Real-life story - Chloe Box
Chloe wanted a career that involved both science and caring for patients. She decided a career in pharmacy would be ideal, as it offered her the unique opportunity to do both.
How I got into the role
Since leaving school, I have always been interested in the sciences, particularly biology and pharmacology. I wanted a career that would allow me to work with patients, and have close contact with them and other healthcare professionals. I knew I didn't want to be a doctor or a nurse, so decided to look into pharmacy as a career option.
After completing my masters degree in pharmacy, I registered with General Pharmaceutical Council and got my first role working as a band 6 pharmacist at ScarboroughGeneral Hospital. I worked in the dispensary and helped to provide a clinical pharmacy service to a variety of wards, including medical, surgical and paediatrics.
I had been in my job for about 18 months, when I applied for my current role in radiopharmacy at the hospital. I now work as an authorised pharmacist in radiopharmacy.
What I do
I am responsible for checking that the radiopharmacy unit is fit for use each morning, including checking the pressures and ensuring that the cleaning procedures have been carried out. I am also responsible for checking and releasing injections from the pharmacy. These injections are then given to patients in the nuclear medicine department to carry out diagnostic imaging.
Another major part of my role, involves managing medicines involved in clinical trials. I am responsible for accuracy checking trial prescriptions and approving any procedures carried out during clinical trials at the hospital. I also help to ensure that the hospital is meeting the clinical trial requirements set out by the regulatory bodies, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. This includes the correct storage of trial medication and maintaining all necessary documentation. I really enjoy being able to work closely with a number of different healthcare professionals in my work, including clinical trials pharmacy technicians and research nurses.
The best bits and challenges
Working in these specialist roles is only part of what I do, as I still provide a clinical pharmacy service at ward level and in the dispensary. I am also studying for the clinical diploma in hospital pharmacy and will be taking my final exams in the next couple of months. The diploma has enabled me to build on the skills I gained during my degree and masters, and will help me move into more specialised roles.
I would say the best part of my job is the variety. I get to work with a range of healthcare professionals, as part of a large multidisciplinary team. I enjoy being able to communicate with patients and help to ensure they receive the best possible care and treatment from the pharmacy. It's rewarding to know that my input into a patient's care, can really contribute to their recovery.