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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Basil Alackal - Trainee Pharmacist - Community

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Basil Alackal - who tells us all about his role and why he chose pharmacy as a career.

Transcript

00:00:15:09 [Speaker 1]: Try block stuff out. We're having a conversation. We're going to keep your half the fat compensation. If you can try and repeat the question in your answer, which will help you to stop talking, it will help us and deal with what you're talking about. Okay. Yeah. So if I ask you, how's the weather today,  

00:00:40:18 [Speaker 2]: The weather is ...

00:00:55:14 [Speaker 1]: Is there anything that you find frustrating about public perception of pharmacy?  

00:01:03:23 [Speaker 2]: Um, and the thing I find most frustrating is basically to do with the pharmacist role, uh, in the sense that they expect, you know, the medicines to be ready and just give that to them straight away. Uh, but there are a lot of other checks that are done. Um, so before the mechanical and legal checks, so you've got to make sure that the prescription is legally, uh, compatible. So, you know, the data to the date of birth of the patient, the name of the patient, the address, all of that criteria is met. Um, nowadays it's more electronic, so that's not an issue, but we do get handwritten prescriptions and that's something that 

00:01:36:16 needs to be checked. And it has a legal check. We have to make sure that the prescribed medicine is correct. So it's the right dose, the right strength is for the right reasons and all of this takes time. So I would appreciate the customers to understand that it does take you at a time to make these checks and get it ready for them to make sure that they get the best out of their medicines.  

00:01:58:16 [Speaker 1]: That was good though. You've done this before. That's good. We like that. You've got nothing to compare us to. Yeah. Would 

00:02:18:14 you want to do either one, just tell us what prompted you to proceed?  

00:02:56:05 [Speaker 2]: So my main ? was to help other people, so patients, um, and it's just to get the most out of their medicine really and help with their conditions. Um, and lot of patients, um, don't have the right advice from the hospitals and the GPS, and it's due to a lack of time. They are under a lot of time pressure. And as pharmacists, we can give that last bit of advice before the medicine goes out to the patient to make sure that they know when to take it, how to take it. And if they have any other further questions as well, um, which basically helps them to understand why they're taking it and it increases their compliance. Um, I 

00:03:31:19 do like working with patients. Yes. I think, uh, you know, as a pharmacist is a patient face facing role. So it's very important that you like work with patients and you, you have a need to help them. That's the main, main thing.  

00:03:46:14 [Speaker 1]: Great. Um, okay. Some time to think about that. One,  

00:03:58:18 [Speaker 2]: As I said before, it's about helping patients, you know, to make sure that, um, that they get the most out of their medicines. Um, but also a vital role. Another thing that gets me out of bed, um, is the staff here. So, uh, the team that you have, it's a big difference in how you deliver your services, um, even hope to patients and having a good, uh, team is one of the things that I found makes me get out of bed and 

00:04:27:22 ready to help people.  

00:04:33:17 [Speaker 1]: Great.  

00:04:34:14 [Speaker 2]: Yes. Yeah. I think I am quite motivated, um, uh, yeah, to, to, to, to, to do the best I can really. That's, that's what we can do, you know, um, achieve for the best aim for the best and do, Y can do to make their lives better.  

00:04:50:00 [Speaker 1]: Can you touch on this already? If you were kind of say, let's say an eight in 10 seconds, how would you very simply describe? So in essence,  

00:05:07:00 [Speaker 2]: Pharmacist does, is make sure that the medicine that's being prescribed is safe and effective for the patient. Um, I made sure that their understanding of when to take it, how to take it is, is, you know, up to date and they know where I'm taking it, basically. That's, that's, that's it.  

00:05:22:16 [Speaker 1]: Do you have a kind of mission statement about what you want to do in pharmacy? Um,  

00:05:30:07 [Speaker 2]: A mission statement of mine would be, again, it's all about the patient and what they need and what they want. Um, so patient comes first, no matter what scenario, um, you're there to help the patient and get the most out of their medicine. Uh, and any questions they have, you have to answer them.  

00:05:49:03 [Speaker 1]: Yep.  

00:05:52:12 [Speaker 2]: Uh, I want to say no. Uh, but yes I do. Uh, because there quite some, sometimes they're challenging and they, they motivate you to look at other stuff and find out new information, which is absolutely fantastic. Um, so, you know, you have to be motivated to find out new stuff and, you know, understand why this is and why that is X and Y. Um, I forgot what the question was.  

