Monday 25 September saw the NHS celebrating World Pharmacists Day.
This year’s theme was ‘pharmacy strengthening health systems’. To celebrate the day and some of the marvellous pharmacists working across the trust, we spoke to several members of the team to capture their thoughts on what it means to be a pharmacist.
Ashley Dann, Oncology and Aseptics Pharmacist:
“I work in the cancer services department ensuring chemotherapy regimens are safe and free from microbial contamination. I work alongside both haematologists and oncologists, advising them if dose reductions or treatment cessation is required. My job role is very fulfilling as cancer is a life changing diagnosis, but with the support pharmacy provides the burden is shared, and patients are grateful for the work we do. My colleagues are supportive, friendly, and I enjoy having a good laugh with them, which helps us to push through the stressful challenges we face.”
Leon Gibbons, Critical Care and Surgical Pharmacist:
“Working here is a joy, my colleagues across all specialties and disciplines are very supportive and kind. I work closely with the critical care team ensuring we provide evidence based and clinically efficacious treatments, and I thoroughly enjoy working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, utilising pharmacokinetics and primary literature at times to influence my decision making. Additionally, I support theatres to ensure continual supply of key medications. This is more challenging with a multitude of stock shortages, but theatre colleagues and colleagues from other trusts are very accommodating.”
Nicole Ke Wei Sia, Rotational Foundation Pharmacist:
“Transitioning from community to a hospital setting is a rewarding and challenging career move. Being in a new environment was daunting at first, but the pharmacy team has been welcoming and supportive while I adapt of the new workplace. As a clinical pharmacist, I notice that I have more impact on patient care to improve their quality of life. Knowing that my work positively affects patients’ wellbeing is highly rewarding and fulfilling. As compared to community setting, I often face complex medication-related issues and I enjoy the challenge of finding solutions to optimize patient therapy.”
George Pooke, Rotational Foundation Pharmacist:
“I have worked in pharmacy at Conquest coming up to one year now. Coming from a busy community background I’m able to adapt to each situation I have been placed in; that’s why I love being the ward pharmacist for Egerton and Newington wards. Both wards allow me the opportunity to work with expert consultants in their fields, appreciating both points of view and how each speciality designs treatment plans for their patients. I take great pride in being both a medical pharmacist and a surgical pharmacist as I get to see both ends of the spectrum from complex post-op antibiotics to mental health patients on clozapine and how best to optimise treatment.”
Iwona Ward, Lead Stroke/Anticoagulation/IVIG and Lipid Specialist Pharmacist:
“Since graduating almost thirty years ago pharmacy has changed beyond recognition. I am the Lead for Stroke, Anticoagulation, Lipids and IVIG, and an independent prescriber. My role involves participating in consultant ward rounds on the stroke unit, supporting junior doctors and pharmacists, and sitting on the stroke governance committee. I provide anticoagulation advice and work with haematology to keep our anticoagulation guidelines up-to-date. In response to national and global shortages of vital drugs I work with stakeholder consultants to source alternatives and revise protocols. I also sit on the regional panel for IVIG, run a lipid clinic, support the chemical pathology consultant, am the partnership forum lead, and this year have supervised three Masters’ projects in collaboration with Brighton University. In short, working as a pharmacist has provided me with lots of varied, challenging, and exciting opportunities that make each day pass very quickly!”
Sarah Purdy, Pharmacist Vocational Training Programme Director:
“Working as an education and training pharmacist, I take pride in supporting others to realise their potential through ongoing professional development. Having been part of the pharmacy family for more than half my life, it is so exciting to see how the pharmacist role has evolved and the opportunities that still lie ahead. My journey began in Brunswick Square, London and has since woven through several sectors including community pharmacy, regulation, and hospital clinical practice; building an amazing pharmacy network along the way with patient care at the heart of everything we do. I am lucky to be in a part-time portfolio role that allows a really diverse working week and it is fantastic to connect with peers both old and new along the way to hear their pharmacy stories!”
Ramaa Mathrubutham, Community Services Pharmacist:
“World Pharmacist Day is celebrated annually on 25 September. This day is dedicated to recognising and celebrating the vital role that pharmacists play in healthcare systems around the world. I feel proud that I can share this space with fraternity pharmacists globally. Looking back at my career from an overseas qualified pharmacist from India to being a prescribing pharmacist in anticoagulation in the UK, this experience has been truly rewarding. My journey began with solid educational foundation in India and UK taught me the practical skill set and further specialization. So, I have had the best of both worlds. I have the privilege of collaborating with multidisciplinary healthcare teams as a valued member. It was all worth it…”