1. Where/when did you graduate?
I graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science & Masters of Pharmacy from Griffith University Gold Coast in 2007. I was in the second cohort of students to graduate from the newly established program. I have since returned to Griffith University where I am currently undertaking a Masters of medical research to gain skills in research.
2. What has been your career journey so far?
I started as a student studying natural medicine, looking for a part time job. A community pharmacy on the Gold Coast took a chance on me to provide vitamin advice to customers. I was working in the pharmacy two weeks when I summoned the courage to approach the Pharmacist at the back of the store and ask what it is they are doing. I was amazed. I loved working in the pharmacy. I soon changed my degree and became a pharmacy student. After graduating in 2007, I was fortunate to gain an internship at the Gold Coast hospital where I transitioned from community pharmacy into a new role in hospital. Shortly after completing my internship I joined the Queensland Health rural relief team as a clinical Pharmacist. This service provides clinical relief to Hospital Pharmacies with 5 Pharmacists or less in rural and remote areas. I worked in diverse areas of Pharmacy, frequently serving as the sole Pharmacist for rural or remote health service areas from lovely towns such as Longreach, Mount Isa, Charters Towers, Cairns, St George, Gladstone. I was required to travel frequently, often in a different town each week adapting to hospital protocols, and local procedures. Role responsibilities required clinical pharmacist services, management of Pharmacy staff, financial administration, Telepharmacy and outreach Pharmacy. I later returned to the coast as a clinical educator for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, providing clinical training and support to junior and intern Pharmacists working at the public hospitals in Nambour, Gympie and Caloundra Hospitals. I returned to the Gold Coast as a senior clinical pharmacist and team leader at the Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Hospital, implementing a Pharmacy service in the emergency department in Robina Hospital. Currently I am working in Brisbane as a Subject Matter Expert for the Electronic Medicines Management (EMM) team where we are working to implement robotics in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Pharmacy. This is part of a wider project implementing electronic prescribing, ward based pyxis machines and pharmacy robotics across the Metro North Hospital and Health Service area.
3. What more do you want to achieve in the future?
The research I am doing as part of a Masters of Medical Research is exploring the impact of robotics on tertiary level hospital Pharmacy. Robotics has been widely available internationally, however it is comparatively new in Australia. As a result, there is an absence of research on robotics in Australia. The research essentially asks “do robots do what we think they do?” I hope to finish my thesis this year and share the findings to support others in their automation journey. I also look forward to continuing to work with the EMM team supporting the implementation of further automation in health care to free up clinicians to provide patient care
4. What advice would you give to students?
I certainly don’t have all the answers. I have had a varied and unusual career within pharmacy from saying yes to opportunities which has led to other exciting opportunities. In my experience pharmacy is a dynamic and evolving profession. However there are six things I have found true throughout my career:
1. Join and contribute to your pharmacy community to create your pharmacy future
2. There is always a better way to do things
3. Invest in yourself, continue to grow your medication knowledge
4. Surround yourself with inspiring people.
5. Put your patients wellbeing first when making decisions as a health professional
6. Earn your stripes – Experience takes time, respect the experience of others
5. What is your favourite thing about pharmacy/your job?
The more I know the more I realise how little I know. I love how the role of the pharmacist is evolving and the exciting possibilities for the future.
6. Were you involved with the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) and/or your local branch?
Yes I was the inaugural Griffith University Association of Pharmacy Students (GUAPS) Vice President and NAPSA representative in 2005, I also held positions in NAPSA of education chair 2006 and vice president 2006/7
a. What benefit did this have?
NAPSA gave me a very quick insight into the wider world of pharmacy and how to multitask. It very quickly introduced me to how pharmacist contribute to health care beyond my weekend pharmacy job. I met inspiring Pharmacists that I continue to call friends today. The relationships formed in NAPSA continue to push me and make me reflect on my contribution to pharmacy.
7. Would you ever consider leaving the profession?
Pharmacy has been very good to me and there are many paths I have not yet explored. It couldn’t stop now during such an exciting time of evolution.
8. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I recall being uninspired and disheartened with Pharmacy after my first year of registration. I declared to anyone who would listen that I wanted to leave and move onto something else. A very pragmatic friend and colleague of mine said to me: Have you done everything you can to make the most out of Pharmacy?I still ask myself this question whenever I am feeling uninspired. The answer is never been yes.