31st October 2019
I started my career doing pre-reg in Boots before becoming a relief pharmacist and then I was store based for 3 years. I then moved from Boots and worked in a Prison Pharmacy for 2 years. Unfortunately, I had to leave after my maternity leave, but luckily, I found a GP practice pharmacist position that is very close to home.
I knew I wanted to use my clinical knowledge and still have patient interaction, so GP Practice gives me the perfect balance.
Never having done a consultation before in this setting and to pair that with the knowledge needed, I found this the most challenging part when I first started.
I was lucky enough to be supervised and supported by the amazing Anna and Gupinder from Soar Beyond who gave me honest feedback and helped me to develop my skills. They directed me to different evidence-based resources which enhanced my clinical knowledge eg: Drug Monitoring in Primary Care.
Learning how to prioritise workload where everything seems to feel “urgent”.
I regularly discuss case studies with the rest of the clinical team and learned how to differentiate between urgent tasks and tasks that I could do at a different time.
Don’t get too stressed out and take your time. It’s better to be slower and efficient than rush and make mistakes.
Currently, I look after the patients on Asthma and COPD registers at the practice and lead on the QOF targets for these patients. I have also started to look into patients with depression and anxiety to ensure they have regular reviews and have their medicines optimised. I undertake care plans for frail patients or patients at risk of re-admission to the hospital and refer them to appropriate care and support organisations where necessary.
I am working on developing searches and templates to identify patients who are on CD medication to ensure they are regularly reviewed to improve patient safety.
I regularly review QOF targets for my specialised long term conditions, asthma, and COPD, and hope to showcase an improvement in these targets with increased practice income at the end of the financial year. I also work closely with the other pharmacists in the team and across the CCG to learn about cost-effective switches and when to de-prescribe, which will show a reduction in prescribing costs for the practice.
I am looking into training courses to get certified in interpreting spirometry so that I can officially conduct these from 2021. I will also be attending a CCG-led frailty workshop to learn more about how I can help to better support these patients in my practice.
You need very good and open communication skills to put into practice with every staff member. I think as a practice pharmacist, you should also learn what the reception and/or admin teams do – I spent half a day with them and I saw a completely different side to GP Practice! You need to be patient and empathetic but at the same time, work only within your limits.
It has been really good support for me from starting as a newbie and even now, I constantly value the resources available to me through the i2i network.
that I would really enjoy Asthma and COPD, reading hospital letters and medicines reconciliation.
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