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My role as an ambassador for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

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Royal Pharmaceutical Society building, East Smithfield, London

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

As a third-year pharmacy student, I found the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) events I attended incredibly engaging, and so I applied to become a student lead for my local RPS group, London North West. I became a preregistration lead after beginning my training and was excited to do more for my local group. I also wanted to become more involved with RPS Central, and attended the RPS Annual General Meeting in June 2017 and the English Pharmacy Board meeting in October 2017. During my preregistration year, I actively searched for career opportunities within the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and would regularly check the rpharms.com website for any jobs suitable for a newly qualified pharmacist. I saw a vacancy in May 2017 advertising for the position of an RPS Ambassador. The ambassador position offered me the unique opportunity to take on further responsibility and make a difference in the wider pharmacy community.

My application to become an ambassador needed to be innovative so I created and edited a video with plenty of infographic animations to showcase why I would be well suited to the role. I highlighted the skills I had gained from university, extra-curricular activities, preregistration training and also as my role as a preregistration lead for my local RPS group, and how I could utilise them in the role. I had a phone interview a week before my preregistration exam with a panel of three. I was initially very nervous about the interview, but found the team very friendly and engaging, and the interview went very quickly.

I received the offer a few days later, and after accepting this, I attended an induction day with the other nine ambassadors, where we all got to know one another and met the RPS HQ team. This allowed us to build a wide support network. Various members of the RPS team came to speak to us and provide information on the support and resources provided. I found myself exposed to a whole range of resources, many of which I had never heard of before such as the support service, where members can speak to a team of pharmacists and advisors regarding legislation, clinical topics, careers advice or general pharmacy practice advice. This goes to show how much the RPS has to offer to its members.

All the ambassadors are based in different locations around the UK, allowing us to represent and reach a wider audience. As ambassadors, we are required to attend at least four events over a 12-month period to promote the services offered by the RPS. Each of us is at a different stage in our career and also from a variety of pharmacy sectors, which allows for a variety of thoughts, opinions and representation. As I am a newly qualified pharmacist, I have been attending preregistration study days to speak to preregistration pharmacists and I am also hoping to speak to newly qualified pharmacists in the upcoming weeks. Furthermore, I worked with members of the RPS team, including Tessa Lockwood, Nadia Bukhari and Aamer Safder, to create a podcast for preregistration pharmacists to provide advice about the preregistration year. I have also been working collaboratively with my other RPS ambassadors to contact universities to speak at undergraduate lectures. I hope to demonstrate the wonderful things that the RPS is doing for its members at all stages of their career.

I am thoroughly enjoying the role. I feel proud to be able to work closely with the RPS team to increase member engagement. I have met a number of people from different pharmacy sectors, and have also been able to improve my own practice, as I now use the RPS resources in my day-to-day job and signpost my colleagues to relevant resources.

Being an ambassador is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and promote the work they do. I would highly recommend the role to anyone who is passionate about the pharmacy profession and who would like to do more.

For more information about the RPS ambassador role, please contact Gareth Kitson, the professional development and engagement lead for the RPS at gareth.kitson@rpharms.com.

Fatema Mamdani, a rotational pharmacist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Source: Fatema Mamdani

About the author:

Fatema Mamdani is a rotational pharmacist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Fatema is also the newly qualified lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society London North West Group and an ambassador for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

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