Opinion: Pharmacy still a fantastic career option

Opinion

Opinion: Pharmacy still a fantastic career option

In Opinion

Three generations in my family have been pharmacists, so it’s fair to say that the profession is in my blood. Now my son is considering it as a career, says Nick Kaye, NPA board member

My father and both my grandfathers were pharmacists. Even as a child talking to school friends in the playground, I knew that they had a respected role and were there to help others. 

Now my eldest child, aged 17, is asking me about community pharmacy as a career, even though I have never pushed him into considering it. The conversations I have had with him tie in with the many issues I have been thinking about in my role as vice-chair of the Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group (CPWDG).

Anyone working in community pharmacy will know the challenges the sector has in recruiting and retaining colleagues. And as you will have read in PM, the CPWDG has launched a new report that quantifies this.

Vacancy rates

It includes a survey of contractors in England, which found a 9 per cent full-time equivalent (FTE) pharmacist vacancy rate across the country. Vacancy rates were significantly higher in some regions – for example, the South West, where I work and where there is a lack of pharmacy schools.

Common reasons given for leaving the profession include concerns about pay, workload and pressure, and a lack of opportunities for career development and progression. The CPWDG believes a good start in tackling workforce pressures is to emphasise the growing opportunities that exist.

Professional organisations, higher education institutes, policymakers and other bodies should join employers in spreading the message that community pharmacy offers a fulfilling career in which a variety of skills can be developed. 

There must be training for current and future pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues including CPD, parity in opportunities between the current and future workforce, and the right infrastructure to allow pharmacists to use their clinical skills.

Interesting era

Should my son decide to follow my path, I think it could be a really interesting era in community pharmacy for him. Upon qualification he would be an independent prescriber, which opens up all kinds of possibilities. 

Despite all the current financial pressures I feel as an owner, I certainly don’t regret my decision to work in community pharmacy and my message to any young people thinking of choosing it as a career is – go for it!

Record my learning outcomes

Opinion

Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing

Share:

More like this

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Let’s all wish for a new and happier chapter in 2021

By NPA chairman, Andrew Lane.

This has been a year most of us would like to forget but there are some rays of hope for community pharmacy as the news came through that the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been administered to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan in Coventry. So in the spirit of optimism that seems appropriate on this ‘V Day’, I have identified some rays of hope for community pharmacy too.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Insight: Keep calm and carry on during COVID-19

A contractor shares their experiences of dealing with the unpredictable coronavirus outbreak, from a run on hand sanitiser to wholesaler price hikes.

2 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Sunak’s budget was a blow to pharmacies

Hands up those who were surprised pharmacy funding wasn’t even mentioned in the Chancellor’s budget. What options are left to the sector, asks PM’s deputy editor Arthur Walsh 

2 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Exodus to general practice threatens continuity of care

By Richard Thomas, editor, Pharmacy Magazine

It is a well established principle that continuity of care – seeing the same health professional over time – improves patient outcomes. It is something pharmacists, embedded in their local communities, instinctively recognise in their day-to-day practice.

Commissioners understand this as well. In Wales, for example, the chief pharmacist Andrew Evans has said on several occasions that the NHS should value continuity and reward those pharmacies that deliver it.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Insight: Our future is being decided behind closed doors

By Alexander Humphries

For community pharmacists the last few years have been an emotional roller-coaster, from the pits of despair to the giddy heights of... mere despondency.

If you are anything like me, you will have been living hand-to-mouth, struggling to pay the bills at the end of the month, while the decision-makers from their insulated metropolitan bubbles look to strangle the sector financially because they perceive there are too many pharmacies.

2 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Opinion

Opinion: Lions led by donkeys

One thing the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted is that if ever there was an organisation that is failing with a leadership that is flailing, it is NHS England. By Alexander Humphries*.

2 Min Article

Recommended Learning

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Frontline Tackling Fleas & Ticks

This NPA-accredited module will enable you to have confident conversations with customers, helping them manage fleas and ticks both on their pets and in the home.

10 Min Module

Sponsored education

Covid-19 and mental health

Viatris has created this short video based on a publication reviewing global research into the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health. It identifies six areas where psychiatrists can play a role in supporting people's mental health through these difficult times.

4 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Treating acid reflux and heartburn in the pharmacy

Understand how omeprazole 20mg works to treat heartburn and acid reflux symptoms

2 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Managing heartburn and indigestion in the pharmacy

Learn how to identify and help customers manage heartburn and indigestion, from recommending the right products to ease symptoms, to self-care advice and identifying red flags for referral

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Understanding constipation treatments

Discover the key benefits of different types of laxatives, and the right questions to ask customers to ensure you know which to recommend

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Confident pet health conversations

Learn 3 key steps to having more confident conversations with customers about pet health products.

3 Min Module