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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Carie Martin - Portfolio pharmacist

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Meet Carie, a portfolio pharmacist who tells us all about her dual role and why she chose pharmacy as a career.

Transcript

00:00:02:22 [Speaker 1]: Okay. Okay. Right.  

00:00:11:06 [Speaker 2]: Switching hats. Yep. Um, absolutely. So outlook calendar I rely on. Um, and it, and it is, it is a matter of, kind of w w what, what space am I in at the moment, but it does happen. It can happen on a daily basis, but, um, on days like today it's happening on an hourly basis, I'll be in one meeting for one part of my job. And then, um, looking at, um, material for the other parts of my job. So it is kind of trying to be in that space and, and it is, it is a skill to be learned. Um, and it's, 

00:00:43:02 and it's happening for more and more pharmacists as we are split between different roles. So I know, um, I have friends who work sometimes in the hospital, um, but then they'll also work within a GP surgery as well, um, or different, lots of different other kind of scenarios. So, um, yeah, we're, we're multitaskers, I think. And that's the skill, um, that we have to perfect. I'm always busy. I'm never bored. I definitely never bored. And I think, 

00:01:19:10 um, it's, it's really exciting. There's so much potential. Um, and as soon as we reach kind of, as soon as we reach one, um, aspects of things, there's always something else on the horizon. And it's that constant change that is really hard work. Um, and it's really stressful, you know, but I do, I love that at the same time. I love that. I'm, I'm never bored. Yeah. 

00:02:01:24 I, I can hear you fine. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um, so I think so from a bigger 

00:02:31:21 picture type thing, one of my, um, um, I did a change management project in, um, one of my trusts that I've worked in, um, where I, and I actually 

00:02:42:15 then led on to how I became a prescriber. Um, I changed the way we prescribed, um, total parental nutrition.  

00:02:51:12 [Speaker 2]: So total parental nutrition is when a patient's stomach doesn't work at all. Um, they have to be given food through their veins. Um, and so the food is, you know, it's, it's a breakdown of food, so we give them fats and proteins and, um, and electrolytes all in a bag. Um, and then it's given through an IB route. Um, and with the change from going from paper prescriptions to, um, electronic prescriptions, um, the, the, 

00:03:21:18 these, um, the prescriptions for this type of medication kind of fell through the net and it wasn't being prescribed correctly. Um, so I developed a way, um, so I let to educational materials before the nurses and the doctors and the pharmacists and the pharmacy team, um, as well as, um, descriptors and a way for the electronic prescribing to be a lot more clear in what they were prescribing, um, and thinking about a process of 

00:03:53:24 how it was prescribed. Um, so that was one of my big change management projects that was quite, um, you know, bigger picture type thing that the patient probably never saw, but, you know, it did actually help them. Yeah. Yeah. So the impact was that, um, there was a lot less errors to do with the prescribing of TPN. Um, and it was a lot more clear, um, the change 

00:04:23:13 over happened over about a year and a half. Um, and they were, the patients were getting their TPN or total parental nutrition, but it wasn't, it wasn't being recorded correctly. So, um, the governance around that, um, you know, if there was a problem, you know, say there was a problem later on or something like that, we didn't necessarily have the right paperwork or right. Um, yeah, they've worked in order to kind of back up what we'd 

00:04:52:15 been prescribing. Um, so it was, it was a way to make sure that we had that audit trail, um, and that it was clear to the nurses and the doctors, what was being prescribed. There was, there was quite often a bit of confusion as to what should have been prescribed, what shouldn't have been prescribed.  

00:05:12:12 [Speaker 2]: Um, and a lot of that came, um, out of hours. So for the poor Encore pharmacist to sort out, um, which, you know, inevitably you didn't, and it's okay for a patient not to have that, you know, for overnight it's all right. You, you give them fluids and they'll be okay. Um, it's, it's just the longer term effect that, you know, if they didn't receive the right, um, right dose, uh, over a longer time, then they could become malnourished. So there was quite high risk, um, and great gains from 

00:05:44:14 it as well. So good, good overall picture. And that was one of my biggest projects that I, that I really enjoyed doing. Um, now that difference, um, the other day I was on the ward and there was a patient who, um, was feeling really cold. Um, so I just organized to get them an extra blanket, um, you know, little, little bits like that. Cause there was no one else on the ward. So, you know, even though that's not necessarily part of our job, making sure when, if I ever go into a bay, 

00:06:15:24 I always make sure that, um, all the patient's glasses are full of water. Um, just because dehydration does ultimately affect me because then their kidneys don't work and then the drugs don't work. So, you know, making sure that they're drinking their water, um, is, is a big, um, it's a big thing in the long run, but a small little thing just to check every time I go into the bay.  

00:06:50:08 [Speaker 2]: Yeah, yeah. No, and I think it's really important to still be, be a person, you know, if someone's, um, if someone doesn't know what or sorry, if someone needs something, you know, or just going, not going, oh, the nurse, the nurse I'll get the nurse for you, you know, what, what is it within my ability that I can help where I can help put a blanket on someone? Um, I don't, I can't lift anyone. I haven't done my, uh, manual, um, panting training. Um, but I can get someone a blanket. I can 

00:07:24:16 get someone water, I can chat to them about their medicines. Um, you know, what, what can I do? Yeah, I think so. Uh, it's only been recently that I've been a bit more 

00:07:55:10 outspoken in my thoughts. Um, and I think it's challenging processes that have been, um, that have been, it's always been done that way and going well, why has it always been done that way? And there's a few processes in the hospital that I work in at the moment that I've been doing that with and just thinking, well, why do we do it that way? And is there another way that we can do it? Um, you know, because it doesn't seem to be working with 

00:08:21:17 the there's lots of new standards that we have to work to. And lots of, um, things in, especially in the education world are changing really, really fast. So in order to keep up with that, we've got to think, well, w what, what do we need to change in order to accommodate these?  

