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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Davina Gadhia - Portfolio pharmacist

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Meet Davina, a Portfolio pharmacist who tells us all about her different roles in NHS 111, Prison setting and Academia.

Transcript

00:00:00:03 [Speaker 1]: Quite an easy one for you to start with. Um, is there anything that kind of frustrates you about the company? I see pharmacy is on the staff, what it does.  

00:00:13:26 [Speaker 2]: Um, I think it's, uh, sometimes it gets frustrating when we explained to the patient that, um, where the pharmacist and they repeatedly keep quoting us, the doctor. Um, so that can be quite frustrating. Um, maybe because they have a lack of understanding of our role as a pharmacist in a different setting from the traditional, then you had said to me before, how  

00:00:43:21 [Speaker 1]: Pharmacy has a problem with kind of shouting about what does kind of telling about what's bad?  

00:00:55:08 [Speaker 2]: Um, well, I've been fortunate enough to use, um, you know, various platforms such as social media, such as being on the BBC have also, you know, um, had some journals published on the roles of pharmacists and that has helped promote the pharmacist roles, um, especially in general practice. Um, you know, when it's all exposed, you know, in the media and put in a really positive light, it does help a lot.  

00:01:31:12 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. Policy and pursue a career promise.  

00:01:34:23 [Speaker 2]: Well, um, when I was younger in school, that's where I was looking at different avenues of what, where I can move into and you know, what career pathway I would take. And that's where, you know, pharmacy was mentioned, um, in school and I then chose to do a placement in a chemist. Um, and I really, really enjoyed it. And science, uh, was something that I really enjoyed and I was really good at. So that's where I 

00:02:08:08 started to explore pharmacy as a career. And I'm so glad I did because I really, really enjoy it. Now it's so diverse. I've got so many sort of different avenues you can take  

00:02:19:21 [Speaker 1]: Today. You're enjoyed this day and the chemists. So being exposed to that, or what will attract you to kind of go into it further.  

00:02:29:01 [Speaker 2]: I liked the aspect of helping people and making people feel better than respecting the advice that you're giving them. They having that trust in a pharmacist. And, you know, it's really, really important to gain that trust and sharing the knowledge that I have about medicines, about side effects. Um, you know, about, um, how the medicine works, how long it'll take to get better things that pharmacists take for granted because they have that secondary knowledge about, and the general 

00:03:00:12 public, you know, might not be aware  

00:03:03:06 [Speaker 1]: About it. Yeah. Someone said to us before how X medicine accessible in a way that other health professionals are, and that's kind of what makes it unique? What do you think is unique about?  

00:03:19:14 [Speaker 2]: I believe that pharmacists work as generalist, so they have this wealth of knowledge and, you know, the science, the safety aspect of medicines as well. And, um, they can communicate with patients in a manner that they understand. They also have the time to invest in explaining to the patient in a language that they understand as well. And, you know, investing that time to help patients and for patients to share, you know, any sort of anxieties or any questions that they have as well. 

00:03:51:10 And I think patients appreciate that as well.  

00:03:55:13 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. But it's, how do you feel patients respond to that and appreciate that relationship that have a pharmacist?  

00:04:03:15 [Speaker 2]: They, they really appreciate it, um, because pharmacists are very accessible. Um, they, they can be the first port of call, especially when the GP practice is closed or they're unable to get an appointment. You know, they have one, one, one, but sometimes, you know, it can take awhile to, you know, someone to get back to them. So pharmacists, you know, uh, uh, you know, readily accessible and a wealth of knowledge for them to just use.  

00:04:31:20 [Speaker 1]: Somebody told us that every eight minutes for a pharmacy in this country, did she deny that  

00:04:41:12 [Speaker 2]: I didn't actually know that, um, you know, it was, um, uh, cause now that pharmacists are not only working in a pharmacy, but they're working in a GP practice or, you know, for one mom, one, there is more accessibility to pharmacists in different ways. And the public might not understand that, you know, the pharmacists can be accessible, you know, through their GP practice through, one-on-one not just in your traditional community, pharmacists, you know, um, locations.  

00:05:13:03 [Speaker 1]: Good. Briefly talk us through your career roles today. And if you can try to pursue at the top of this one, because it said this quite hard to do, I think.  

00:05:26:19 [Speaker 2]: Yeah. So, um, I, I've been very fortunate in that I started my role in community pharmacy and when I started my role, I actually thought that that is where I was going to retire at it as well. Um, but I, um, get bored quite easily and I need a challenge and I like variety. So, you know, while I was working in community pharmacy, um, I realized that I did enjoy it, but there was more that I could give. And 

00:05:56:20 there was more that I could do to utilize the skills and expertise and my knowledge that I learned in at university. And I also wanted to develop myself and, you know, have more patient contact. So I decided to, you know, um, go, uh, I decided to study further and I did a clinical diploma and I did a prescribing course. And that led me to then set up, uh, a business in 

00:06:28:10 aesthetics because at that time there wasn't many roles in prescribing.  

