Supporting pre-registration pharmacists

We recognise that there are many uncertainties for pre-reg pharmacists just now about how the coronavirus pandemic will impact upon your training and entry onto the profession. There are questions about whether you still be required to take the registration assessment, the implications of being shielded or self isolating, will you still join the register in July/ August or earlier and how much responsibility should you be taking at this time especially if there are lots of people off in your pharmacy or department.

You may be asked to do things in the coming weeks that pre-registration pharmacists would not normally be asked to do. The most important thing is that you keep yourself and your patients safe. This means that you should only do things that you feel competent to do and you should continue to ask for help and guidance when it is needed.

If you are on a training programme in which you would have been rotating across departments or sites, you may find that these rotations are being postponed or cancelled. These decisions will not have been taken lightly and will take into account the current and likely staffing situation in the coming weeks.

The most important thing is that you still have access to supervision in practice. Everyone in the pharmacy family has a responsibility to care for our co-workers and support those less experienced than we are. When you are uncertain about something ask a colleague and remember to support other staff and trainees in the same way.

Make sure you check in with to your pre-registration tutor regularly and share any concerns and anxieties. Your tutor is a key part of your support structure and will be able to help and advise you on your individual training experience. You might also find it helpful to have an external mentor during this period to help you navigate your way through the next few months as you head towards becoming a registered pharmacist.

The GPhC is currently considering the implications of the pandemic on pre-registration training and assessment and we expect more information will be available from them imminently.

Taking time to look after yourself is more important than ever. Your mental health and wellbeing is as important as your physical health.