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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Zeenat Beg - Graduate Teaching Assistant - Research

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Graduate Teaching Assistant, Zeenat shares her day-to-day life of the role and her experiences of a career in pharmacy.

Transcript

00:00:07:02 [Speaker 1]: Uh, okay, so fun questions. I don't want to out lots of stuff.  

00:00:16:12 [Speaker 2]: I don't mind wherever you want me to say. I love potatoes. Yeah. I will say that. I think you're going to have a lot of, lots of, we read, we watching this one,  

00:00:31:14 [Speaker 1]: Ask you to travel, to get it back  

00:00:34:20 [Speaker 2]: Emphasis on trying  

00:00:46:20 [Speaker 1]: At the Monday nights. Um, I wanted tell me pharmacy pharmacy, and they see if that ends.  

00:01:02:10 [Speaker 2]: So if you were to ask me, when I first started off, um, looking into just a career in pharmacy, this was when I was in school. If you said a community pharmacist, I would have said, okay, that's someone who is in a community, pharmacy prescription comes in and they are dispensing the medications. Now, community pharmacy, for example, the role is evolving so much. A lot of community pharmacists are becoming independent prescribers. This gives them the authority to actually prescribe medications, which in the past and your doctor would have been 

00:01:31:17 able to do. I think it's so, it's so good. How the role of the pharmacist is evolving. Pharmacists are being given more responsibility. They're given, they're being trained to have more roles. So yeah, it's a lot of pharmacists, especially community pharmacists are being encouraged to become independent prescribers or incenter your hair. It's so common to hear this pharmacist is an independent prescriber, and it's just amazing 

00:02:02:01 that pharmacists are being given that opportunity to become independent prescribers because they all capable. They are capable of making those decisions for patients as a doctor would as well. So it's just really good that they have been given that opportunity.  

00:02:17:16 [Speaker 1]: We've actually been in cost per our policy. That's so areas for what kind of about that.  

00:02:30:10 [Speaker 2]: What really excites me is how you can go from studying with people at university. And then just hearing about all the different roles that they're doing. Like there are people working in GP pharmacies, there are people working in hospital pharmacies. There are people working for the army. For example, there's people working in prison pharmacies. The, the role is just evolving and developing. And you're hearing of pharmacists in so many different environments in, in a hospice in care homes. So many different roles a pharmacist can take and the list 

00:03:04:05 is just, honestly, it's just growing. And I think it's just, there is more recognition of the skills that our pharmacist has. And I think it's great that pharmacists are being recognized more and they're given, they're been given the opportunity to actually take on these roles and responsibilities.  

00:03:28:06 [Speaker 1]: Yes. Yeah.  

00:03:33:01 [Speaker 2]: So I remember when I, when I was studying, um, pharmacy at university, one of my lectures actually says, said, uh, very early on, he was like, you will all be the masters of medicine. And the reason he actually said that was because to do pharmacy. Um, you actually complete a masters in pharmacy. So before many moons ago, it used to be a bachelor's in pharmacy, but then it developed into an M farm, which is a master's in pharmacy. So when he actually said, you, you are all going to be masters in pharmacy, you are the master of medicines. I was actually 

00:04:05:22 told this and I thought, you know what? It really highlighted to me the importance of my role because doctors come to you, nurses come to you because you, you have studied the medicines, you've studied the effects they have on the body. You've studied the interactions between different medications. So that is why essentially you are a master of medicine. And I think it's amazing. It definitely is something that really stuck with me. The fact that years, years have gone by. And I still remember the person 

00:04:33:07 who actually said that to me. So I think it was a really nice thing to be told. And he just,  

00:04:40:02 [Speaker 1]: Hey, you know, and I would not no way, no way.  

00:04:48:09 [Speaker 2]: Oh my God. That would be awful. Can you imagine I would not have let that be on the internet.  

00:04:54:16 [Speaker 1]: Okay.  

00:04:55:19 [Speaker 2]: Hi everyone. I'm Vienna. I'm a graduate teaching. Wait, what am I saying? What my professional role is. Okay.  

00:05:05:05 [Speaker 1]: Okay.  

00:05:15:19 [Speaker 2]: Never been straightened to, but mine, I chucked a glass. I radio air when I was a kid living life on edge and the glass went in. I've actually got a Mark. Yeah.  