00:06:33:07 [Speaker 2]: Um, but in that journey, I then went into finding a role in substance misuse to use my prescribing in, and that I moved into, you know, um, those specials, that specialist service, um, which I really, really enjoy and I'm still working in today. So I then furthered my career into, um, doing an advanced clinical practitioner role, which, um, helps me to be able to diagnose, treat and safety net patients. Um, and I also 

00:07:04:22 worked in, um, you know, teaching and training as well because I enjoy developing pharmacists and pharmacy students are put a close working relationship with the university. So I go into university talk about my career, um, to other pharmacy students, to China, inspire them to, um, allow them to think about what else there is out there. Um, and I also, um, train other farm qualified pharmacists who want to go into prescribing and 

00:07:36:29 developing their skills. So, um, I'm a designated, um, practice, uh, prescribing practitioner as well for them. So I currently work in a GP practice as a senior clinical pharmacist, and we have a team of four pharmacists and two pre-registration pharmacists who are pharmacists, who w they're not qualified yet, but, you know, training a one-year placement, um, training them to become a 

00:08:04:15 pharmacist. And, um, also worked for my mom one, um, giving advice, maybe if a patients, you know, um, ran out of their medications or a patient's symptoms are getting worse, just giving them advice over the phone, on how, how they, you know, how best to manage the situation. Um, I also worked for the prisons. Um, so I work, um, cause I've had that specialist, um, training in drug and alcohol services. So mainly because patients can't get 

00:08:35:26 access to drugs or alcohol in prisons looking at, you know, how we can best help them with treatment and encouraging them to go into treatment as well.  

00:08:46:10 [Speaker 2]: Um, and I also, you know, as I mentioned, have an interest in, um, developing other pharmacists as well. So I worked for, um, what they call a CPCs scheme. So I do training for community pharmacists to help train them in consultation, skills, history, taking examinations and managing them. Cause I think this is going to be the future for pharmacists in community pharmacy. So I think the role will evolve tremendously in the 

00:09:16:16 coming years and pharmacists will be more patient, you know, focused and patient facing, being able to advise and, you know, help diagnose or examine and treat patients with and giving them safety, netting advice, which will actually help GPS as well because GPS can then focus on more complex things while pharmacists can deal with some of the things that GPS are, um, dealing with at the moment. Um, so it's, it's a win-win situation 

00:09:46:15 for all, really,  

00:09:49:10 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. With this project. So I've actually noticed how much easier for you to sort of navigate the health system and pharmacists to fill these gaps. I see it, but you've done so much now. I wanted to tell, do you balance,  

00:10:11:01 [Speaker 2]: I think, um, because when you enjoy your job and you enjoy what you're doing and you know, you've got some sort of satisfaction and contentment from what you do, it doesn't feel like a job. And, um, you know, I feel like the variety helps with me appreciating all the different roles as well. Um, so I don't feel like, oh, I've got all this, all these different roles and you know, whether any of them are a burden. I really, really enjoy doing all of them because they all bring things into my career 

00:10:48:04 where I can use my skills and I can give back as well. So in case of injury damages from too. Yeah. And, um, like I said, because I get bored of, you know, the same thing, repetitive nurse, and that's me as a person and for some people they might enjoy, you know, having the same role and that's 

00:11:14:27 what they enjoy. And that's, that's fine too, but I really enjoy challenging myself, really enjoy looking at what what's my next step, how can this be developed further? Um, and I enjoy that variety. And, um, and so that's why I've got such a diverse sort of, you know, um, sort of career at the moment.  

00:11:41:10 [Speaker 1]: Somebody's difference if you know what I mean?  

00:11:46:05 [Speaker 2]: There's a few things actually. Um, I mean, one of the things was being able to raise awareness, um, to the public, uh, as well as other healthcare professionals by doing, you know, some of the sort of media interviews and, you know, getting journals out there because, um, other pharmacists have been able to contact me and ask about all the things that I've been involved with because they weren't aware of it themselves. Um, so that's been quite good that, um, you know, I'm able to inspire 

00:12:17:06 others, um, which has been quite important. Um, so I enjoy doing that and I also was able to, um, have my aesthetics business, which gave me, uh, you know, business skills and I was able to learn some of the things that I would have not thought about doing. Um, so that was quite interesting, um, that I was able to do that as well, but I really, really enjoy, you know, developing and teaching people and, um, you know, having the connections at 

00:12:48:15 the university and, um, you know, because I work in a, um, training practice, it gives me the opportunities to develop pharmacists further and try and, um, build on, you know, um, helping more and more pharmacy students or pharmacists as well.  

