Posted by: Sara Valente15 MAR 2010
It is with great regret that I must tell you this story: Last year, I was telling my school friends that I was about to begin my journey towards a degree in Pharmacy. They asked me, ‘What kind of job can you get at the end of it?’ I immediately told them about community pharmacists who work in small, local pharmacies and stores, like Boots, and to my surprise they replied, ‘I didn’t know you needed a degree for that!’ To this day I am disturbed.
So I asked them, ‘if there isn’t a qualified pharmacist available how can you be sure that the medicine that you are given is safe? How do you know that your medicine won’t cause any unwanted side-effects? Who would you ask when you have a quick question about your drugs?’ My friends agreed that these were valid statements. I do not think that my friends are the only ones that think this for many young people do not realise that pharmacists are so highly qualified. So what can be done about this? I propose a Pharmacy Awareness Day! Of course, I’m not suggesting parades in the streets and taking a day off work but perhaps a little awareness would be beneficial.
When we were at primary school we were always dressing up as doctors and nurses but how about including a pharmacist in the role play? There are already some good initiatives in which pharmacists and educators visit primary schools and teach primary school children about pharmacy and drugs on a simple level. I think this is a great scheme since medical professions are changing dramatically and pharmacists are taking on much more clinical responsibility. It can introduce young children to the world of pharmacy; it would even be great if pharmacists could visit secondary schools in order to promote the career to sixth form students.
Recently I was asked, ‘there isn’t a difference between a degree in pharmacy and pharmacology, right?’
I think I shall tackle this obstacle once I have regained consciousness!