Where Did The First Year Go?
That is the question that has been on my mind the past week. In a year, I went from the little Pre-Registration Pharmacy Graduate seeking approval to sell two boxes of Paracetamol.
To a Full-Time Pharmacist granting permission to sell the two boxes of Paracetamol 😳.
I have learned so much in the last 12 months and I know I have a lot more to learn in the pharmacy world (excited for the future).
After 12 months of qualifying; here are the lessons so far.
1. Do Not Be Cocky:
My first week in, I tried to outsmart the slow computers and order Methadone over the phone. It didn’t cross my mind to order methadone as the brand Physeptone Oops. This error took me the whole week to set straight.
2. Time Management Skills:
I work a 10-hour shift daily, it sounds like i’m at work the whole day, but trust me it doesn’t feel that way in a busy store. Time goes by quickly, after one or two Medicine Use Review, it is time to go home. I had to learn to prioritise and work fast.
3. Complete A Task:
In a community pharmacy, every service offered has a bunch of paperwork to follow and having too many paperwork can be overwhelming and untidy. I used to save my paperwork for the end of the day, then I realised I was creating a chore and I sometimes miss off a Controlled-Drug Register entry.
4. Be Firm: Being firm meant I was not easily manipulated. It is very easy to break the law in Pharmacy and my license is all I have. It is my greatest achievement so far. I ensure everyday I work within the laws.
5. People Skills: Working in the public sector, I have the opportunity to meet a diverse cohort. I had to quickly learn to communicate effectively, be respectful even when I am not being respected, be polite even in the most traumatic situations.
six more lessons to go
6. Controlled-Drug Cupboards:
These cabinets “at least the ones where I work” have the worst constructions. They have curved edges and hidden compartments. I could spend over an hour trying to find the tiny yellow-white Diamorphine box while carrying out a balance check.
7. Be Updated:
Everyone looks up to the pharmacists for answers, I subscribe to pharmaceutical journal and others alike to keep me informed. My sister always says you can’t know it all but you need to know the right resources for answers.
8. Rewarding Job:
I am not a World-Class Surgeon or a Guru of Clinical Knowledge but my empathy and minor ailments knowledge are enough. I make an impact in my local community and my role is appreciated.
9. Do Not Look Back:
Unless it is life threatening I no longer call stores I previously worked in. Yesterday is past am moving forward. Why should I create the avenue for people to have a go at me, (the newly qualified clueless pharmacist that was slow in checking😊).
10. Be Ready:
I never knew to be a store-base pharmacist required extreme dedication. You will be tested emotionally, mentally and physically. I learnt the hard way.
11. Speak Out:
I used to think if I ask for help, I will come across as weak, “far from the truth“. No one cares if I am weak and even if they do they have no power over my life.
12. God’s Grace:
How can I explain the ‘voice’ that tells me to track my steps back because I made an error. People call it ‘gut instincts’, which it is probably but who gave me those ‘gut instincts’?
I will be lost but for God’s Grace…
More Lessons To Learn Ahead, I Am Patiently Waiting…