60 seconds with…a Community Pharmacist
Have you ever considered a career in the pharmaceuticals industry? From Pharmacist Technician to a Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative, there are a wide array of professions to choose between. To give you an idea of where a pharmaceutical career could take you, this blog will look at a day in the life of a Boots Pharmacist.
What is your role and who do you work for?
I am a Community Pharmacist at Boots, and currently work in a midnight pharmacy in Hertfordshire.
How long have you been a Community Pharmacist?
I’ve been a Community Pharmacist since July 2005.
How did you get into the profession?
Whilst at secondary school in Aberdeen I had a Saturday job at the local Boots pharmacy. It’s whilst working there I realised I loved helping people in the community and decided I wanted to be a community pharmacist. I completed my higher exams [Scotland’s equivalent of A-levels], then studied Pharmacy at Robert Gordon University. Whilst studying I undertook a summer placement for eight weeks in a Boots pharmacy in Dundee which I thoroughly enjoyed, and was offered a part time job with them whilst I continued to study. This helped me to see the theory I was learning at University put into practice, and confirmed that I wanted to work in a community pharmacy.
Since then, I’ve worked as a Pharmacy Manager for Boots pharmacies across London, including the flagship store in Oxford Street, and as a relief pharmacist, covering many stores whilst I had my two children.
What is your most interesting project to date?
Every day is different, that’s why I love my job! I currently work at a midnight pharmacy in
Hertfordshire working from 4pm to midnight. Lots of people come to the midnight pharmacy hatch for emergency care, and I really enjoy the challenge of not knowing who’s going to walk through the doors next. For example, last week I helped a three-year-old girl having an allergic reaction to peanuts.
What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome?
Overcoming language barriers can be tricky – you have to think of other ways to communicate. It’s so important to be able to communicate properly with your patients to make sure you understand what they need. From there you can share the right advice to help them.
What is the best piece of advice you were given before becoming a Pharmacist? How should someone coming into the profession prepare for their job search/interview?
When studying I was encouraged to work hard and focus on my exams. While this is of course an important aspect, I believe it’s important to get some practical experience. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to do a range of placements alongside my studies, and this really helped me learn about people and the best ways to communicate with them. As a Community Pharmacist, you must be a good listener and enjoy being with people. When people are scared or in pain it can be hard to communicate with them, so it’s important to learn how to ask the right questions to get the information you need to help them – this comes with practice as well as training.
If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing?
I wanted to be an architect as I enjoyed graphic design. But as soon as I had a Saturday job in the local community Pharmacy, I fell in love with the job! Although I still have strong passion for architecture.
If you’re considering climbing the career ladder in the world of pharmaceuticals, or thinking about changing your job, why not check out our job listings here.