My professional career as a pharmacist of 21 years since qualifying in Nigeria and 15 years plus in the United Kingdom has shown me that as a pharmacist the profession can be lonely. Lonely in terms of not having colleagues to guide or mentor you. Lonely in terms of not being able to discuss personal issues which impacts on you as a person and feeds into your daily work. Lonely in terms of wondering why your working conditions dictate you need to be on your feet for 8 to 12 hours for a shift. Lonely in terms of wondering how do you progress in the career and who to turn to for advice. I believe each individual pharmacist should have good PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELLBEING.
Mentoring is an important process of development in any profession. The RPS has an inclusion and diversity strategy with mentoring programmes included, but are the mentors connecting with the mentees and vice versa? We need individuals of different ages, ethnicities and stages of career. Individuals get to listen and believe people that represent them more and this helps with motivation. Let us increase the belief in each individual pharmacist to aspire for the highest level within their chosen field. I have personally volunteered to be a mentor to a trainee pharmacist, starting this September 2023.
At the end of the week, we have spent most of our awake hours at work. This work environment needs to be conducive to bring out the best in each pharmacist, to provide the best care for their patients. Let us get rid of an unwritten rule that states community pharmacist should be on their feet for 8 to 12 hours a day. The RPS should encourage employers to provide improved working conditions for all. We need the RPS to listen to individual pharmacist concerns, provide support and engage.
The RPS should be a place where individual pharmacists are able to voice their needs and what they require for the profession to improve. Pharmacists, we all need each other to progress and encourage each other to get to the top of our individual careers.
Waheedat Owodeyi, English Pharmacy Board candidate
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In terms of discussing personal issues which impact on work, confidentially, then please consider contacting Pharmacist Support.(PS) Listening friends who are volunteers with PS are pharmacists and an experienced source of support.