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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Atika Tailor - Community pharmacist

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Community Pharmacist, Atika shares her day-to-day life of the role and her experiences of a career in pharmacy.

Transcript

00:10:15:12 [Speaker 1]: Just in case  

00:10:27:13 [Speaker 2]: Okay. My name is Atika Taylor, and I'm a community pharmacist. I think that the general public look at pharmacy and think that we're just fitting stickers on boxes and handing out medication, but there is so much more to it than just that I grew up in pharmacy, um, and went into the family business. So it's 

00:11:04:20 something that I was always exposed to. Um, and I saw how much good community pharmacy could be. And I wanted to be a part of that. Absolutely. So, and my family's pharmacy has been here for over 35 years, 

00:11:44:09 which means that we have served generations of people. So we've seen births of children. Unfortunately, we've seen deaths of people as well, and we've served people in their highest times and their lowest times as well. And 

00:11:56:13 we've given them that support through the generation.  

00:12:01:23 [Speaker 1]: Um, that's the time where you didn't want to do pharmacy, right?  

00:12:07:17 [Speaker 2]: So there was a time I didn't want to do pharmacy. Um, I went and tried something else and just realize it wasn't as rewarding as I wanted it to be. And I came back pretty quickly, um, and found a new love for pharmacy. So I'm definitely here to stay now. For me, it's a sense of fulfillment. It's knowing that I'm helping people every single day and it's job satisfaction. It's a thing, especially during 

00:12:40:18 the pandemic, it's knowing that you're making a difference and it's a really exciting time to be a pharmacist at the moment. And so I'm really happy to be a part of that.  

00:12:49:23 [Speaker 1]: Do you find that you're able to get the best out of yourself as a phone,  

00:12:55:22 [Speaker 2]: Being a pharmacist? I really find that there's so much scope for personal development and there's so much learning that you can do. Um, whatever you want to go into. If you have a special interest in a certain type of medicine, you can always learn more. There's so much research coming out all the time. So there's always opportunities to grow and learn from that.  

00:13:25:22 [Speaker 1]: pharmacy.  

00:13:28:00 [Speaker 2]: The skills you learned during pharmacy really gives you an eye to critically think and to sift through information, take out the important bits, look through research, take out the important bits. And I could also kind of decipher that and pass that over to my patients as well. So again, during the pandemic, there's been so much research that's coming out and so many mixed messages through my pharmacy degree, I've really been able to advise people and reassure them, um, through learning science and, you know, looking through papers, absolutely people, but a lot 

00:14:04:00 of trust in their pharmacists.  

00:14:06:17 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. Um, are you guys ready far? Surprise me just from being submerged in the pharmacy law for about a week and a half. Yeah,  

00:14:17:12 [Speaker 2]: It definitely is. Um, every day is different. Like I said before, you're always learning new things, emerging diseases. You have to learn what's happening in order to, to help other people. And even though everyone's getting the information at the same time, so I might be getting the information at the same time as the public is in the news, but you're still able to pick through that and pick out the things that are important and then pass that on and reassure people really. So as a 

00:14:52:21 pharmacist, you are an expert in medicines and your expertise definitely lie in how the medication works. Is this medication suitable for that person? Does it interact? Is it safe for them to use? And so that's where I think that pharmacists are really valuable in the NHS farm family, working alongside doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals.  

00:15:15:04 [Speaker 1]: Do you feel your role as a community pharmacist is something that gets the best out?  

00:15:21:06 [Speaker 2]: No, I think traditionally a lot of people felt that way, but at the moment being a community pharmacist, a lot of doors have opened, um, and I've able to learn new things up-skill and apply my clinical knowledge, which has been really rewarding. Thanks.  

00:15:44:05 [Speaker 1]: You were saying before about the community, the impact of your work. Yeah. So  

00:15:56:23 [Speaker 2]: Part of community pharmacy, and being part of a community, you have a really special relationship with your patients. Um, you see them every month, sometimes more specifically, I helped a, an elderly lady who was suffering from the early signs of dementia. She didn't have much family around and, but she would come into the pharmacy quite regularly. I got to know her quite well. I was able to spot the signs of dementia. I was then able to liaise with her GP and make sure that she got 

00:16:27:09 the help that she needed and she did get the help she needed. And I'm really thankful that that she did.  

00:16:33:02 [Speaker 1]: And that's kind of, you, you carry all this knowledge in your head.  

00:16:39:14 [Speaker 2]: Absolutely. As soon as someone walks in, you can see whether they're in pain. Are they uncomfortable? They upset emotional. Are they not managing? Are they struggling? And because you are seeing these people regularly all the time, you can pick up those things really easily  

00:16:53:21 [Speaker 1]: Just sticking with that, the most rewarding aspects.  

00:17:01:12 [Speaker 2]: So in terms of moments like professionally or with patients, So the most rewarding moments for me definitely come from my patients. Just a simple, thank you. When they come in or they've said, you know, you've made a difference. You've really helped me. That makes everything worth it.  

00:17:22:03 [Speaker 1]: How'd you feel?  

00:17:24:03 [Speaker 2]: I feel really good about myself. I feel that I've made a difference. Um, and I think if I've helped just one person, then it's worth my whole career.  

00:17:34:12 [Speaker 1]: You said about every day is different, but what is the average day look like?  

00:17:40:20 [Speaker 2]: So an average day for me would be, um, making sure that medication is safe for people it's answering queries from the public treating minor ailments. It might be giving vaccinations. Um, it might be doing clinical things such as looking at someone's ear or listening to someone's chest. It might be reassuring someone on their medication helping to manage someone's long-term conditions or helping to manage someone's short-term conditions. Um, it really does vary, but, um, that is, uh, a 

00:18:13:22 broad scope of what we do.  

00:18:17:08 [Speaker 1]: Any kind of healthcare role is quite challenging. How do you?  

00:18:34:03 [Speaker 2]: Yeah, so it can be, it can be really stressful. It's quite a high paced environment and you have to concentrate when there's so many things around you. And luckily all the pharmacy teams I've worked in before So, um, every day is really busy. It can be really stressful. And luckily 

00:19:07:13 all the pharmacy teams I've worked in before and we used and what kind of help each other up when you're working in such a close team like that, you get to know each other really well. You become a little fatherly, really. You build each other up, you have a laugh, you have a joke, and then you, you get on with it and you hang on to the fact that there are people that appreciate you and that you are making a difference and you are helping your community. And that's what gets us through every day.  

00:19:31:10 [Speaker 1]: What questions do you think I should ask you tonight on a mission statement for what you hope to achieve, what you do  

00:19:56:04 [Speaker 2]: In terms of, again, like me personally, or Lastly, I just want to grow and develop more. I want to improve my skills more, keep on learning and keep saying yes to new opportunities. Absolutely. So they're always commissioning new services and recently we've had quite a few come our way from the NHS. Uh, we're also trialing out private services 

00:20:28:10 as well. Um, so there's always something new that you can get your teeth stuck into. Great. Is there anyone you're going to wake up in the middle of the night and say, I think, I think I've run out of things to say a little bit. Yeah. 

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