“I learned many aspects of the Pharmaceutical World that are difficult to be learned in a Classroom. This training encouraged me to be patient-friendly, interactive and made me a care provider”
I was assigned as a student trainee for 15 days as a part of my Community Pharmacy-I training. I received orientation by the Faculty member from College of Pharmacy who introduced me to the Community Pharmacist, who served as my onsite training Preceptor. On the very first day I was nervous because it was altogether a new experience for me to be a care provider. My preceptor informed me of my duties: guiding the patients on their medications, dispensing medicines, inventory control measures, handling of expired medicines, billing procedures and the software, steps involved in prescription filling, how to read and interpret the Physician prescription, customer service skills and many more, which made me curious to learn about.
Towards the middle of my experience, I started enjoying meeting the patients and helping them with their needs. One day, a customer walked in and asked for a Pacifier for his child. I along with my Preceptor pharmacist provided him with options and he looked at the ‘Pink’ and ‘Blue’ colors and asked me my opinion and after 10 minutes he walked away with buying nothing. We spent easily 15 minutes helping him and at the end he still did not make a purchase. This encounter with this particular customer taught me to be just patient and that one cannot please everyone. On another incident, an elderly customer walked in asking for Vitamins as dietary supplement as he felt lacking energy. We showed him all the available Multivitamins and he ended up buying 5 boxes of a particular. I still do not remember what we said, but we were certainly convincing. Throughout my training, my Professors from the College of Pharmacy visited me and monitored my daily progress as per the predefined daily objectives. I was filling my daily log and daily activities through the Moodle.
Overall, through these 15 days at the Community Pharmacy, I learned a lot from interacting with patients and expanding my knowledge on medicines, their preparations, dosage forms, packing, patient information leaflets etc. It was a very nice experience. I went from a classroom setting to the Community Pharmacy to apply what I have learned in the classroom. It was a real exposure to Pharmacy Practice and I feel nothing can replace this unique experience. I gained an in-depth understanding of the pharmacy profession and realized Community Pharmacy to be an active venue for providing patient care and related services.
The experience like this allowed me to work to a higher standard and to care for the general public. Last but not the least; the training gave me an exposure to real life setting which is an invaluable opportunity as a student. My advice for my fellow classmates is for them to stay enthusiastic, be open-minded, have fun, learn something new, and take something positive away from this opportunity.