Explore: Healthcare

Lead Pharmacist
Barts Health NHS Trust

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My name is Tase. I am a hospital pharmacist.

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As a hospital pharmacist, my job at the moment deals with the high cost drugs,

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and I am responsible for how those drugs are brought

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into the hospital for use and ensuring that they’re used in the correct way.

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We also look at the drugs that are delivered direct to people’s homes.

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So those are very, very specialised drugs as well.

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Hospital pharmacists do lots and lots of other things.

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So I started off as a clinical pharmacist working on the wards

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directly with doctors.

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That was a really exciting, enjoyable time for me.

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I got a lot of pleasure out of it because you could see

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the impact of my work on the patients straightaway.

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When you do become a hospital pharmacist there’s so many other things that you can do.

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So I’ve spent some time in the manufacturing unit

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and this is where we make the medicines in a sterile environment

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for the patients to use.

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And that’s the joy of being a pharmacist

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is that you get to do so many different things.

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At school, the GCSEs that I did were just a varied

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mix of GCSEs. And at A-level

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I decided to keep my options open by doing

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biology and chemistry and taking an A-level in French.

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I wanted to use a mix of my chemistry

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and to really focus on the chemistry aspects of things,

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and pharmacy was flagged as one of those subject areas

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where I could still do that and still be involved with people

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and with patients and still work very closely with patients.

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So that’s why I chose pharmacy.

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First and foremost as a pharmacist, the strengths that you really need

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and the skills that you really need are attention to detail.

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You literally hold people’s lives

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in your hands when you get those medicines and give them to them

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so you have to be absolutely sure what it is that you are either dispensing

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or you are having a discussion with a doctor to prescribe.

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You have to take in a lot of information, be able to process that information

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and make a decision from that.

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And bear in mind, you’ve got a patient who is at the end

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of all those decisions that you make to do with their medicines,

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and you’ve also got to have quite good people skills.

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So being able to have a conversation with the patients and help them

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to understand their medicines and how to use their medicines

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in the right way is really, really important

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Try and get experience, maybe work in a local community pharmacy.

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Do Saturday jobs in a local chemist or pharmacy

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even just working in somewhere like Boots

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working alongside a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.


“You have to take in a lot of information, be able to process that information, and make a decision from that. And bear in mind, you’ve got a patient who is at the end of all those decisions.”

Tase wanted to combine her love of chemistry with the chance to work with patients so a pharmacy degree was a great fit. She is now responsible for how high-cost drugs are brought into the hospital and ensuring that they’re used in the correct way.

More information about Pharmacists

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

25%  male 
75%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Pharmacists dispense drugs and medicaments in hospitals and pharmacies and advise on and participate in the development and testing of new drugs, compounds and therapies. They counsel on the proper use and adverse effects of drugs and medicines.
Entrants possess a degree in pharmacy. To register with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, entrants must have completed a one year period of pre-registration training and passed a registration exam. Further training is available to permit pharmacists to prescribe medicines independently.
  • Prepares or directs the preparation of prescribed medicaments in liquid, powder, tablet, ointment or other form following prescriptions issued by medical doctors and other health professionals;
  • Advises health professionals on the selection and appropriate use of medicines;
  • Highlights a drug’s potential side effects, identifies harmful interactions with other drugs and assesses the suitability of treatments for patients with particular health conditions;
  • Checks that recommended doses are not being exceeded and that instructions are understood by patients;
  • Maintains prescription files and records issue of narcotics, poisons and other habit-forming drugs;
  • Liaises with other professionals regarding the development, manufacturing and testing of drugs;
  • Tests and analyses drugs to determine their identity, purity and strength;
  • Ensures that drugs and medicaments are in good supply and are stored properly.
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