Medacs Healthcare

NOV 16/2012

What qualities do you need as a pharmacist?

If you're a qualified pharmacist, you will hopefully already have a good idea of the skills and qualities that are required to do the job well.

But it doesn't always feel this way when you're sitting in an interview and are required to tell the panel about your attributes and why you should be top of their list.

Pretty much all permanent pharmacist jobs that you apply for will involve at least one interview.

It's therefore important you keep your interview skills up-to-date, regardless of the stage you've reached in your career, and remember the qualities that the job requires so that you can refer to them when asked.

Dr Catherine Duggan, director of professional development and support at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has revealed just some of the many qualities that a pharmacist needs in order to be good at their job.

She says: "In general, pharmacists need to be able to manage, resolve and escalate problems, develop and build strong communication skills, be able to manage complexity, as well as have a strong attention to detail when optimising patients' medicines."

Leadership attributes are also important for those working in pharmacist jobs and Dr Duggan observed that there is currently a keen focus on supporting practitioners to develop these qualities, alongside scientific and competence-based skills.

The RPS director noted that pharmacists are enjoying improved access to support tools these days, which have been developed in response to research looking at how best to develop their various skills and qualities.

She revealed: "Many programmes have been developed that align the provision of post-graduate diplomas alongside work-based learning, which have proven highly useful to pharmacists and their employers, as well as patient care."

In addition to having the relevant qualities, it's important to show your skills are up-to-date and you are keeping abreast of the latest developments in the world of pharmacy by having a solid continuing professional development (CPD) training record.

If you're worried about meeting the requirements of the CPD framework, take a look at the standards on the General Pharmaceutical Council's website to ensure you are keeping up with the necessary training and keeping a record in an approved format.

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