An Interview with Ben, a Former Pre-reg and now Pharmacist!
This interview was conducted a week after the 2018 June Pre-Reg exam, being almost at the end of the Pre-Reg Ben was in a good position to reflect on his year and hopefully give useful advice to Pre-Reg students to follow.
Which Pharmacy did you do your Pre-Reg year in?
Orford Pharmacy in Warrington
At which university did you study pharmacy?
What has been the highlight of your Pre-Reg year?
My highlight isn’t so much an event but a period of time, from February to the end of March. During this time I was very confident in my abilities, dispensing, counselling patients etc. I knew my roles and what I needed to do day to day and was very comfortable working in the team around me, work was fun and to be honest I was ignoring the exam and hadn’t started revising properly yet.
What are the toughest aspects of the year?
The obvious answer to this is revising for the Exam, the culmination of 5 years of studying. Towards the end of the year everything became centred on the exam and taking that next step to becoming a pharmacist because I felt like I was already ready to be a pharmacist, I just needed to pass the exam; which hopefully I have done. Besides that there are a lot of challenging aspects of the year, at the start just being on your feet all day is tough after four lazy years at university. Treating every patient the same is another aspect of the job which is tough just in a different way. The toughest thing for me was initially starting revising when the exam felt so far away and there were so many other things to do.
How were Imaan healthcare as a Pre-Reg employer?
Tough question really because I have nothing to compare my experience too; I have nothing but positive things to say about the company and I think that is true of all the Pre-Reg trainees I have met at our company Pre-Reg training days. The protected study time is a big positive and I know people doing their training with other companies or in hospital that don’t get any study time during the week. The most important thing is that I’ve genuinely enjoyed what people say is a very tough year and I would be happy to work for the company when I am qualified as a Pharmacist.
Where do you see your career in pharmacy taking you?
Over the course of the year, I had the opportunity to do some work experience in a GP practice and some experience working in the head office of the company. I like the idea of working one or two days in a GP practice to keep my clinical knowledge high, as the exam was last week my clinical knowledge is probably higher than it ever has been at the moment and I would like to maintain that. Working in a GP practise doing Medicine reviews will hopefully offer a good opportunity to stay sharp clinically. Truthfully the pharmacy profession is constantly changing so who knows where my career could take me.
What advice do you have for future Pre-Regs?
Where do I start? The Pre Reg year will fly by and in my opinion, it’s what you make of it, you will get out as much as you put in. Start revising or at least thinking about revising early, not just because it will take pressure off for the exam but it will also help you in work if you understand the medications you’re giving out.
Learn on the job so you don’t have to revise as much. If you can look up a drug indication and quickly scan the counselling points when you give a drug out you will save a lot of time sitting in front of your books.
Build a positive relationship with your tutor, you should be confident asking for their help and you should also be confident about challenging them if you disagree with something. The relationship isn’t just for the year, they can help you find work once you’re a pharmacist and I know if I ever have any pharmacy queries my tutor will be my first port of call. Finally, you will make mistakes; we all do, learn from them and move forward.