Amareen: Week seven has been a positive week; I have finally uploaded all my entries and there are no gaps on my portfolio matrix, which is an accomplishment in itself! This has certainly given me a positive outlook going forward to the final week. When I completed my last entry for the portfolio it was extremely satisfying looking at all the work that had gone into completing the portfolio, but also reflecting back on key achievements in my pharmacy career. Having this all recorded in front of me on the e-portfolio shows how much I have progressed with education and training initiatives, but also has helped me identify what to focus on in the upcoming years.
Ironically, the cluster I left last to map was Education and Training, as that is the sole component of my current role; I almost felt I had too much evidence to map. I therefore, found it tricky to pin-point which was the strongest examples to meet the competencies.
I met with Sue to discuss our impact statements, as this is the area of concern for both of us. Would the assessor understand the context of the entries and have we actually shown the impact of the evidence, was some of our questions we had. As we both find it easier to give feedback to each other, we swapped our portfolios so that we could comment on each other’s entries. If you go to ‘my portfolio’ and then click on reports, then advanced practice portfolio transcript you can download a pdf copy of the portfolio with entries and impact statements. Sometimes there’s value in printing the document and getting out the red pen!
I also completed my REPP assessment this week. I was slightly apprehensive in the morning leading up to the scheduled time for the assessment, as I questioned whether the case studies I submitted were appropriate in showing advanced practice or would there be questions that I could not answer. I had a strange ‘butterfly in stomach feeling’ as if I was about to sit for an exam. Thankfully, the REPP assessment went really well, and it was roughly an hour long discussion over Skype. It was a really valuable experience and an opportunity to discuss education and training in further depth with a peer that has more experience than I have. I found it really rewarding and I would like to thank Laura O’Loan, Assistant Director for Vocational Programmes at Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development for conducting the assessment and positively reinforcing my key achievements thus far.
Sue: Well this week has certainly been a busy week. One advantage I’ve found though is if you do the portfolio over a concentrated period of time you get better at it! Sadly I still haven’t got a mentor so my advice is to get this organized early on! I’m still struggling with peer testimonials but I’ve sent a final reminder and hope they’re not offended by the third one! I have enough but not from the ones I think will enhance my evidence well.
Amareen and I met this week and discussed some entries again. We were able to give each other ideas for strengthening our evidence too which is good. We also met with someone who had submitted her application who didn’t get the outcome she wanted so we had a worrying time but hope that our evidence from academia will see us through that our colleague didn’t include in hers.
I’ve now entered enough pieces of evidence so I’m fine tuning them so the entries fit nicely with the impact statements and that’s my plan for the rest of this final week. It is feeling more like I have the evidence I need but I won’t know until it is submitted! It has certainly been a chance to reflect on what has gone well in my career and perhaps where my strengths lie and thus a useful experience just based on that!
The end is in sight! What a rollercoaster journey it’s been!