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'Keep out of trouble'

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It's 6am and the glorious sunlight shining through your new bedroom window is already hurting your eyes. You're still traumatised every time you remember that you've left university but still in denial about the horrible reality of graduate life. You wonder what you'll do today, now that British summertime has finally arrived.

Then, you remember. For the first time in weeks, you've woken up before your alarm because you deliberately left the curtains a bit open so you definitely wouldn't sleep through it. A classic morning tactic and throwback to the first year of university when this was the only way you knew to get yourself up in time for 9 o'clock lectures. Desperate times, call for desperate measures. Only this time, it's for real.

The shocking reality strikes; today, you're a pre-registration pharmacist. You feel a bit nervous, secretly surprised that you've made it this far but quietly confident you can make it that little bit further. You jump on a bus, make it to the hospital with time to spare and rendezvous with your excitable new comrades. Eight of them all full of beans begin comparing their previous night’s sleep to that of a child on Christmas Eve. 

It’s time for the corporate welcome. Health and safety, vision and values, lessons in life from the chief executive and, of course, risk management. Then, after several coffee breaks, a whistlestop tour of everything pre-registration with the programme co-ordinator. You're excited but secretly slightly overwhelmed by the vast amount of information to take in; rotas, validations, emails, regional study days, tutorials, rotations, procedures, tours, identity badges, IT inductions, fire safety...

This was yesterday. Day two passed in much the same way – another hospital tour (and I’m sure I still don’t know my north block from my south!) and time for team bonding over the epic task of reading almost every Trust policy and procedure going. As we’re eased into the process slowly but surely, I'm finding that my anticipation of what lies ahead is building. Tutor meetings, regional study days, cross sector placements, weekly tutorials, evidence collection, the audit project, dispensing and clinical rotations are all yet to come. Today, I’m excited and scared in roughly this ratio, 80:20.

I can’t wait to throw myself into it, to eventually know my way around the hospital, to make good friends, to learn enough to make myself useful and, ultimately, become an excellent pharmacist.

Fulfilling this goal seems like a lifetime away, and I am really hoping that there are genuinely ‘no stupid questions’ along the way. There is a lot to do - but I know that this next bit is the bit where I really learn something.  Up to now, I’ve studied a lot of theory and encountered little action. Now, I’m on the brink of the ‘grown-up’ pharmacy world and it’s all go. Pre-registration sensation here I come! 

The title of this blog is inspired by some important first day advice our new pre-reg cohort were given! As I start this new stage of my pharmacy journey I'll endevour to keep blog readers posted on my progress; both triumphs and troubles!  

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From: Tomorrow's pharmacist blog

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