00:06:18:08 [Speaker 1]: Yes. It sounded good. I wanted to have as a policy experts in medicine. Yes. But is there anything for patients  

00:06:31:20 [Speaker 2]: All the time, all the time, uh, the thighs, something that happens all the time? Uh, so one of the scenarios, it was a patient. Um, let's give him, uh, some bronchodilators. So we call it the offline. And, uh, the patient was very, sounded the understanding of their medicine. And, um, one of the, from, um, brands of Theo Flynn, uh, was being discontinued. And I didn't know that. And they came up to me and told me, Oh yeah, this brand has been discontinued, uh, there's this other 

00:07:03:04 brand. Can you tell me more about it? Um, so that's when I realized that, you know, that's fine. There's no way it's not being made anymore manufactured. Um, that's the first time I came across it. So yeah, they do, they're quite, uh, knowledgeable in their medicines. Yep.  

00:07:23:04 [Speaker 1]: And this is the tough one, the different roles in terms of roles taking a step. Okay. So let's take it.  

00:07:46:18 [Speaker 2]: Um, could you repeat the question again? So  

00:07:49:08 [Speaker 1]: The question is, could you talk us through your career today? Tell us why you made those decisions. Yeah. Um, well, thanks.  

00:08:08:22 [Speaker 2]: As far as I'm aware. Um, okay. So as I'm starting, I'm starting stepping into the pharmacist role. I'm still a pre-register I'm training to be a pharmacist. Um, there isn't much choice if that makes sense. Uh, yeah. So once you graduate university, um, you have a couple of different options. So you can go into academia, you can train to be a pharmacist, uh, in a community, a hospital setting, um, or you can go into 

00:08:42:05 industry. So that's where you do manufacturer research about medicines. ******So why I chose community pharmacy, uh, was because of, again, the patient aspect. Um, that's what I strive to, um, and help as much as I can. Um, that's why I chose the steps that I did. So, you know, ****four years of a university and then a year of training and then he become a pharmacist.***  

00:09:07:01 [Speaker 1]: That's good.  

00:09:10:07 [Speaker 2]: Thank you. This question is hard.  

00:09:14:20 [Speaker 1]: So is this, this is your main role now what you're  

00:09:17:00 [Speaker 2]: Doing, so yes No, yeah, who's got that one. I'm not sure about that.  

00:09:35:21 [Speaker 1]: Um, what do you enjoy most about working here?  

00:09:40:10 [Speaker 2]: What do I enjoy most? Um, okay. Um, don't worry about repeating. Yeah. Um, that's what I'm worried about as well as you can think of something different. Um, so what I enjoy most is it's again, two aspects, patient, uh, patient care, and making sure that they are happy and also your, your pharmacy team. Um, you know, it doesn't matter what setting you're in. Um, it is like a master half supporting, um, a team. And 

00:10:16:12 especially as a trainee forms, I prereq, uh, that is something that I have looked into and, um, dispatch and captains is excellent at providing that. And especially when you're training to become a pharmacist, you will like a lot of, uh, knowledge and confidence. And that's early through, you know, the staff is the backbone, you develop that. And, um, I think that I've got 

00:10:42:19 that there. So that's something that motivates me here.  

00:10:45:19 [Speaker 1]: Is there a particular time where you found that support really helpful,  

00:10:52:05 [Speaker 2]: Um, that you can  

00:10:53:21 [Speaker 1]: Rely on that support?  

00:10:56:04 [Speaker 2]: Um, all the time. Um, but definitely *************one thing that comes into my mind is, um, uh, a lady friend and said her husband passed away, um, which is the first time, you know, I came across that situation and, uh, that was quite hard to process for me. So talking to my, my team, I choose her, uh, and, uh, and other team members definitely helped, uh, take some of that stress away and, uh, talking about that, um, made it 

00:11:27:01 easier. Um, and it gave me guidance on how to approach that kind of situation in the future. Um, I make me a better pharmacist  

00:11:38:22 [Speaker 1]: For the editor, put that straight in. Thank you. Do you feel like you've been able to do anything innovative 

00:11:51:09 or change anyway? Uh, chase. Thanks. Um, suppose like your, why can recall  

00:12:17:24 [Speaker 2]: Pharmacy is always changing? Um, so it's, it's not about, you know, innovation is always innovating. There's always new processes, new systems in place to improve, uh, what we're doing to improve upon what we're doing, uh, and provide the best service. So in that sense, no, not yet. Um, but it's always adapting and evolving  

00:12:45:05 [Speaker 1]: Fair moment or an experience in your career. Can you hold on, maybe take on kids. Can we come back to that? Remind me, do you 

00:13:13:00 feel like policy has given you opportunities, opportunities  

00:13:18:00 [Speaker 2]: In what  

00:13:20:00 [Speaker 1]: To feel like it's gotten more out of view of the process or like taught me things or he's taking me places you wouldn't expect to go yourself, perhaps.  