00:05:25:02 [Speaker 1]: Maybe I'll  

00:05:26:12 [Speaker 2]: With this hand. I'm more confident with this hand. Yeah, there we go. Okay. I find a way is like really personal. Like it just, it's more inviting Polite. Okay. Hi everyone. I'm Dina. I'm a graduate teaching assistant and I'm also a registered pharmacist with the GPAC  

00:05:50:05 [Speaker 1]: Pretty bad.  

00:05:52:05 [Speaker 2]: Oh gosh. Okay. Do I have to say the whole thing again? Or you can just edit it to other things.  

00:06:01:02 [Speaker 1]: Me.  

00:06:02:20 [Speaker 2]: Do you want me to say the whole thing again, along with I pass the exams?  

00:06:06:16 [Speaker 1]: Yeah, it would be good. I just passed my exam. I've just recently qualified, found out that I passed my preregistration exam, which is fantastic. You know, I need to alter the order actually. Let me just, okay. Final take. So that's what I am graduate teaching assistant along with a fully qualified pharmacist. 

00:00:02:17 [Speaker 1]: It's  

00:00:08:03 [Speaker 2]: Okay. So what I do is, um, I'm a graduate teaching assistant, which basically means that I am pursuing a full-time PhD in pharmacy. And I also have a part-time teaching role at a university. Um, a PhD is basically, um, an independent research project and I'm currently looking at resilience amongst undergraduate pharmacy students. And then the teaching side of it basically involves me developing and delivering teaching material for pharmacy undergraduate students and facilitating 

00:00:38:14 teaching activities such as workshops and practical classes. Um, so if I've had experience in teaching ethics, um, I don't know what you're going to cut off.  

00:00:51:05 [Speaker 1]: What was it? Is that the one that you said to me before? Like they want to do  

00:00:58:03 [Speaker 2]: Kind of not feeling the pressure? Yeah. Okay. Okay. Let me just ignore that I'm being recorded and I'm just talking to you. Um, so ethics forms the basis source. So it's really getting taught right from the get-go so that I basically did it,  

00:01:18:16 [Speaker 1]: Sorry, quiet. I do other people's kids that I, that, but I'm fine.  

00:01:41:00 [Speaker 2]: So I think, like you said, I'm, I'm younger than a lot of people that may be teaching. Um, I think what is really good is that my knowledge of doing like an M farm degree is really fresh. And because I'm actually teaching at the university, I graduated from, I know exactly what the students have been through the assignments. They're sitting the exams, they're doing the workshops and lectures that they've done. So it really helps because I can really put myself in their shoes that you didn't 

00:02:10:06 like, look, these are the steps that you need to take, try it out, have this plan in case and see how you go. But it definitely does make a difference because I've seen a student go from feeling very overwhelmed and stressed and to adjunct you so much for your time. Well, thank you for explaining that it's really helped me. It's just, it's an amazing feeling that being able to help people  

00:02:34:08 [Speaker 1]: Come on, do you have them?  

00:02:36:06 [Speaker 2]: What kind of sorry? Um, how do I make it fun? I just speak to them like they are other people, obviously you speak to people like, okay, how am I, how do I word this? I don't obviously there's a level of level of professionalism that you have. I am teaching. They are students, but just speaking to them on the same level, try and I don't know how to put this into words.  

00:03:00:13 [Speaker 1]: Bye.  

00:03:03:08 [Speaker 2]: Definitely not. I am completely against her. Obviously there needs to be that level of like respect and be comfortable to ask any questions. And I ensure that they feel comfortable to ask anything that they want. And I tell them that no question is silly. And the more questions you ask the better. And I really facilitate discussions between myself and the students and between the students themselves. So I just create that kind of open environment, that comfortable environment that they feel, they feel like they can trust me and everyone around them 

00:03:32:07 pretty much.  

00:03:39:02 [Speaker 1]: Gotcha. Okay.  

00:03:45:04 [Speaker 2]: This is me and my meetings,  

00:03:53:00 [Speaker 1]: But that's a reward that we can get people to talk about so much in healthcare.  

00:03:59:04 [Speaker 2]: So in terms of one of the most rewarding moments of my journey, um, in my current role, this is just going to be a repeat. Is that fine?  

