I used to enjoy studying pharmacy at university, I worked hard and alhamuli'Allah left with a First class honours degree and the complete and utter impatience to start my pre-registration training year in a large UK hospital.. Writing this now I feel like I am talking about someone else because, more than half way through the training year, I feel that I have reached a point where all I want to do is get out and never look back.
My year, which started in August '13, actually began well, I was getting on with most people and my tutor seemed like a nice person.
In October-ish time I started to realise that as a pre-reg you are trained as a pharmacy technician and throughout the year you carry out technical tasks. In order to be a training pharmacy technician you need only GCSEs. I understand that pharmacists must know the technical side of the job, however I feel that expecting a graduate to take on the role of a technician for an entire year and then come out of it ready to be a pharmacist is a tad bit optimistic.
Another thing that has grated on me for a while is the favouritism and praise that seems to bestowed upon the quiet pre-regs that lack any sort of personality and simply follow orders. God-forbid a trainee should present any ideas of their own, or express any sign of thinking for themselves. And all hell will break loose if a trainee is to defend themselves in any way when being reprimanded for something they may or may not have done. I have been taught that a good pre-reg will apologise and then lie down silently to be stomped all over.
There is also a massive inconsistency between the way different pharmacists choose to practice; this can be a good thing because you can take good practices from some of them and then leave the rest. However, I think that it is generally a bad thing. Inconsistent practices equals inconsistent training which in turn results in inconsistent practices. If I was an outsider looking in, I would be left wondering what on earth the role of a hospital pharmacist is besides signing their names next to prescriptions.
Despite the negativities I feel towards pharmacy training I have always put my effort into my work and tried not to allow it to affect my performance. Most people I have worked with have given me good feedback, but the one person that is supposed to be supporting and guiding me has done nothing but put me down during this year.
Pharmacy tutors are supposed to guide you throughout your pre-reg year and help you make the most of it. Up until now, my tutor has never asked me how I am (not once) and she only ever seems to get into contact with me to threaten to not sign me off at the end of the year. If you don't get signed off by your tutor you cannot sit the final exam and therefore cannot apply to be a qualified pharmacist.
My tutor disregards any positive feedback that I get from my various rotations and will amplify anything negative. She is extremely vocal about how crap she thinks I am and constantly compares me to other preregs, making me feel completely useless. If a situation has arisen where I do something wrong, she will never listen to my side of the story, only the other member of staff involved.
I have reached the point where I no longer care if she signs me off or not because she has made me hate my year so much that I never want to work in pharmacy again. I would never have expected that my training would have ended up like this and I feel like I have wasted the last 5 years of my life on something that has only resulted in severe anxiety and stress. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and I don't feel there is anything I can do about it.
Most of the other pre-regs seem to be doing fine, but this has without a doubt been one of the the worst experiences of my life. Pharmacy pre-reg has done nothing to me apart from induce anxiety and stress. I know that I'm nearing the end and insha'Allah when that comes, I will never have to look back upon this horrible chapter of my life.
Sorry for the messily written rant, I just wanted to write down how I'm feeling right now, apparently it's therapeutic or something.