00:13:38:08 [Speaker 2]: So, yeah, I mean, as, as a person, I definitely believe that I have developed, uh, in terms of my core skills. So, you know, time management, um, talking to people, um, making sure that you can, you sound confident, um, and you kind of like instill confidence when talking to patients, that kind of aspect. Um, so yes, I, I believe that I have improved. Um, but again, it's, you're always improving, you know, you're, you never, at your best in one day, you always improve. You always 

00:14:08:18 evolve, you always try your best. Um, so in that aspect, I think I have, um, improve and evolve and grow as a person. Um, and also it's about, you know, that, that empathy as well, you know, you got to empathize with patients, they might be going through some hard times. Um, you never know what they're going through to begin with. Uh, they could be getting through some horrible thing that you don't want to think of. So you have to have that empathy as well. You've got to, you know, have that human connection. 

00:14:40:20 Um,  

00:14:42:05 [Speaker 1]: How'd you maintain that, it's a challenging place to work?  

00:14:47:06 [Speaker 2]: It is, it is always tough. Um, and thing is every patient is different. He can't, you know, have a, uh, a set of lists you follow, uh, to, to, to have, uh, you know, a structure, a structured way of approaching a patient. Every patient is different. So you will have to adapt your, uh, your skills, uh, to, to kind of, you know, uh, have that human connection, um, to, to show to them that you're there to help them. Um,  

00:15:18:05 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. How do you see future,  

00:15:44:15 [Speaker 2]: That is a very, uh, open question. Um, there is going to be definitely a lot of changes, uh, in terms of robots, we already have a couple of robots in hospitals. They have dispensing robots works full time and it dispenses medicines or prescriptions. Um, but in terms of community or specifically community, I think it's going to be more clinical. And what I mean by that is, you know, you're going to have patients that can be referred from your doctor and you're going to have to, 

00:16:15:04 uh, diagnose and treat them or offer them some sort of therapy that's going to suit to their need. Um, so that's what I mean by that. Um, but yeah, again, as I said, pharmacy is constantly evolving. Um, uh, recently there's been a new scheme. That's being pushed out called DMS. Uh, so it's a discharged medicine service and that is done through hospitals. So patients that are most at risk, most risk, um, are referred to pharmacies and the 

00:16:44:16 pharmacist will have to call them up and make sure that they know why they're taking their medicines, uh, you know, what times take them and make sure that they're okay. So, you know, it's always evolving, there's always new ways to help patients. Um, so again, coming back to that question of, you know, where my pharmacy is going, I think it's going to affect everyone, um, with their medicines and, you know, the sky's the limit  

00:17:12:14 [Speaker 1]: A,  

00:17:15:22 [Speaker 2]: The best, uh, the best pharmacist. Um, yeah, there's so much to consider when I, you know, that without question, um, it's, it's, it's about, you know, having that clinical knowledge, helping patients, you know, having that human connection with patients, um, you know, your staff, uh, the area you work in. Um, but yeah, the best I wanna strive to be the best,  

00:17:39:07 [Speaker 1]: Not striving every day. I want to be the best.  

00:17:44:08 [Speaker 2]: Um, of course is exhausting. You know, uh, there, there is only so much you can do as a human being. Um, but *** it's about learning and adapting, um, and overcoming. Um, so it's not, you know, one day is one that is the same as the next day, you know, you're, you're gonna, you're trying to be better than the previous day. Um, and that is exhausting. Um, but you, you can't take breaks, you know, it's, it's not, it's not a normal, uh, let's rephrase that. Sorry. So you can't take 

00:18:19:05 breaks. Um, that's something that's accessible and, uh, you're expected to take breaks. You know, you're not a machine. Um, but at the end of the day, you know, everyone takes breaks, everyone needs breaks and you strive to be better. I don't know how to rephrase that way.  

00:18:35:23 [Speaker 1]: That's why I want to turn that question. Okay. So you touched on this already. How would you feel like your professional journey so far has impacted you as a person, as a person? Um, what were you 

00:19:08:11 on before pharmacy? Would you be surprised? Um,  

00:19:26:05 [Speaker 2]: Yep. So, okay. Yeah. Um, so in terms of what was before, I mean, you know, ******when I was in university, it was, you know, it was just another degree or you don't, you don't really see the impact of, you know, what you, uh, what you can achieve. Um, so that's something I didn't consider, you know, it was just no degree. You go into lectures, you do your studying, you pass your exams, but as a pre-reg, you kind of put that study into practice, and that's where you kind of see the difference you make.***** Um, they say, for example, uh, antibiotics, you know, everyone 

00:20:01:00 has an infection, you take them sometimes they don't know when to take them, or what's what it's for. Um, that's when it sounds quite simple, but that's when, you know, you, you use your knowledge to give them advice. If, you know, you can take it at this time with, uh, with, with, or without food, um, that kind of simple input. Um, and I feel like that's what has made me realize pharmacy is much bigger than what I thought it was. Um, you 

00:20:27:06 know, it's not about, you know, reading books and that's it. You have to kind of give that advice to patients and make sure they're taking it safely.  