00:04:08:06 [Speaker 1]: We don't mind it because then we have options.  

00:04:11:03 [Speaker 2]: Okay, fine. So, Oh, I'll give you two examples, right? Okay. So one of the most rewarding moments of my journey was when I was practicing as a farm, as a provision new registered pharmacist, um, that's such a line of, it's not in my pre-reg, I'll just  

00:04:29:10 [Speaker 1]: Take  

00:04:29:16 [Speaker 2]: To one of the most rewarding moments of my journey was when I was actually completing my pre-registration in a community pharmacy. So a patient actually ran out of their medications. They were very concerned. They were very worried and they called, they called the pharmacy up. I happened to pick up the phone. I could hear they were, they were really anxious about this and they just didn't know what to do. And I showed them to just leave it in my hand, I'll get it sorted by midday because that is when they basically needed to take their medication. And that was kind of the call point. I showed them it would get sorted and I 

00:05:01:18 took down their contact details, everything like that, long story short, essentially, I was able to get this patient, their medication through speaking to the GP, then speaking to the patient, confirming everything. And obviously the patient had their medications delivered and it was fine. That was it. I don't know her name, but she really helped me out. I was running out of my medications and she reassured me that she'd get it sorted. And I got my delivery of medication. She's a very good girl. She 

00:05:28:12 was so helpful. So nice. This patient didn't know I was there. He had no other, uh, young pets and he was an older gentleman. And he came in just to tell my manager how I helped him. It can really meant a lot to him. And I think that was one of the nicest feelings ever that I could just help someone in that way. And it wasn't even in autonomy, you might not, it sounds so simple, but it means so much to patients.  

00:05:52:18 [Speaker 1]: Hmm,  

00:05:57:07 [Speaker 2]: Exactly. Exactly. And as a firsthand experience, that's  

00:06:02:04 [Speaker 1]: Different. I think patients.  

00:06:09:11 [Speaker 2]: So yeah, I, I think the relationship that, um, a pharmacist can have, especially in somewhere like a community pharmacy to a pharmacy professional, and it's just amazing, honestly. So I stopped with these facial expressions. I think they're going to ruin things. Aren't they?  

00:06:43:05 [Speaker 1]: Could you tell me more about that? Maybe how scales change as a person or depends upon what you've been able to keep the career pharmacy  

00:06:58:11 [Speaker 2]: In terms of the, in spoken to so many people engaged, because I've just spoken to so many people in a variety of settings coming from so many different backgrounds, it's just helped me to also adapt to new environments. Um, in terms of the role as a graduate teaching assistant, because I'm pursuing a full-time PhD, I've learned a lot about research skills now, although this is very applicable to completing a PhD, it's also really important as a pharmacy professionals because patients will come to you to ask your advice on. For example, see 

00:07:29:08 often the pharmacist is usually the main port of call for the other staff members. So having that role and having the skills and the knowledge to be able to advise your colleagues and be able to direct them in the right place. It's not necessarily the first port of call. If someone, if one of the staff members in the pharmacy is unsure of what to do. So ensuring that you have the communication skills and you're an approachable person is important because the last thing you want is your staff to be scared to ask 

00:07:57:09 you questions.  

00:08:01:01 [Speaker 1]: I don't know where I'm going with this. It was not something I wanted to teach. I think one of the things that I think puts people off, especially the way people are managed and supervised. I don't 

00:08:34:14 want to challenge.  

00:08:37:07 [Speaker 2]: I think it is in every place that you go. There will obviously be a hierarchal thing. Professionals are always willing to help you out there. There's always courses out there, run by other pharmacists who just want to kind of help people to develop their skills. They want to help other healthcare professionals, other pharmacy professionals. There's a lot of that interdisciplinary learning as well. I think it's healthcare is such a great place to be. And I think especially with how technology is evolving and so many things are also moving online. It's just making more people accessible at different times. It's not a matter of, I have to, you 

00:09:08:10 have to go to a meeting in person. You can attend things online. It's just making it easier, more accessible.  

