Sunday, 3 August 2014

My Pharmacy Journey....

Hi guys, 

Recently after six years of education and training I became a qualified pharmacist *does a happy dance* and I thought I'd share with you my journey of how I got to where I am today....

2002-2006: Boots the Chemist

I first became interested in the world of pharmacy when I was 16 and I started my first Saturday job in Boots the Chemist. I started out on the healthcare counter and I soon found it really interesting. I trained to be a qualified healthcare assistant (medicines counter assistant) and the role involved selling over-the-counter medicines and being trained to offer advice on common minor illnesses (under the supervision of a pharmacist). 

2006-2008: Basildon Hospital 

The knowledge I gained from my time as a healthcare assistant lead me to want to be a pharmacy technician and I went on to train at Basildon Hospital as a student pharmacy technician. This role involved the preparation of medicines and the supply to patients; there was also an active role in providing patients with guidance on how to take their medicines. It was during these 2 years of training that I decided I wanted to become a pharmacist as I enjoyed having a role in patient care and I wanted to further develop my knowledge in medicines. 

2008-2013: University of Reading

In October 2008 I moved to Reading to start a five year journey at the University of Reading to achieve a Masters in Pharmacy (MPharm) degree. The MPharm degree is a four year undergraduate course however, my first year at university was actually a foundation year as I needed to achieve A-Levels in chemistry and another science to continue onto pharmacy (my A-Levels included drama, media and history). In the summer of 2013 I graduated from the University of Reading with a 2:1 Masters in Pharmacy degree. It was a fantastic day spent with friends and family. 

2013-2014: Colchester General Hospital

Once you have completed your degree in pharmacy you have to complete a pre-registration (pre-reg) training year, which is designed for you to be able to demonstrate that you have the skills, knowledge and character to practise the standards expected of a pharmacist. This next chapter of my pharmacy journey took me Colchester where I completed my training year at Colchester General Hospital. I got to work with an amazing pharmacy team and I really enjoyed my pre-reg experience.

At the end of the training year there is a registration exam set by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) that must be passed in order to join the GPhC register of pharmacists (in addition to meeting all other criteria) and practise as a pharmacist. Results are released by the GPhC via their website that announce the names of the pre-registration trainee pharmacists who have passed the registration exam. I'm going to be honest here and say it was the most nerve-racking experience of my life waiting for that list to be released. I actually found out I had passed from my friend Ronnie who called me to congratulate me - I was too scared to look!

The future....

Unfortunately my time at Colchester has come to an end, but I am soon to be starting a new chapter of my life as a clinical pharmacist at Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Colchester Hospital for all their help, support and encouragement throughout my pre-reg year and I wish the "newbie" pre-regs the best of luck! My six years of hard work paid off and I'm looking forward to starting my career as a pharmacist. 

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!


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