I enjoyed every minute of my time in the pharmacy, and I also learnt a great deal. I just love working with medicines and I enjoy looking at the long names of medication and learning them. I now feel incredibly knowledgeable after my work experience. I know that if someone asks me what medication they need if they have a certain illness, I can tell them (for instance, high cholesterol levels which can lead to coronary heart disease- they should take Simvastatin tablets to lower these levels). Moreover, I liked helping patients and at the end of the day I felt a wonderful satisfaction. In the future I want to be helping people in this way and also feeling that I have genuinely helped some people with their lives.
I experienced many different things from observing how the ICT in the organisation works, to observing how the staffs work as a team to get things done quickly and efficiently. Because of this, there were aspects of the work experience that I found more useful than others. Firstly, I wasn’t allowed to use ICT because the software used by the pharmacy is a patient database and here there is sensitive patient information. I was only permitted to observe what happens on the computer system. Hence, this part of the experience I found tedious and least useful. On the other hand, I found Wednesday (day three) probably the most useful and at the same time the most enjoyable. I got told on the Tuesday that this would be the busiest day, as it usually is, and it certainly was! There were approximately 100 prescriptions (as I said before).There were a lot of people just walking in too, requiring medication and these people had to be supplied with medication immediately so they don’t wait for long and later complain about poor service etc. These people also had to be dealt with in order to prevent arguments that someone had been served before them. There was a lot of pressure, especially on me as I had to work to a high pace, minimise mistakes and make sure that I collected exactly the right medication. Greatest pressure on me was when I received a walk-in prescription with many items on it. I made sure that I did not swap it with a prescription with fewer items on it, as I wanted to impress. Having said this, I enjoyed that day the most as I personally like challenging myself and I enjoy being out of my comfort zone. In addition to this, by the end of the day I felt a great satisfaction that I helped a lot of people by supplying them with the right medication. I do not recall making any mistakes even though I did sometimes ask for help (better safe than sorry!).
I feel during the 5 day work experience that I have matured a lot- as a person I have also improved. I have learnt that communication between your colleagues is extremely important as I have seen how teamwork is an essential part of the organisation. As a result, I have improved my communication skills with my colleagues. I also did a 5 day work experience at Solihull Healthcare and Walk-In Centre, and there I learnt to communicate well with the patients as well as my colleagues. There I got the chance to be the receptionist and take the details of the patients, and I learnt a great deal, for example the main type of illnesses the British public have and the reasons why people come to the GP, from mild coughs and cold to severe sexually transmitted diseases. At the GP, I was lucky enough to use the computer system (called SystemOne) on a daily basis. I attached patients’ details and records, and on my last day I booked a couple of appointments. I enjoyed this a lot. ICT is clearly extremely important in both the GP and Pharmacy, and I cannot say in which organisation ICT is more important, but I can definitely say that without ICT running both organisations would be very difficult indeed. In the pharmacy, ICT is used to order new stock of medication when certain medicines run out; I discovered that the inhalers ran out quickly as so did the Simvastatin tablets, showing that many people suffer from asthma and high cholesterol levels. There were a lot of diabetics too, in particular older people suffered from diabetes. In contrast, the GP used ICT mainly to book appointments, register new arrivals who now pay tax to the Solihull Council and to attach patients’ details, which are on paper (written by the doctors), to the computer system.