Implementing a Self-Directed Orientation Checklist: What is the Impact on the Job Satisfaction of New Dispensers?

By CHIU Yuen Ching, Cagney, MPharm, Pharmacist


To enhance the job satisfaction of newly recruited dispensers by implementing a Self-Directed Orientation Checklist.


The pharmacy team has expanded substantially in order to meet the growing demand of services at the hospital. The workload in pharmacy department is huge. The turnaround time is short and any medication error can be harmful. Newly recruited dispensers are expected to work as efficient as possible after a brief orientation period but only brief introduction is given to new dispensers. Therefore a comprehensive and structured approach would be preferred to ascertain the necessary competence and training.


A survey, consists of 5-points rating scale questions from 1 to 5 (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) and one open-ended question, is distributed before the implementation of the Checklist to 10 newly recruited dispensers with less than 3 months of experience. A follow-up survey was given to the same group of dispensers two weeks after implementation of the Checklist. The Checklist consists of all the operational competencies required for each dispenser and the trainer (orienting pharmacist/senior dispenser) is responsible for signing off each competency with the training dispenser as they are encountered and such competency can be carried out by the training dispenser at a satisfactory level.


A Self-Directed Orientation Checklist increases the new dispenser’s confidence level and their job satisfaction level by approximately 30% as well as decreases their anxiety level by 46%.  Majority of the new dispensers, 80% (n=8), reported that the Checklist is very useful. The study has demonstrated that the new dispensers feel more secured on their job with the use of the Checklist.


A Checklist is designed to ensure necessary training and adequate assistance is provided. The new dispensers can be benefited from such comprehensive and structured guide.  Pharmacy Management should explore such training approach in other pharmacy areas. Patient safety and quality of care are important elements in healthcare system, therefore managing and assuring the competency of healthcare workers are essential. Hence, for further study, the Checklist can be implemented for longer period and incorporated as part of the structured training to ensure the competency for the new dispensers.