1. Where/when did you graduate?
2014 at Charles Sturt University Orange Campus
2. What has been your career journey so far?
Graduated in 2014, Completed my internship in 2015 in Orange NSW, 2016 Professional Services Pharmacist in Forbes NSW, and this year I was appointed Pharmacist in Charge in Forbes NSW. I have held a number of positions within the PSA, with the most current being a NSW Branch Committee Member and National Representative for the NSW ECP Working Group. I have previously been involved in the ECP White Paper Advisory Group, The Professional Practice Standards Review Group and more recently the 6CPA Professional Standards and Guidelines Review - Professional Working Group. I have also sat on the External Advisory Committee for the Pharmacy Program at CSU for the previous 2 years as a past graduate member, and currently sit on the UNE Pharmacy Program Course Advisory Committee as a representative of the PSA.
3. What more do you want to achieve in the future?
To keep learning and expanding my scope of practice within community Pharmacy. I also want to continue the work I have done with the PSA and eventually I would love to own my own community Pharmacy. I also wouldn't turn down the opportunity to dabble in academia or research. I honestly don't really know where I will end up/achieve in the future, all I know is that I will continue to seek more opportunities and ensure that I say yes to as many as possible!
4. What advice would you give to students?
ake sure you have a part time job working in a Pharmacy it is very important. I don’t understand students that graduate without stepping foot in a Pharmacy except for their university placements. Also make sure you join PSA, NAPSA and other organisations (majority of these are available free to students) it will provide the stepping stone you need to progress from student to intern to Pharmacist. It will also provide you with amazing networking opportunities, access to events and the ability to keep up to date with other Pharmacists that are positive about the future of Pharmacy. It is also a good way to see the many career paths available to Pharmacists as majority of pharmacy students have no idea about what positions are available post registration.
5. What is your favourite thing about pharmacy/your job?
When a patient tells you how you have made a difference in their lives. At the end of the day that is why I do what I do. However, I also can't help but smile when I have a call from one of the local doctors asking for my opinion.
6. Were you involved with the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) and/or your local branch?
I had no involvement with NAPSA as a student but I was the 4th year representative of OPSA.
a. What benefit did this have?
I now see the benefit of the networking opportunities that being apart of the NAPSA community gives ECPs. I wish I had been more active during my university days but I made up for it during my internship and beyond by attending as many networking events and conferences as possible. Also I think NAPSA is changing and I like that as an organisation they are beginning to become more involved with other Pharmacy organisations such as The Guild and PSA. I also commend the recent media releases and position statements released.
7. Would you ever consider leaving the profession?
Absolutely not. I started working in Pharmacy while I was studying a different degree so I have found my ‘dream job’. Also a Pharmacists role is constantly evolving and that is what I am looking forward to!
8. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was probably my internship. Working in such a large pharmacy that serviced 9 nursing homes and having a major change in management which resulted in a team that was very inexperienced basically forced me to sink or swim. But rather than quit when things got hard, which I had thought about, I decided to see it as a learning experience and push through. I was also very lucky that despite the lack of leadership within the Pharmacy, I was able to reach out to another Pharmacist who helped to mentor me through my internship. I think it is very important to find someone who can mentor you through your challenges and successes. There has been many obstacles present themselves over the years but if I can give some advice is to 'stick to your guns'. Even as a student and ECP I have always known where my line is in regards to professional, ethical and legal obligations. Do not let anyone persuade you to deviate as I can assure you it will happen. Become familiar with the professional practice standards and code of ethics, and your legal rights as an employee. At the end of the day it is your registration on the line.
9. How has your perception of pharmacy changed since you were a student?
I had no idea how many career pathways there are for Pharmacists. When I was a student I only new of Community and Hospital, but there are so many more options than just those too. I also thought that success was defined by how many pharmacies you owned but I have found inspiration from so many Pharmacists doing such wonderful things that my idea of success has changed.