Submitted by Michelle
Pharmacy is an ever changing profession, under constant development and therefore challenging, yet from these challenges arise rewards. Studying Pharmacy bridges the gap between the subjects which I am currently studying: Biology and Chemistry. In Chemistry, analysing atoms and bonding groups in a drug, and in Biology, looking at how these drugs affect and are affected by the body, has given me a small insight into what studying Pharmacy may be like. In the long term, gaining a Pharmacy degree would lead to me becoming a Pharmacist and working in either hospitals or in community pharmacies.
I completed a work experience week in a care home, where I observed how the carers offered clear and transparent instructions in regards to medication, for example, instructing the residents to eat a full meal before taking tablets. In instances where residents were unable to take medicine independently due to unstable hands or weak arms, the carers assisted immediately. The responsibility for medicines was given to the nurses; however, upon further research I discovered that a beneficial and more efficient system would include a Resident Pharmacist, who is a part of the multidisciplinary team. The Resident Pharmacist could keep the resident's and patient's medical records up to date and provide pharmaceutical based opinions concerning the medicines that they should take. In this way, I learned how pharmacy is interlinked with many other aspects of quality healthcare.
I also completed work experience in a Community Pharmacy and whilst there, I observed the different roles and responsibilities which kept the pharmacy functioning, for example, the Resident Pharmacist who reviewed patients in a private room and the Technicians who organised prescriptions. Due to the ageing demographic in Britain lots of the prescription medication needed to be delivered to patients and taken out of its packaging beforehand to provide easier access for elderly patients. Be that as it may, these methods have also helped young adults afflicted with conditions that could deter them from taking drugs out of packaging independently. This taught me how rooted and integral Community Pharmacies are and how their services are catered to fit the local population.
In Year Eleven I was selected to become a Prefect, this entailed maintaining order, providing directions, and assisting younger students. These duties gave me great responsibility, and taught me how to handle my obligations fairly and justly. It also taught me how to work as part of a team, and establish my role so as to benefit the team. I also worked in a group established to raise awareness of mental health in school. At the beginning of the process, my lack of knowledge regarding mental health was exposed to me, but after further research, using the Pharmaceutical Journal's online articles and other resources, I learnt that as little as £10 was dedicated per head of population afflicted with a mental health problem. However, I hope that the widespread promotion, such as the posters and keychains my group distributed around school, could raise awareness and therefore prompt the government to increase funding.
The ever-changing and developing nature of Pharmacy is what attracts me to this field of work. To be a part of such a diverse profession and make a difference myself would be gratifying. I acknowledge the challenging nature of the degree, and the effort required to complete the course, but I would need to overcome these hurdles to qualify as a Pharmacist, be on the frontier of scientific development and help our population. And in my opinion, this is the ultimate reward.