00:13:04:25 [Speaker 1]: Are there any kind of moments you've had for one-to-one with people, maybe people you've mentored or patients who've worked with you kind of have felt really bubble, but in that way that you've got to help people, if you know what I mean?  

00:13:20:26 [Speaker 2]: I mean, you know, there's probably quite a lot of, um, sort of scenarios like that, but, um, I've had a patient come in to see me when I was working at the GP practice and the P the patient just wanted antibiotics for his, um, sort of what he believed was a chest infection and following sort of taking a history and examining him. I realized that actually this was more serious than just a chest infection. I got him into hospital turned out that actually it was more serious. He ended up having a 

00:13:55:02 pulmonary embolism and, um, ended up on the correct medication for him. And that was quite rewarding because, you know, I could've saved, saved his life and it could have turned out in, you know, a different situation. So events like that, where you have been able to make a difference. It really is rewarding, especially when the patients say, oh, thank you for spotting 

00:14:20:19 that. And, you know, um, sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct,  

00:14:25:03 [Speaker 1]: Is that pace of, cause I've never experienced anything like that. So if you stop and think really that impacts that more. Fuck.  

00:14:37:14 [Speaker 2]: Um, I mean it's because your days are quite different, each day is quite different. So there's no, there's, there's always going to be moments where you don't expect something that's going to come in. And, um, so it's just, you know, taking each moment and each day with whatever you get presented with and, you know, um, yeah, just taking it from there really  

00:15:05:05 [Speaker 1]: You've done prisoners and people wouldn't cross substance problems. So that, to me, when we split class was to see them as people, not as prisoners, which sounds simple and what he's doing, but that's a lot to it if you just told us about that a little bit. Yeah.  

00:15:26:16 [Speaker 2]: So before I worked in the prisons, I used to work in the community with, um, patient patients with substance misuse or alcohol misuse and, you know, these, um, sort of clients, they come into the service, um, and you know, it was brave enough for them to, you know, approach the service for help. Um, and from doing that sort of work and now working in the prisons, um, you know, it's really, really important not to judge these, uh, these clients or patients and, you know, having that 

00:15:59:28 nonjudgmental approach. They, they do go through some challenges in life, which are, you know, they're real challenges in life. And when you hear their story of their life and what they've been through and where they are today, um, you appreciate that actually them accessing the service and accessing help is a big step for them. And just like, you know, we all have 

00:16:29:05 some sort of addiction mine's is chocolate and the challenges of, you know, giving up that it is hard work. So these, um, clients accessing the service to help them come off, um, drugs, or, you know, um, come off drinking. Um, even if those patients are able to do it for a short period of time, it's an achievement. And, you know, it is something that, you know, you have to have determination to do, 

00:17:00:15 you know, you have to have willpower. And so they, they do try. Um, so just treating them as a human being as a, you know, an individual who, you know, and giving them the respect that they, you know, just like any human being deserves really  

00:17:17:07 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. That passionate approach to people, I think people really need in that situation. But I wondered if there's like what the actual things that you do for people in there in a kind of practical way, what does the work look like? Yeah.  

00:17:33:04 [Speaker 2]: So, um, you know, there is sometimes challenging behaviors with, uh, with, um, so, you know, if they sort of, um, what with them going through, um, you know, certain challenges, it might be things like if they've got children and, you know, they've got social services involvement, and that can be quite challenging as well. So when, when a client comes into the surface, they'll come, we'll do an assessment. Um, whether it's in the prison or, you know, um, at, uh, in the community. So 

00:18:05:05 what I tend to do is I attend if, for example, they're in the prison, I tend to not to, um, read up about the reasons for them being in prison, because that can sometimes, you know, um, sort of blur your judgment, you know? And, um, so that, that's the approach that I like to take in that I don't want to know what the common, uh, or what sense sentence they've been given. I want to be able to communicate with that person one-to-one. So I do an 

00:18:37:05 assessment with them look up, you know, um, whether they're taking any drugs or any alcohol, how much, you know, whether they injecting or, or not looking at the injection sites, making sure it's not infected, if it is then looking at, um, treating the infection as well. And then we'll discuss about what treatment they need for their, you know, drug and alcohol addiction and discuss, you know, how we're gonna sort of, you know, the 

00:19:05:01 plan that we're going to do. Um, so, you know, and just having a mutual understanding on, you know, um, what the plan is going to be, and then they get sort of seen quite frequently just to see how they're getting on really,  

00:19:22:11 [Speaker 1]: What's been the experience like for you, what that thing, because you want to see any people you've spoken to who have  

00:19:31:09 [Speaker 2]: Yep. Um, I mean, I enjoy it. I do enjoy it. Um, because I, there has, when you hear successful stories of them coming off, or even reducing their drug or alcohol use and, and sort of getting their life back on track to where they want it to be, you know, so being able to even simple things like being able to keep, keep a job or finding a job or reducing their drug use, you know, or if they're not injecting, but they're 

