Below is a profile from a Pharmacist. She wished to remain anonymous but was willing to share her thoughts.
Please tell us a little about your background and your current role
Attended uni as a mature age student at the University of Tasmania, completed my intern year at the RHH whilst continuing to work in community pharmacy. Currently I’ve been working back at the RHH and continuing community work, some in Hobart, some in Campbell Town, Tasmania.
How did you go about deciding to study Pharmacy? Did you study anything beforehand?
I was a pharmacy assistant at 16, started an Arts degree at 18, realised I wasn’t going anywhere much with that, so quit Uni (ANU) and went overseas to England for work and travel for 6 years. When I realised I had to use my brain again, decided to return to Australia to return to study at age 25. Did some TAFE study in Canberra to get back into the swing of study, then got into Griffith Uni on the Gold Coast but changed to University of Tasmania as Tasmania pharmacy graduates have a good name and I would be able to complete the degree as a Bachelors rather than Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science plus
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
The interaction with and helping people, being more freely available than doctors I fell pharmacists are well place to help patients out. Also I enjoy the continual learning the profession offers.
What are your other interests outside of work? Do you get time to pursue these activities?
Other interests include the gym, movies, bushwalking, trips to see friends and family. Yes I have the time to do these things because I make the time, pharmacists can choose to work 50+hour weeks but I choose the life/work balance in favour of life!
Financially I can afford to do this though, because my boyfriend and I are not over extending ourselves, he is a pharmacist as well, so that helps.
Do you have any advice for budding students wanting to be Pharmacists?
Get some work experience in a pharmacy, gives you a good idea if it’s what you want and try to find a pharmacist that will kind of ‘mentor’ you and show some interest if you have questions/ideas etc. Keep up your maths/chem/biology, gives you the background you need for 1st and 2nd year!
When you are at university, look at joining up to one of the societys (PSA or SHPA) – it really is a good idea to give you an insight into the profession and maintain your motivation.