A recently published study has shown that novice community pharmacy jobs (NCPs’) are classified as high strain, where high workplace demands coupled with NPCs’ lack of control in being able to meet demands, together with isolation and lack of support, result in transition being characterised as causing isostrain, where the workplace becomes a “noxious” environment.
While there is evidence from nursing and medicine that transition to becoming an independent practitioner is challenging and has implications for patient care, there is little research exploring NCPs’ transition. This study aimed to identify the challenges faced by NCPs at transition to independent practitioner and perceptions of the relative importance of these challenges.
Nominal group discussions were held between November 2015 and April 2016, in North West England, with purposively sampled NCPs, early career pharmacists, work‐based preregistration tutors, and pharmacy support staff. Twenty‐five participants from independent, supermarket and small and large multiple pharmacies took part in five nominal group discussions.
Challenges experienced through interacting with the workplace environment were identified as: (in order of importance)
- Relationship management.
- Being in charge and accountable.
- Adapting to the workplace.
With the exception of disagreement between pharmacists and pharmacy support staff regarding whether adapting to the team was challenging for NCPs, all participants reported challenges experienced by interacting with the workplace environment. Challenges were described as;
- Inducing psychosocial stress, particularly because NCPs acquired immediate professional accountability.
- Worked in isolation from experienced peers.
- Faced job‐related pressures.
Interpretation of the findings suggests that the Karasek job‐demand‐control‐support (JDCS) model of occupational stress provides valuable insight about the transition for NCPs. NCPs’ jobs are classified as high strain, where high workplace demands coupled with NCPs’ lack of control in being able to meet demands, together with isolation and lack of support, result in transition being characterised as causing isostrain, where the workplace becomes a “noxious” environment.