My Faculty Journey: a lifetime adventure

Eleanor receiving her Faculty Pin at the Scottish National Seminar in August.
Eleanor receiving her Faculty Pin at the Scottish National Seminar in August.

By Eleanor Eunson, MFRPSII MRPharmS, community pharmacist

One of the most exciting parts of being a community pharmacist is that you never really know what you’ll have to deal with next. As the first point of contact for the majority of the public for their health problems, we can be dealing with colds/flu or skin problems or an emergency – how many of us have had “heart attacks” or “epileptic fits” at the pharmacy counter? We truly see everything from minor to major. How we react, what we do next and how we build on these experiences is what makes us tick – that is what Faculty was designed for!

Faculty gives us the ideal vehicle to record our journey through life as a pharmacist. At last, we have professional recognition for all the aspects of pharmacy which we simply assume are the “norm”.

Initially looking at the Faculty website, it seemed a daunting prospect. What was the standard? Could I complete all the competencies? Was this really for community pharmacists? Section 6 on research had me stumped.

Despite being a bit of a “technosaur”, I did managed to master the Faculty webinars on how to build a folio. They were great, and so off I set on the Folio journey. Once started, it became quite addictive as I realised that one activity covered many of the competencies. Section 6 actually falls into AUDIT – how many of those do we do on a regular basis?

The Faculty team were great and very patient. Phone calls and e-mails all were answered promptly.

For the “mature” pharmacist, Faculty is an ideal opportunity to reflect and perhaps seek a new direction.  For our next generation pharmacists, it is a great opportunity to start accumulating evidence of experiences and sharing this with colleagues.

It is vitally important that we are always learning and sharing our knowledge. Experiences can be good or bad – it’s what we learn from them and how we move forward that counts.

The PDP produced after the Faculty accreditation has been completed is really useful. Presented as spider graphs, it is easy to see the strengths and weaknesses. This lets you build for the future – an ideal document to present to your employer.

Pharmacists ask “why do it?” – Well really the answer is “why not?” This is an opportunity to look at what you do and why you do it in specific ways. Get on board, get started and Faculty will be there to help you.

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