Chino pants from Target are the best.  They need no ironing, stand up to many washes, and are a perfect fit.

Target also sends the pharmacists smocks to wear, in either short or long sleeved.  I’m a three-quarter length kind of gal, so I end up using my trusty sewing machine to hem the sleeves up.  Since I love to sew, I’ve practiced my alteration skills on the big smocks I had worn while I was pregnant, trying to make them smaller.  Needless to say, I need to keep practicing…

Working a job where you are on your feet close to twelve hours a day can be a challenge.  Luckily, I’m allowed to wear tennis shoes and have found several brands that give me the support I need.  I like to think it keeps me in shape and active as opposed to a desk job.

An inside joke I’ve heard in the past was, “What do you call a bunch of Target team members standing together?”  The answer?  A blood clot.  Get it?  All the red clumped together?  Ha!  (And that is why I am a pharmacist and not a comic…)

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: C is for Community

Photo: Ringing up Ms M

Being from a small town in the Texas Panhandle, I grew up with a strong sense of community.  It was the kind of town where you knew everyone and couldn’t get away with much mischief without word getting back to your parents quickly.  If I was mean to my art teacher, my mother had already heard about it by the time she picked me up from school.

It was because of this strong background that I feel like Target is a great fit for me now.  I work at a location that is less than three miles from home, so I end up running into lots of guests at the oddest places:  my kids’ swim class, in line at the post office, on an airplane, and lots of times at local restaurants.

One of the best “Hey, I know you!” moments was Meet The Teacher night at my daughter’s school.  I was thrilled when I found out Ms. “M” was her teacher.  After all, Ms. “M” and I had known each other from the pharmacy way before my daughter was even born.  Now, she is no longer just a guest at my store but has become a great friend!

Whenever I run into someone I know from the pharmacy, it’s always a relief to hear that they love us and tell all their friends about us.  If they hadn’t been treated so well, it could turn out to be quite embarrassing, kind of like my parents finding out I had been mean to my teacher.

I love living in the big city but having a small town feel at work.  As a teenager, it was a treat to go to the nearest Target, 90 miles away.  Now, I get to treat myself everyday!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: B is for Bandages, Burns, and Bug Bites

Like most retail pharmacists, I end up giving lots of advice on over-the-counter medications and treatments.  While I can’t diagnose an ailment, I can offer my opinion of what would be best to help out.   Most questions are pretty straight forward like “How do I treat my poison ivy?” or “What’s the best cream for my ant bites?”  Every now and then I’ll see something that is unusual that requires a doctor’s visit.

I enjoy being able to help guests out, especially the kids.  Sometimes, all it takes is a princess bandage to make them feel all better.  And, when I have the time, it’s nice to go out on the floor and help someone find what would be best.  In fact, I occasionally wear a pedometer just to see  if I can walk 10,000 steps during a typical day.

When I first graduated from pharmacy school, questions about over-the-counter treatments scared me to death.  Believe it or not, pharmacy students don’t get that much education on OTC medications.  Anytime anyone would ask something, I would have to look up the answers.  This was circa 1997, so the internet wasn’t readily available.  Luckily, over the years it’s become easier, less intimidating, and even quite enjoyable learning about my guests and the best first aid for them!

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.

The ABC’s of Target Pharmacy: A is for Appreciation

Holy cow!  One of our former guest’s family members just delivered flowers to our pharmacy in appreciation for taking such good care of  her mom.  We just found out Ms. “R” passed away this week.  We had been delivering prescriptions to her for several years, and I had no idea we meant so much to her.

Our pharmacy is a little unique in that we deliver prescriptions to a local assisted living facility.  The residents are self-sufficient but, for the most part, no longer drive.  Some of our guests (Target’s terminology for customers) we know quite well.   Others, not so much.  Ms. “R” was that way.  We rarely heard from her, and I’m not so sure I had ever even met her.  But, come to find out, she had been filling out those little surveys that appear on the bottom of certain receipts, bragging all about us.  Talk about motivation to please our guests!  I am thankful to be in a position to help out not only the residents but also the family members.

Interested in a healthcare career with Target? Search and apply for opportunities here.