As I previously wrote, I had two goals, becoming an Independent Prescriber (IP) and a Pharmacy owner.
To date I have experienced a variety of different forms of Community Pharmacy, ranging from independent to multiples…. locuming to permanent full time roles. If I am to include my Pre-Registration year then I have had 8 years of full time experience in Community Pharmacy and at least 3 years of part time experience prior to that from back in the Pharmacy Assistant days… Yes makes me sound old I know 😛
I think working in a Community Pharmacy has helped to develop the skills that I need for both of my long term goals. As a Community Pharmacist you are exposed to patients of a variety of different personalities and from a variety of different backgrounds, having to manage a variety of patients has taught me that the same approach cannot be used in solving problems relating to various different patients. One important skill is active listen, a skill that was enhanced during my IP course. By practicing active listening techniques the patient can understand that they have been heard and a level of empathy can also be expressed.
In addition to being able better communicate with patients I have provided a fair number of additional services ranging from the bog standard MUR and NMS’…. to services such as Minor Ailments, Smoking Cessation as well as the supply of free EHC. These services have made me feel that there is more that a Pharmacist can do… aside from the daily dispensing-checking job, a Pharmacist can make more of an impact on patients and hopefully I can be one of these Pharmacists.
There is no shortage of pessimistic news in the media such as investigations showing unethical behaviour or stories showing how cuts in funding will cause closures of many Pharmacies. There are also positive stories that perhaps don’t get as much recognition as they should such as the incredible work many Pharmacists have been doing in relation to Flu jabs in recent years… There are many instances where great Community Pharmacies do a brilliant job on a daily basis and work to improve patient safety.
So getting back to the topic… Yes I think Community Pharmacy has helped be gain the skills I need on the road towards both IP (and towards owning a Pharmacy).