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Community Pharmacy Cross-sector Placement

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BLOG 8: Lessons from pre-reg

As part of my pre-registration training, I undertook a cross-sectorplacement in a community pharmacy for three weeks. This was my opportunity tolearn about the drug tariff, FP10s and all things community. The five pre-regsat my trust were each allocated to one of five community pharmacies that ourline manager had lined up. A bit of a fiasco ensued prior to my placement whenthe pharmacist at my allocated pharmacy rang up my line manager and said thatdue to being busy, they were unable to take a pre-reg on. This was less thanthree weeks before I was due to start there. After many twists and turns in avery uncanny process, I was able to begin my placement at another pharmacy. Butthat's for another blog!

During my community pharmacy placement at a newly-allocated pharmacy, Ilearned about the general day-to-day running of a community pharmacy. Therewere some similarities to hospital pharmacy, such as assessing the prescriptionfor clinical and legal appropriateness, ordering medication, accuracy checkingthe dispensed product, producing dosettes and counselling patients. However,even these common practices are done in different ways. For example, the lackof staff in a community pharmacy compared to a hospital pharmacy means that thepharmacist may end up dispensing and checking the same product; however, at mytrust this was a complete no-go if there were other technicians around.

As I got used to the systems and procedures in the pharmacy, I wasgiven more freedom to dispense, counsel patients, produce dosettes and recommendtreatments for minor ailments. The pharmacist also allowed me to be in chargeof the methadone dispensing for a week. This involved everything from inputtingpatient data onto the computer system, entering records into the CD register,supervising consumption and informing patients when their prescription was dueto run out. I also dispensed the methadone a day in advance, to avoid doing itall on the morning the patients were due in, and used a system of boxes to keepeverything neat and clear. This all amounted to a very nice piece of evidence.

A cross-sector placement can be vital in obtaining evidence for certainperformance standards that are either quite hospital-specific or quitecommunity-specific. I would advise all pre-regs due to undertake a cross-sectorplacement to do what I've advised before: planin advance what you need to do to demonstrate certain performance standards.

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