Career stages

Words from the wise: tips for new pharmacists

The Salvadore asked experienced pharmacists on Twitter to give their advice to recently qualified pharmacists starting their new jobs in August 2018 using the hashtag #tipsfornewpharmacists. Here are some of the best responses.

1. Own up to your mistakes.

We all make mistakes, it’s part of being a human. However, if you make a mistake, own up to it. The one guaranteed way to make a bad situation worse is to try and cover it up

— Ben Merriman (@blmerriman)

2. Be honest with yourself.

Be honest with yourself. If you don’t know (and there will be much you don’t!) ask those who do. Learn quickly that the answer lies in a team approach to everything - no one person has all the skills. And become a full member of the to benefit from its support. Enjoy!

— Steve Churton (@SteveChurton)

3. Know why you do things.

When you’re following an SOP or other guidance, make sure you know WHY it does what it does. Don’t slavishly follow because then you won’t be able to apply that knowledge to new circumstances. “Knowing” an SOP doesn’t mean memorising it; it means understanding it.

— Graham Brack (@GrahamBrack)

4. Be kind.

Today was start of YOUR journey, personal to you & your experiences. There will be opportunities to carve the career that you want. Aspire to be the pharmacist you would want to care for you & your family. Never forget compassion & kindness () 💚

— Helen Kilminster (@HPILLminster)

5. Take lunch.

Stand up for yourself with integrity — you are the responsible pharmacist and you are accountable. Take advice but don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Go to the toilet when you need to, drink your tea before it goes cold, insist on a lunch break.

— Janique Waghorn (@JaniqueWaghorn)

6. Make friends with the right people.

If you’re working in hospital, make friends with the ward clerks. Contrary to popular belief they are actually the most influential person on the ward. Don’t get on their wrong side!

— Jamie Harris (@pharmheroes)

7. Bring biscuits.

If it’s illegal or immoral don’t do it!! And always remember that the dispensary belongs to the technicians — it is only on loan to you!! Oh and bring biscuits!!

— Janet Aitken (@aitken1987)

8. Learn from errors.

Embrace your first mistake. 15 years on you’ll still be learning from it.

— Ewan Maule (@EwanMaule)

9. More haste, less speed.

There will be days where you feel up against it. Take a step back and work out what is most urgent and important and take things one task at a time. Don’t be afraid to make people have to wait occasionally, safety is more important than speed!

— Sarah Crawshaw (@svcrawshaw)

10. Network network network.

Network network network — a few mins having a friendly chat with a doctors receptionist, nurse manager or delivery driver will pay dividends when you need a helping hand in the future.

— Allison D (@allisonpharma)

11. Take your time.

Take your time, ask questions, be curious, don’t underestimate your abilities, record your CPD as you go, put the patient at the centre of what you do. Embrace your career as there are so many great opportunities for pharmacists.

— Rachel Britton (@rambled_musings)

12. Put yourself in their shoes.

Put yourself in the patient or carer’s shoes for a moment. Really listen to them before you respond, show your humanity as well as your professional knowledge

— Sarah Jones (@SarahJPharm)

13. Don’t be afraid to check something.

If you’re not sure about something, don’t be afraid to say so and that you need to check. Do more listening than speaking. Don’t get rushed, my favourite phrase — I have one speed, and that’s ‘safe’.

— Cathy Cooke (@Cleverestcookie)

14. Go home on time.

1. Try to see pt, read notes and check results *before* looking at the drug chart
2. Ask NIC to help you triage pts if you’re not able to see them all
3. Don’t be afraid to ask ward based staff (inc. consultants!) questions
4. Take a break + debrief with peers
5. Go home on time

— Kevin (@kevbazaz)

15. Keep learning.

-Can’t stress the value of peer support! Share experiences, discuss work & ask for help: throughout your career!
-You don’t have to know it all now- the learning continues!
-Communicate well with your team, they are invaluable!
-Put patients’ wellbeing & safety first!

— PharmEs, PhD. (@Esnat7)

For more, click here:  

Citation: Tomorrow's Pharmacist URI: 20205319

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