00:09:16:17 [Speaker 1]: Young people are chosen to do talk. Why did I choose the different, because we need more of them to do that  

00:09:24:10 [Speaker 2]: Down to helping patients and the public. And I think for someone to have that drive to want to help people, that's what really motivates them to pursue a career in pharmacy. Do you want me to carry it? Okay. Okay. Okay. Cool.  

00:09:40:17 [Speaker 1]: I  

00:09:41:00 [Speaker 2]: Mean, I did have some sure I had something. There is something, gosh, you would think I'd remember my own words. Right? Gosh, it's so bad. Um, I know one of the, I can't, I can just go with it. I can just go with it. So I wash my eyes. Okay. You can just see it as a blinking light, the public. I mean, they breathe too, right? Okay. So the public might be surprised how much of a difference a pharmacist can make to their 

00:10:11:06 care and the various sectors that pharmacists actually have a role in. I think during times when GP surgeries, when seeing patients and interactions with other healthcare professionals was really limited community. The question is what do people not seeing the work happening in pharmacy? Okay. Do you want me to come on for that?  

00:10:29:14 [Speaker 1]: Wow. You touched on the promise that the high street what's next.  

00:10:39:02 [Speaker 2]: So yeah, during, during the COVID-19 pandemic pandemic, everything was closed. Literally on the new date, they said everything is closed apart from your local community pharmacy because obviously people needed their medications. And I think that really did highlight how important it is to have a community pharmacy and the role of a community pharmacist. It was a healthcare professional that was readily accessible to people requiring no appointment, no bookings. When other it's someone they could actually interact with a real life person. Because 

00:11:08:10 during the real difficult times of the pandemic, you couldn't just see your doctor. It was an online, it was an online consultation. It was a phone consultation, but having a community pharmacist, you could actually go in and speak to someone. And there are some things that you just can't, you can't cover through a phone consultation. You can't cover through a video call. People were in with rushes and all those kinds of things that without seeing it, you wouldn't have been able to determine what it was. And for a lot of people say, for example, we had a lot of elderly patients. They 

00:11:39:15 don't have access to video. Calling features. Some of them just about have a mobile phone and they find that difficult to use, but they find it easier to walk into their local community pharmacy. So,  

00:11:50:08 [Speaker 1]: Well, just the amount of people, but different people coming in different backgrounds, different problems, different economic status. I don't see it the same.  

00:12:01:12 [Speaker 2]: So it's, it's really important as, and again, pharmacy really does highlight the importance of treating everyone equally. And, yeah, sorry.  

00:12:21:03 [Speaker 1]: Sorry. If I said the kind of questions. Okay.  

00:12:34:02 [Speaker 2]: Oh, yay. You're going to have a lot of editing. It's a bonus  

00:12:43:03 [Speaker 1]: When it speaks to periods, because we can tell you are going to be able to bridge pharmacy for a second and what they might send to my side.  

00:12:59:06 [Speaker 2]: I think for a lot of young people, they've been through a lot. Let's be very honest. Young people have had it hard. They've had online teaching. Some of them have, have just been out of teaching. Some of them have gone through so many life experiences that young people just shouldn't have to go through. I remember when I was at school, all I had to think about was my studies. Quite literally, that was it. But these people have these kids. They're still kids at the end of the day, they've been through so much. And I feel like,  

00:13:26:10 [Speaker 1]: Where am I  

00:13:26:14 [Speaker 2]: Going to get there someday, somewhere down to the kids. How do I walk if I was speaking to younger people, I think no matter who you speak to, if you were to say to someone, would you want to make a difference? If I told you today that you could make a difference to someone's life? Is that something you'd want to do? I would say a lot of people would say yes, they would only say yes to that question. So I feel like making young people aware of the different roles that they can take just by pursuing a pharmacy degree would really just, what am I saying? I 

00:14:00:14 can't think of one thing.  

00:14:04:00 [Speaker 1]: Okay.  

00:14:09:12 [Speaker 2]: I was their age a long time ago. I ended up, I don't know how other people feel. They're like 10 years older than me down with the company,  

00:14:16:18 [Speaker 1]: This January outcomes. But that's pretty broad.  

00:14:30:06 [Speaker 2]: I don't know why I'm struggling with this so much. I really don't want, what does that mean?  

00:14:41:10 [Speaker 1]: It, it it's like they used to go back.  

