As the newsemester is upon us, only 6 study weeks left for me -eek, some organisedstudents have already sorted out a summer placement for the imminent arrival ofsummer break. Most placements are in a commercial or hospitalpharmacy with fewer being in the industrial sector.
I can definitelysee the benefits of gaining “real life” experience of what our future careers have in store. For many of us, the decision remains as to which path to choose for our pre-reg;community, hospital or industrial. It is a difficult decision for me as I cansee the benefits of both. In a community pharmacy working 9-6pm every day, no on-call hours,minimal weekend work and treating mostly medical conditions that requiretreatment prescribed from a GP, unless of course, a person has been dischargedfrom hospital with repeat prescriptions. Also it is nice to think that you are ableto build relationships with your customers and undertake Medicine Use Reviews,ensuring that the patient is managing their condition well and understandingthe importance of taking their medication or even discovering if a particulardrug is not working well for the patient and together with the persons GPsuggesting an alternative more suitable treatment.
Whereas my impression ofworking in a hospital pharmacy department is quite different to community. Ienvisage working with a much wider range of patient conditions and medications.As there are various departments within a hospital, I imagine the role to have awider scope. Involving working in aseptic units and formulating chemotoxics or TotalParenteral Nutrition bags, participating in ward rounds and discussing with thedoctors the most appropriate treatment for the patients. Having moreinvolvement in medicines management and having a professional input when it comes to writing the patient carepathways describing the particular drugs to prescribe within specific diseaseareas. Working to an on-call rota and dedicating more of your time towards workand gaining exposure to more niche areas of medicine that perhaps incommunity.
Whilst I amhopeful this summer of a holiday jetting to sunnier climes, relaxing on the beach drinking a pina colada, I have never worked in a pharmacy before so I am keen toget out there and gain experience of day to day life working as a pharmacist.
I am consciously aware ofthe importance of gaining valuable experience within in a pharmacy. We all needto be forward thinking and starting to plan for our careers, gaining as much exposure and work experience as possible. As forme, I have a couple of irons in the fire, with a potential voluntary placementin a local general hospital and as for the couple of community placements Iapplied for, I have had no luck just yet but we will see.
For those of youthat have not yet had a chance to apply for summer 2010, there is always nextyear and get in early with your application and Good Luck.