00:20:03:02 now smoking heroin, you know, or they, they might seem quite little differences or, you know, things that, um, you'd think, okay, why is that a big thing actually, is, is a big achievement. Um, and, you know, for them to be able to like go in the direction that they want to, or they see them their lives, you know, whichever point that they see their lives at that is 

00:20:32:07 quite an achievement for them. And some of them have success, sorry, some of them have successfully come off their drugs and alcohol, it might be for a year. It might be, you know, for life or, um, but some of them, you know, really successfully, um, you know, come off their drugs and alcohol use. I just  

00:20:52:23 [Speaker 1]: Wonder if, was a good time to ask you my next question, which is how is your daddy cut back to you as a person?  

00:21:01:20 [Speaker 2]: Um, I feel like I I'm really, really happy with, um, you know, my, uh, journey in my career and all the different things that I've been involved with it's helped me grow cause I never anticipated or imagined, you know, my career, um, being as it were, but it's also helped me grow as a person in terms of developing myself developing skills that I didn't think I'd need or use. Um, you know, for example, doing examinations 

00:21:32:14 of patients, I never thought pharmacy was, I'd never associate to pharmacy with examining patients even. Um, so yeah, it's really, um, changed me. It's given me sort of satisfaction as a person and, you know, being content, um, as a human being as well, being able to help so many people.  

00:21:53:23 [Speaker 1]: So good luck is the best out of you. It's not something that they'll kind of shackled by for lack of a better phrase. No.  

00:22:00:26 [Speaker 2]: Um, and I feel like, um, you know, it is, it is the career for me. I know that a few years ago, um, you know, the career had a little bit of suffering in terms of there weren't as many jobs out there and, you know, it was starting to, there was so many schools or pharmacies opening. So everyone was worried about the position in the career. However, with NHS England seeing the potential for pharmacists and for years, pharmacist skills were laying dormant. And, you know, with these new roles, 

00:22:31:21 um, the, the traditional roles, they'll always be, you know, a place for traditional roles as well, but with so many opportunities opening now, I feel like, you know, this is a fantastic time for the career. Um, and you know, pharmacy is well-respected and it was always a job where, you know, there, there was a guaranteed job at the end. Um, so, you know, but yeah, it's, we were profession is definitely thriving and it makes me thrive as a 

00:22:58:10 person as well, you know, and giving me the like self satisfaction.  

00:23:04:22 [Speaker 1]: So he's quite excited about the future of pharmacy.  

00:23:09:13 [Speaker 2]: Yeah. Um, I, I just, I feel so passionate about a pharmacy and I feel like pharmacy is the career that, you know, I have no regrets with and there's so many opportunities out there and I'm so glad that NHS England have, uh, you know, appreciated and recognize that pharmacists have these skills, whether they work as a generalist or a specialist, they have skills that haven't been used or utilized to its full 

00:23:39:22 potential. And that's where I see it going in that, you know, the skills that they've learned at university and the way the curriculum is changing, they are starting to recognize that we have so much more to offer  

00:23:54:22 [Speaker 1]: If you've got to think about the 16 year old going to  

00:24:04:23 [Speaker 2]: The pharmacy. Yeah. I believe that if you have a passion for people, you know, a passion for helping and caring and a passion for science and medicine, um, and how drugs work, um, you know, it's definitely the profession for you. Um, and you know, um, it is, um, becoming so diverse and if you enjoy that variety is definitely something 

00:24:33:06 that I would recommend people to get into.  

00:24:36:25 [Speaker 1]: Okay. Is there anything you wanted to say first?  

00:24:42:17 [Speaker 2]: Um, I feel like, um, the career is now giving opportunities to work with a multidisciplinary team. So you're not only before pharmacists felt, um, a level of isolation because if you worked in the chemist or a hospital, you weren't, you were working within, you know, um, your little teams, but you didn't necessarily have the opportunities to integrate with other healthcare professionals to have more of a holistic approach. So now the opportunities are enormous in that you get to work 

00:25:12:16 with, you know, doctors and nurses and paramedics, and there's lots more professionals that are coming in and working, you know, in a multidisciplinary team to actually get the most of, um, patient care and, you know, giving the patients what they need from the right professional at the right time, at the right place.  

00:25:33:27 [Speaker 1]: Yeah. Yeah. But it's not a pharmacist popping up everywhere now. Definitely. Okay. Says if there's not going to be anything that you kind of wake up and do, which of you sense?  

00:25:46:28 [Speaker 2]: Um, no, nothing. That's um,  00:25:54:01 [Speaker 1]: Um, I've got some notes here, so let me just have a look to see whether I've got it.

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