00:08:40:13 [Speaker 2]: Um, and yeah, a lot of things I've been told, oh, well, it's, it's always been done that way. So, you know, just, just modify it to fix that and it's, well, no, I don't think that's the right thing to do. Um, you know, I think let's try it this way. Um, you know, and I think that's, that's what I mean by being outspoken it's, it's seeing, uh, seeing an issue and having a counter measure to that issue, um, rather than just pointing it out because then nothing will get done about it. But I think the, the real thing is right. Let's think about how we can solve it rather 

00:09:13:18 than just complaining about it. And I think that, that's what I mean by being outspoken. Yeah. Yeah. It is a bit, um, so it's, it's probably been in the last, uh, last year, 18 months I think, to do with COVID and all the changes that have come with it. Um, there's a lot of repercussions from COVID, you know, 

00:09:40:12 the actual initial thing within healthcare, we all think great, you know, um, you know, COVID, it's, it's lots of hospital admissions or that sort of thing, but we don't really think about the repercussions on education. So, because there were lots of, um, admissions because of the infection control measures that we took, um, students weren't, weren't able to come into hospitals, they weren't able to go on placements. Um, so we had to think really outside of the box as to how we could get their training completed 

00:10:12:24 in the time that they needed it to be completed and the repercussions of them not doing certain exams, um, how that affected them, um, and how that would affect their study. And so we really had to think about really novel ways in order to support them in, in their studies, because if we don't support them in their studies, we get a year where we don't have pharmacists, um, that doesn't work for anybody. Um, so it was being, it 

00:10:42:19 was, it was learning to be outspoken in how we could change things. How could we do things better in order to support everyone?  

00:11:02:20 [Speaker 2]: I definitely become a lot more confident in order to, to say, you know, um, what is on my mind? What, what am I thinking? Um, I'm yeah, I'm, uh, I'm a lot more confident in, in who I am and taking on, um, my personal journey as well. Um, I'm a lot more happy to kind of say whether I'm not able to do something or, um, or I don't agree with something. Um, but then always trying to think about what actually then 

00:11:35:09 what, you know, I don't agree with that, but this might be something that I do agree with, you know, and, and, and having that countermeasure that argument, but consummation thought, um, in order to, to bring that. So, yeah, no, it definitely has it, it's definitely impacted on my personal life as well for the good, um, no, I definitely think it's got the best out 

00:12:04:12 of me, the potential in my job role and the potential. Mmm,  

00:12:14:02 [Speaker 1]: Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm. Mmm. 

00:12:53:20 Well, when I started on the board,  

00:13:07:08 [Speaker 2]: Yeah, definitely definitely been surprised. So, um, I was definitely in that, in the camp of, oh, you know, sitting behind a counter, putting a label on a medicine. Um, that was definitely my, my view on it. Um, but it's definitely become so much bigger than that. And with pharmacists, you know, we haven't talked or spoken about industry pharmacists at all. I have to admit it is an area that I don't have much, um, uh, I don't have much experience with, but I think that that's also, 

00:13:41:09 you know, it's an incredible area and there's so much scope there as well. Um, your, the fact that more and more GP surgeries have a pharmacist involved in their connects, but also there's supporting them prescribing. That's just a massive field. That's just going to in England, Scotland and Wales is just gonna grow and grow and grow. Um, and so more pharmacists are going to be needed as well as technicians, um, pharmacy technicians, 

00:14:08:19 definitely in short supply at the moment. So, um, there's lots and lots of career opportunities available.  

00:14:29:18 [Speaker 2]: Um, if I'm honest, I think I've just said it just now with the whole, you know, there's the potential and the opportunity that is available to people, um, to, to take, um, you know, it's not just so I know this is talking about me and pharmacy and being coming a pharmacist, but there's a whole, um, uh, career pathway to do with being a technician as well. And, you know, you don't need a university degree to do 

00:14:59:15 that. You can, you do that at, you can do that through an apprenticeship as well. And I think that's really, it's just such an accessible career. Um, and in my opinion, um, and there's just so much that you can do with it. Um, and you can go, you know, the army want pharmacists, you can be a prison pharmacist. Um, you know, you can, you can do pretty much anything you want with it. Yep. Wherever there's a supply of medicine, you need a 

00:15:47:20 pharmacist. So, um, yeah, it's always going to be there. Okay. Yeah. Um, so 

00:16:02:24 hi, my name is Carrie. I am a teacher practitioner at the university of bath and the lead education development pharmacist at the Royal United hospital in bath. Yeah. Is there anything other information that you'd like me to say that? Okay, great. Hi, my name is Carrie. I am a teacher 00:16:28:15 practitioner at the university of bath, and I'm also the lead education development pharmacist at the Royal United hospitals bar.

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