00:14:45:02 [Speaker 2]: Yeah. I just, because I know there is a, there is a way to answer this. I just can't articulate it. Could you maybe ask the question again?  

00:14:54:12 [Speaker 1]: So speaking to stuff, make a difference.  

00:15:05:15 [Speaker 2]: I should really sending this. This is the whole point.  

00:15:11:10 [Speaker 1]: Just stop by the pharmacy. Did they? They're not going to get, they go into a drive by or football.  

00:15:25:16 [Speaker 2]: It just goes back to the care. Being able to make a difference to someone's life, whether it's in a community setting, whether it's in a hospital setting, the fundamental of it is I think I can. I'm just going to sound like I'm repeating myself. It's fine. If, if young people were aware that they could make a difference to someone's life, if, if they were told, if they were asked, would you want to make like, we're going to do this. We're going to do this. We're going to, we're going to get to it. So we're going to get to it. I think young people today would 

00:15:55:04 love to make it. If they were informed of the various roles that doing a pharmacy to off to pursue your pharmacy degree, there are so many opportunities. Young people have, they could work in a community pharmacy or hospital pharmacy. So there's, so technology is evolving. Everything is developing so much. The world of healthcare is growing at a rapid pace. And the role of a pharmacist is just evolving more responsibilities being given 

00:16:22:06 to pharmacists more. Isn't it.  

00:16:28:12 [Speaker 1]: Okay. What does that  

00:16:35:16 [Speaker 2]: Make a D making a difference is, is just so it's just helping one student out. They must, they might've had a question that they'd be that they're so worried to ask, but me being them and Provo and creating an open environment for them to ask that question, I've made a difference to their learning experience. I've answered a question that they might've been so confused about, but they have felt comfortable to ask me and I've clarified that for them. So I've made a difference to that student learning experience in terms of being a healthcare professional, like the 

00:17:09:04 STEM, anything you can do with that in terms of being a healthcare professional, just having the skills to be able to provide services for patients. For example, if a patient is running out their medication, they have the trust in you as a pharmacist to then liaise with the doctor, liaise with the patient and get their medicines to them. Again, for them running out of their medication is the worst thing in the 

00:17:35:00 world. They are so worried. They think they're never going to get their medication. They're going to miss their doses. And for some people based on like the health problems that they have, this is a massive, massive problem. And it can have detrimental effects on their life. But just from you being able to liaise with the doctor and actually get that sorted out for them, you have, you're going to have fun editing this. You mentioned a quote about, you know, you've made one of the, I've said this isn't about 

00:18:03:04 the worries. One of the worries. I'm just going to take a look.  

00:18:07:16 [Speaker 1]: Oh goodness.  

00:18:16:17 [Speaker 2]: While I just found out things and I lost me and should have afforded that one. Right. Um,  

00:18:24:04 [Speaker 1]: Right. Um, yep. Okay.  

00:18:29:12 [Speaker 2]: So as a healthcare professional, something as simple as a patient running out of them, it's not as simple, but by having that interaction with the patient, with them coming and speaking to you and putting that trust in you to solve this problem for them, you've actually solved one of the biggest worries of their day. And that for me is another way of making a difference to people.  

00:18:52:13 [Speaker 1]: But yeah, yeah, Since starting my pharmacy career, I'm, I've really surprised myself in what I've been able to accomplish. So I've been able to do a pharmacy 

00:19:22:12 degree from that. I've learnt so many skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, practical skills, and I've just been able to just, I'm more I've achieved. The, I wouldn't have had all of these opportunities and doing the pharmacy degree, provided me with all these skills, being able to speak in front of people, being able to speak to patients, having the practical skills, to complete tasks that are expected from any job. Well, I would have never believed them, but I'm here now and I'm doing it. 

00:19:51:14 And I genuinely can put a lot of that down to the skills I gained from completing a pharmacy degree, because that is what really set me up to then develop my career and develop for a lot of people. They tend to stay in their comfort zones. And unless you are kind of encouraged to self-develop and learn more, you won't actually push yourself out of that box. It does take a lot of self motivation, but unless you have things to prompt, you like completing a pharmacy degree, you're encouraged to learn more read, 

00:20:23:05 further attend courses, attend conferences from that. Although it was wasn't, it was encouraged. 

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