Next up in our ‘Meet the team’ series is Deepika who works as a clinical pharmacist. Deepika has given us an insight into what a typical day looks like and provides some reflections about her role afterwards.
If you’re a qualified pharmacist or you’re interested in a career in pharmacy come to our recruitment day on 28th April 2023 where you can local pharmacists. More info on our recruitment day webpage.
A typical day as a Clinical Pharmacist
09:00 – I start the day by greeting the reception team and checking if there are any messages that need to be passed onto me. I then check my paperwork tray to see if any paperwork needs to be actioned for the day.
09:00-10:00 – I use this time as my ‘’paperwork hour’’ – this is the hour I will action paperwork and documents which can include any patient hospital letters that require medication to be actioned amongst other actions. I will also action my ‘tasks’ inbox which can include tasks from any member of staff. For example, a task from a GP to check whether a medication can be halved.
10:00-11:15 – Patient appointments. These can be telephone or face-to-face and they can vary from medication reviews to long-term condition reviews (e.g. asthma reviews, blood pressure reviews).
11:15-12:15 – Prescription queries. These queries can come from patients or local community pharmacies. Clinical Pharmacists are well equipped to deal with such queries as we have experience on the community pharmacy side and GP side to understand how to resolve them best for the patient. Queries can vary from confirming whether a medication has been stopped in hospital to a patient checking the side effects of a medication.
12:30-13:00 – Other work – this hour can really vary. It can vary from work to do with Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), Investment and Impact Fund (IIF), SNS, Care Quality Commission (CQC) or Medicine Optimisation Scheme (MOS) work. The workload across these areas is vast so it is important they are regularly kept on top of to ensure we are doing as required. Below is a small insight into some of the work required in these areas:
- QOF – Sending out blood pressure questionnaires
- IIF – Review of blood thinning medication to ensure the dose is accurate and ensure monitoring is up to date
- SNS – Mental health care reviews and ensuring their physical checks are done
- CQC – Drug monitoring
- MOS – Audit work
13:00-13:30 – Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 – This tends to be another varied hour of work depending on current needs.
14:30-16:45pm – Time for more patient appointments.
16:45pm-17:00pm – I have a supervision meeting with my GP Clinical supervisor. This is for any queries I may have.
So that’s general gist of my day! Some days I have meetings with the GPs and managerial staff to plan out the workload to ensure we can achieve our targets and also to improve patient safety and outcomes. I really enjoy being more interactive with patients and helping them out where I possibly can. We assume patients are aware of why they take their medication and how to take it but sometimes it takes you by surprise how much they rely on the GP team to relay this information to them so it feels nice to be able to help patients. I also enjoy interacting with the GP team and thinking of ways to better our work management and hit our targets too.
Patient appointments generally go well. There are situations whereby I do need to check things with my GP supervisor before relaying the plan to the patient. Otherwise, they go really well – we have a lot of knowledge about medicines and medical conditions which go nicely hand in hand together when doing reviews, so we are definitely well placed within primary care.
There aren’t too many challenges that come up; You do come across the odd demanding patient who demands prescriptions which may take a little longer as you need to check with the GP beforehand, and they can take a bit of time as they are so busy too. Time pressures are the biggest challenge!