Pre-registration pharmacist survival guide
As part of our continuing series of guidance and support for our pre-registration pharmacist trainees we’d like to share some ideas and thoughts about what it takes to get through the pre-registration training year. Of course you will need to fill in all of the paperwork, study all of the relevant topics, master the calculations and prepare for the exams while building your experience of pharmacy practice at the coal face. No small task. We provide pre-registration pharmacist training designed to help you do just that. Learn 13 great reasons why people choose our training. We spend a lot of our time helping people get through the academic challenges of the year and qualify as a pharmacist. We’d like to share with you some of the other characteristics and skills that you’ll need to make it through without too much trouble.
Making the transition from student life to full time work can be a big challenge for some people. While a pharmacy degree is one of the most demanding out there it is still a very different experience to working in a pharmacy every day. Your employer and your patients will expect your full attention all of the time when you are at work which may feel restrictive. It may feel difficult to start with. Give yourself some time and space to adapt. Think about how you will fit your other activities around work and be ready to put work first. When you are getting started plan your travel routes at different times of day and practice them so that you know what to expect. Re-arrange hobbies to fit your schedule. It will get easier with time and you will find a balance.
You have just completed four years of training. Surely you know all about pharmacy right? Well, no. You know a great deal of useful academic information about pharmacy which you now have to learn to apply practically. That is the purpose of the pre-registration training year. A head full of information is no use unless you can put it to work with skill and communicate what you know to benefit others. You are at the end of one learning challenge and at the beginning of another. Be humble with your tutors, colleagues and with patients. They will respect you for it.
Focus is really important in a number of ways. Focus on your day to day work in the pharmacy. Keep your attention on what you are doing and you will learn more by experience. You are working with real patients whose health will be to a greater or lesser extent be in your hands. Make sure you concentrating on what you are doing to manage risk. Focus on your studies too. It may seem like a long time until your exams and it is easy to get lost in the day to day when you are working. Your exams will come up quickly. You need to be getting through your studies consistently as your move through the training year. Don’t hope to cover all of the ground in the final weeks. Our training programme can help you do this.
12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8.760 hours. Your pre-registration pharmacist training year is just that, one year of consistent work and you’ll need all of your tenacity to make it through successfully. Sadly not everyone does and it is because it can be hard to keep going. You’ll need to study as hard as you did in your final year while holding down a full time job and maybe living on your own for the first time! We provide one to one support for our pre-reg pharmacist trainees for just this reason. Sometimes you just need some encouragement and guidance from people who have been there and done that.
You only have so many hours in a day and while at university they were pretty much plotted out for you. This lecture. That practical. The other workshop. The bar. Etc. Time will seem to shrink during your pre-registration year. You will spend 9 or so hours a day helping patients directly or indirectly which leaves precious few hours for study and anything else you like doing. Have a deliberate plan about when you will study and when you will rest.
Chances are your are now living independently for the first time. You are earning a full time wage which may seem reassuring but the bank of mum and dad may have closed at the same time. To prevent money worries getting in the way of your studies put the effort into working out a budget that you can sustain and allows you to cover all of the really important things like shelter, food and wifi. Do a little maths and put something down on paper. Stick to it. Keep a log of what you are spending and compare with your budget.
A dispensary can seem like a really small place if there is tension between the team members. It is time to start acting like a professional and that means working hard at building good working relationships with your team. Yes, you have a pharmacy degree but to be honest most long standing team members will know more about running a pharmacy than you to start with so treat them with respect and they will more than likely repay the compliment. Listen, learn and before know it they’ll be asking for your help and advice not the other way around. Rapport building is also critical to providing the best pharmaceutical care you can for your patients.
So important and often overlooked. Look after yourself! Get enough sleep, eat a good diet, stay hydrated, exercise and stay away from things that you know are bad for you. It will be hard to consistently perform at your best if you are run down, hungover or worse. You could learn the hard way through experience or you can learn the easy way by heeding this advice. Have fun when it won’t affect your work. Don’t forget to take time to rest and reinvigorate yourself as well as work hard. Spending time with friends, holidays and protected time to rest will help to maintain your mental health.
Pharmacist Support provide a lot of detail about how to handle some of the more formal challenges and where to seek help if you do get in trouble. You can find their resources here. If you work to develop the characteristics and master the skills above you may not need them.
As always we want to provide the best support to both trainees and tutors. We don’t just send you a training pack and then leave you to it. That approach starts now. Get in touch whichever way suits you and we’ll happily answer your questions. We are always happy to talk training. Remember, the only silly question is the one you don’t ask…