Posted by: Anas Hassan13 SEP 2013
Being a pharmacist can be a very lonely experience. You are in the driving seat as the responsible pharmacist. You are solely in charge of the dispensary. And you are generally responsible for what takes place within your working environment, whether you like it or not.
After so many years studying with your friends, once you step into the big world of work, you tend to find that you really are alone. You become autonomous and have to really make decisions count, therefore becoming responsible for things that you do, or don't do. Outside work, you probably live alone or have a partner and/or a family and have other activities that you undertake in your own life.
Which really leaves a limited amount of time for opportunities to network with fellow pharmacist colleagues on a regular basis. The Wilson Review, published last month looking into the future of pharmaceutical care in Scotland, emphasised the importance of developing local networks to bring professionals closer together - this is somthing I welcome because, although organisations such as NHS Education for Scotland go to great length to organise regular seminars across many areas of Scotland, there are times in the year when hardly anything takes place at all.
It's amazing how much pharmacists can develop and grow by sharing ideas and opinions about their work and experiences. I am fortunate enough to have a training evening to attend in my local area next week and it's always wonderful to meet fellow pharmacists and see how they are getting on and to find out what else is going on elsewhere.
But I rue the fact that in recent times I haven't come across enough opportunities to network with fellow pharmacists. I'm the kind of guy that loves people that much that I always wish to have an event in my diary to attend weekly to link up with fellow pharmacists. I'm a pretty open individual and love talking to all kinds of people.
And, also, I think having a strong social life matters as well. My own social life, I have to admit, has suffered quite a knock in recent years and although I'm a very chatty young man (just ask people who know me!) and certainly don't deem myself as boring (I'm sure others agree!), it doesn't help when many of your friends from years gone by are in all sorts of different locations. But I think it helps that I'm a pretty open person and enjoy the company of other like-minded people. A vibrant social life is a very healthy thing to have.
All of us pharmacists do the same job after all and we all aren't clones of each other. We all have different opinions and experiences of working life as a pharmacist and it fascinates me to hear from other people. It helps me grow and show insight into my own practice as a pharmacist too.
To sum it up, building bridges brings benefits.