The journey to becoming a locum hospital pharmacist

The road from a Trinity student to a locum hospital pharmacist in the UK indeed was a challenging and long journey - but a rewarding and enjoyable one all the same. I have been working as a locum hospital pharmacist in the UK for nearly two years now; so I chose to write my first blog about my training journey.

Born in cork, I moved to Dublin to study Pharmacy in Trinity College. Trinity College was great for assisting with finding summer placements for students to help gain experience, and a flavour of the many areas of pharmacy to work in. I really enjoyed completing a wide range of pharmacy placements in my four summers at college - in community and hospital pharmacies in Ireland, a research lab in Germany and a industry sector in Paris. 

Years of labs, library hours, assignments, exams (and of course the pharmacy balls and trinity concerts!) I graduated and secured a pharmacy pre-registration at Blanchardstown hospital in Dublin, with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Having jumped the final hurdle of my pre-registration exams I was finally qualified as a pharmacist and started right away to work as a locum in community pharmacies.

A month later I completed a 12 month hospital pharmacy maternity leave cover for a hospital in Cork. It was a remarkable experience to work with a teaching hospital for my first role as a junior pharmacist; a chance to learn and get support from my co-worker pharmacists. After the maternity leave cover, I registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council in the UK. Being in touch with a friend who was currently working in the UK, she advised me to contact a hospital pharmacy locum agency and she felt that locuming would be an invaluable experience to enhance skills while practicing in a new country.

What I expected to be a very daunting experience - of trying to find locum work in the UK - turned out to be a seamless and enriching experience. The locum agency went through my experience with me, discussed the different areas I would like to work in and where I would like to work. Not having accommodation in the UK, the locum agency assisted me with using various house flat share websites and directed me to a range of useful helpful sources.

Having secured my first hospital locum job on a Thursday I booked flights over to the UK and started work on the following Monday! As exciting this new life adventure was for me moving to the UK to work, my mum did shed a few tears despite me telling her that it is so close!! Looking back over the last two years I am grateful for having the opportunity to work in so many hospitals in the UK (from London to Liverpool!), gathering experiences in a range of areas such as mental health, paediatrics, surgery, oncology and general medicine.

Working with new people from all different backgrounds in new environments - learning from those with more experience and assisting those who are starting their pharmacy journey -  is what I enjoy most as a locum.

Aidan

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Contact our Pharmacy Team to talk about working in the UK on 0345 363 1187

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