Let me tell you how it all started.
So I had successfully finished the four year Masters in Pharmacy degree, and it was time to shadow an experienced pharmacist (Pre-Registration Tutor) for a year before I sit the final assessment to qualify as a Registered Pharmacist in UK.
It turns out the four years in university was just a starter, pre-registration year was the main dish.
JULY 2014: I had to relocate over 3 hours drive away from my sisters (Not by choice), trying to find a place to settle in before my first day at work. I was lucky enough to find a good spare room in a very lovely home. I packed my bags, accompanied by mum and two of my sisters, we drove down to Beautiful Devon. The whole experience was very daunting (first hurdle cleared).
AUGUST 2014: First day at work was just a downer. My pre-registration tutor was on holiday, and I was just floating. I remember the whole day, because from the beginning of the day till 6pm (excluding lunch break of course) the pharmacist checked prescriptions and I bagged the checked meds up. (no more comments)
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2014: I was starting to learn the work processes.
My tutor was one of the most experienced pharmacist in the area, she had a bag full of knowledge and she was happy to share and teach me. She will correct me when I’m wrong and applaud me when necessary.
I had a really good training store, the staff knew their role and they were good at it. I learnt from the best.
Although it was not always glitters and rainbows. Being a new member of an existing team is not easy, different backgrounds and different personalities coming together. I had moments when I would lock myself up in the toilet and cry. I had to learn to keep my head up and ride the storm.
NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2014: I had the opportunity to visit a neighboring store and experience a different view to what I was exposed to. I was so reluctant to go at first but my tutor encouraged me to go and it turned out to be very informative.
My tutor passed her knowledge on over the counter queries, minor ailments and healthy living, she then set me off to counsel any patient making a medicinal purchase.
She also encouraged me to attend training workshops which were very educative and great networking.
JANUARY – APRIL 2015: Halfway through the pre-reg year. I compiled a list of useful references and made a study plan. One major change I had to make was sort out my calculation skills. As calculation was a key component of my final assessment, I started spending an hour every evening after work to practice.
Medicine Use Review accreditation was next, after a few failed attempts I got accredited. End of march it was full revision and it all became real.
MAY – JUNE 2015: Everyone I spoke to had a different view/approach towards the assessment. This made it so hard to focus. It took a lot of discipline to stick to my plan and just have faith in God for success. My strategy was to practice as many past papers as possible that way I have an idea on a lot of topics.
I took about 4 weeks off work prior to exam, I said to myself, I know I won’t study all day every day but at least I will have the time to lazy on my bed.
JULY 2015: After the exam, I did not have a single worry in life. It truly felt like a massive log of wood was taken off my chest. I will go to work and just enjoy being there, I was not stressed nor tensed up. I found my feet, no more tears rolling down my face.
Then it was the last week in July (result week). The tension rushed back in, and I will ask everyone I came across if they knew someone who worked with GPhC or Royal Mail. I could not wait to get my most important letter of all time (Results).
31 July 2015: I imagined the register clerk, strolling down the massive hallway and at mid-night he opened up the register and added my name to the list, the list of Registered Pharmacists. I could not believe the last 52 weeks flew by quickly.
To all pre-registration pharmacists I am praying for you. Be calm and go claim your victory.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.