Posted by: Brendan Fraser9 JUL 2013
I am sad and yet glad, to be finishing my pre-registration year this week. I have learnt so much this year, but I feel like it's gone so very fast. I am sure many pre-reg's would agree with me. I would probably argue that I learnt more about myself and others than I did about medicines. Which is probably a strange thing to say.
I remember how inquisitive I was when I first started the pre-reg year. I loved the new environment, the variety and all the different aspects of hospital pharmacy. I could probably have compared myself to a small child in a sweet shop. Giddy, was an understatement.
However, as many people will know, young children require patience. The young, enthusiastic child had to mature. Reasons for performing a certain task in an extremely specific way was 'because of procedure' and yet I had not seen the procedure. I did not understand. This highlighted one of the many things I have learnt - I need to understand why. It is the sole question drilled into my brain from school. It encourages free thinking and improvement. It also increases patient compliance - if a patient takes a medicine they're more likely to take it. I am a big advocate for the word "Why?". Hence I probably wasn't the best pre-reg at the beginning.
As the pre-reg continued, I remember thinking I was losing knowledge and that the skills I had obtained at university were not applicable to the work place. This was quite a daunting feeling as there was still many different skills to learn on the job. Upon reflection, it was probably the application of my theoretical knowledge I was struggling with. I remember trying to explain to a supervisor why I was having a problem and yet not being able to come up with the answer. Another lesson learnt.
Competencies were obviously a big part of the pre-reg year. It's important to meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council. I wrote a blog at the beginning the pre-reg year, questioning the suitability of the competencies. It's funny, looking back how confident I was feeling.
Weekly to fortnightly meetings with my tutor were a great way to discuss competencies. It was also an opportunity to reflect on my practise and set targets to work on. Initially, my tutor relied heavily on written competencies with less being required as time grew on. Proving competencies to my tutor on the job, rather than through paperwork type evidence also helped towards the end of the pre-reg.
The year has also improved my awareness in team dynamics and people skills. I have blogged about leadership this year and have contemplated what it means to be a team leader. Not essential for a young student, but a good attribute to be aware off.
I feel I have only just had my eyes opened to the true nature of what pharmacy really is. I've learnt that politics and bureaucracy play a massive role in the healthcare system. It's very sad but I suppose that's just the way it is.
Finally, the pre-reg exam was a terrible end to the year. I'm sure many people have heard the stories of the cringing closed book exam. I can recall feeling physically sick after that nightmare; not knowing whether to cry or laugh. In the end, I laughed with some friends. Ironic though, what I thought was the easier exam ended up being the most difficult.
Overall though, I am glad I've finally/hopefully got through it. Although my ideas and ambitions have changed, I'm positive about the future. Which is something I'd thought I'd never think!