00:20:36:07 [Speaker 1]: What would you say to someone on the fence show that they want to maybe dad click him professional rock climb. Okay. How old would you tell them to choose this place?  

00:20:56:16 [Speaker 2]: Um, yeah, I would say Google it, um, I think if you're on the fence, you know, between pharmacy or any other course, I think the best thing to like do is look at yourself and see if you want to help patients. That's at the end of the day, that's all it is. You know, you have to have a need to help them. Um, and if you have that in you, and you're willing to push yourself as well, because it's not easy by any means, you know, it's, it's a degree when you come out of it, you ha you're 

00:21:28:15 a patient patient facing role and it's not easy. Um, so if you have the motivation to push yourself, uh, and, you know, be the best person pharmacist, uh, you can be, uh, peer Reggie can be, uh, then it is a role for you. Yeah.  

00:21:45:15 [Speaker 1]: What would you ask you if you were asking the question, is there anything that you want to say about how you're going to wake up in the middle of night screaming? Wishing you said, um,  

00:21:58:00 [Speaker 2]: So what do you mean, sorry, you want to say anything? I want to say I can't think of anything yet. Um, I mean, yeah. You know, we're, I don't know if I've come across as a were 

00:22:33:16 very like clinical, all that stuff. ***For act 1**********We are friendly, you know, we are people, we, you know, we, we talk, we like to laugh. Um, and the environment I work in is brilliant. Um, you know, we have a lot of good conversation, uh, you know, with, within work and with our work as well. Um, so yeah, it's, it's not always, you know, serious. Um, we do have fun 

00:22:59:05 as a team and I think that's something to consider as well. Um, you know, people talk, people have lofts and we have that as well. Yes, I think so. Yeah. Um, I think that's quite important, you know, we, we help each other out in times of need. We help each other every, every, every single day. Um, so yeah, having that supportive team, as I said before is crucial, uh, 

00:23:26:04 for me to develop into become a good pharmacist. Yeah.*******  

00:23:30:11 [Speaker 1]: Last one. What do you feel has been the most rewarding part of your career? Do you feel like you've made a real difference? just one or like any, yeah, it could be made, we made up for a week.  

00:24:01:12 [Speaker 2]: There's too many to pick from

00:24:05:03 [Speaker 1]: Good question. Could you could say make a real difference every day  

00:24:11:19 [Speaker 2]: That that's, that's the essence of it, isn't it. So, should there be hundreds of people coming in and out of the store, there'd be a lot of patients fighting up and I can't specifically say this is the patient I've helped. I've helped all of them in their questions or needs. So, yeah, that's hard for me to answer  

00:24:35:01 [Speaker 1]: contacts you have with people they will add up  

00:24:41:22 [Speaker 2]: You by add up  

00:24:43:21 [Speaker 1]: To you guys being the pillar of the community.  

00:24:46:23 [Speaker 2]: Yes. Uh, I think so. Um, I mean, I think I want to call it adding up ********. It's just, you know, doing a good deed. That's what I see as, you know, it's just helping them out, make sure that you're there for them answer their questions and anything medicine related, help them out. That's it.  *******

00:25:09:03 [Speaker 1]: That's fine. Cool. One more thing. Introduce yourself to camera. Yep. Hello. My name is for a few seconds and keep 

00:25:56:22 looking at the camera. Oh, I see. Okay. You ready?  

00:26:07:05 [Speaker 2]: Alrighty. Okay. So my name and my role, right. Okay. Hello. My name is basil Aliko and my role is a prereq pharmacist. Is that okay? Okay. Yeah. I'm sorry. Do I say hello or just, my name is  

00:26:25:04 [Speaker 1]: Hello. Hi.  

00:26:28:20 [Speaker 2]: Hi. My name is, uh, basil Alica and my role is pretty much pharmacist Okay. All right. Ready? Yeah. Hi, my name is Basel, Alec. How am I? be 

00:26:57:23 registration pharmacist. Screw that one up  

00:27:04:03 [Speaker 1]: Deep breath and don't rush it. Okay.  00:27:12:22 [Speaker 2]: My name is basil Aliko and my role is a pre-registration pharmacist Around the pharmacy, 10 or 15 minutes.

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