What does the role of a Junior Clinical Pharmacist involve?

As with most junior roles within clinical pharmacy, you must be prepared to carry out medication reconciliations with patients, families, community pharmacies or GPs on most days. This involves a full review of a patients medication to establish the correct medication and doses that the patient was taking prior to their admission. This information is very useful to the medical team and patient care, and should be carried out as a matter of priority. Generally the clinical pharmacist will be well supported within a team of senior pharmacists and technicians as well as other members of the healthcare team; therefore good communication with others for the provision of drugs is very important.

All that studying you did for your pre-registration exam will come to be very useful when you are on the hospital wards as much of your work would be to carry out clinical drug chart reviews for appropriateness, interactions and side effects. In order to ensure you are thorough in carrying out the process of clinical screening, you must ensure you read the clinical notes, review allergies, monitor lab parameters and give particular attention to antibiotics and narrow therapeutic index drugs and consequently give appropriate recommendation of medication adjustment accordingly. When carrying out this process you may come across something that requires adjustment in which case you should liaise with the medical team looking after the patient including the nurses and doctors, therefore good communication with doctors, specialist teams, nursing staff, patients and carers is essential.  

Patient counseling is a significant part of the role as a clinical pharmacist, particularly with regards to new medications and TTO (discharge medication) provision, some medication may also require supplying additional documentation for example a yellow booklet on anticoagulants when patients are discharged on warfarin.

Depending on your position, you may rotate through different areas in pharmacy; this can include medicine and surgery rotations or technical services, such as total parenteral nutrition unit (TPN) in which your duties may include understanding the differences between different licence exemptions, participating in near miss, intervention monitoring and clinical audit, final release of adult and neonatal TPN, as well as attending quality exception meetings.

The quality report meetings involve discussion of quality exceptions found within the aseptic manufacturing unit and then discussing and identifying root cause(s) as well as potential solutions, this is then fed back to other staff to help implement change.

Other rotations can include gaining experience in medicines information which can allow you to acquire many new skills to deliver excellent patient care. From carrying out numerous enquiries, this helps to develop strong communication skills by obtaining key and relevant information to provide accurate evidence-based answers to a variety of healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Furthermore this can help you to develop your critical appraisal skills.

What other key insights can you offer for junior clinical pharmcists?

Samrina Bhatti LinkedIn Profile


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