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Laura Chapman, Specialist Pharmacist

I love working as a hospital pharmacist, I enjoy the combination between the scientific and the clinical, and I like the problem solving element of the job when we have complex cases to deal with. Every day presents new experiences and new challenges.

I’ve worked in a hospital environment since I graduated. I completed my pre-registration year in Derby, and continued to work here as I studied for my clinical diploma. I now work as a Band 7 Specialist Rotational Pharmacist. I rotate around different specialities on a six-monthly basis, spending time in areas including Specialist Surgery and Critical Care, Oncology and Haematology, Antimicrobials and Education and Training. It gives me the opportunity to improve and refine my specialist knowledge within those areas.

Derby is quite unusual in that most of our Band 7 posts are rotational. It appealed to me because it offers more variety than a traditional ward-based pharmacist, and allows me to be up to speed with developments in lots of different areas. It’s also allowed me to expand my skillset outside the traditional pharmacist role.

When I’m on the wards I work with the medical and multi-disciplinary teams to review patients’ medication and address any challenged. It involves answering clinical queries and providing advice to patients, carers and the wider healthcare team. Another rotation involves working closely with the specialist antimicrobial pharmacist specialist nurses and microbiology consultants to review and audit antimicrobial usage and promote stewardship within the Trust.

I’m currently working in Education and Training, where I’m involved with the development, training and mentoring of new and junior staff. I also work with the University of Nottingham to provide teaching to undergraduate medical and pharmacy students. I’m involved with inductions for junior pharmacists, organising placements for undergraduates and organising lunchtime education sessions for our teams. One of the most rewarding parts of the role for me has been the opportunity for me to act as a deputy tutor for our Pre-Registration Pharmacists and Pre-Registration Pharmacy Students and seeing those I have mentored grow and develop into confident and competent qualified pharmacists.

I was initially drawn to hospital pharmacy as I enjoy working as part of a large multidisciplinary team. I love that we all have the opportunity to learn from one another to constantly develop and improve our knowledge and skills to improve the service we provide for patients. We have a very supportive pharmacy team who have encouraged me to develop my skills every step of the way.