What made you realise that you wanted to become a pharmacist?
It’s very simple really, I loved biology and chemistry, so pharmacy seemed like the perfect blend of both disciplines. I didn’t realise at the time that a lot more disciplines are involved in our very varied profession.
You’re a Clinical Pharmacist with a special interest in thrombosis. How did it all begin?
I originally trained with an aim to have a career in research, and after an Erasmus year in Cardiff where I finished my thesis, I decided to move to the UK. After a few years in community pharmacy I was given the opportunity to move to secondary care. Anticoagulants have been a personal interest for some time and a surgical unit was the perfect setting to develop this interest into a specialism.
Have you had any additional training or education?
Most of my academic education was originally done in Nantes in France. A few years ago, in order to update my clinical knowledge, I enrolled on the Queens’s University Belfast Clinical Diploma, which I concluded this year.
An academic education is necessary in our profession and most of my knowledge actually stems from well-constructed continual professional development. I have been very fortunate to meet the right people at the right time, a lot of the time through networking via UKCPA and Thrombosis UK, a charity of which I am a Trustee.
Is your career path a typical one?
Definitely not (although who has a typical career nowadays?) People have to be prepared to have a constantly changing job and this is particularly true in the pharmacy world. Personal choices brought me to the UK and a lot of the subsequent changes were influenced by the ever-changing landscape of pharmacy.
My interest in anticoagulation started in community pharmacy when counselling patients on warfarin was made mandatory in order to improve patient safety. My colleagues would disappear to the back of the dispensary whenever a warfarin patient was on the horizon, but I saw this as an opportunity to develop an area of practice and quickly developed a passion for it. This interest was later developed in hospital when the prevention of hospital acquired thrombosis through systematic assessment of patients was made mandatory.
I discovered that Thrombosis UK had a lot of resources for healthcare professionals and contacted them to see if I could help to organise some training events in the Bristol area. They welcomed the idea and a few months later I became a Trustee. This kind of activity allows me to learn from highly specialised doctors, pharmacists and nurses from very diverse settings.
How are you involved in UKCPA?
I became a General Committee member a couple of years ago and subsequently took on a role within the UKCPA Education Committee. I have also recently become a member of the UKCPA Haemostasis Anticoagulation and Thrombosis (HAT) committee. Where possible, I try to link my activities with UKCPA and Thrombosis UK in order to bring the best speakers together for the benefit of both organisations, and for the benefit of colleagues and patients.
What drives you?
Learning! I love learning new things on a lot of varied subjects and it is important for me to share that knowledge with my peers and with my patients. I think we are very fortunate to be educated in disciplines which can be used in any situation, and for me it is a duty to disseminate this knowledge.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I have a lot of passions and hobbies, including woodwork and photography, and I am a computer geek. I also have two young boys who keep me very active.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the UKCPA or its members. We encourage readers to follow links and references to primary research papers and guidance.