It’s been a few months since my last update – so as a reminder, I asked my colleague RX to be my peer – she eagerly accepted (I do hope that means she is not going to have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to my Peer Discussion?!). I also gave some thought to where I would like the discussion to take place and settled on an office at work.
So, the day has arrived and I am on my way for my very first ‘formal’ Peer Discussion!
I am sitting at the bus stop waiting to be ferried to the office where I have booked a room. To get the best out of my Peer Discussion I sent my peer RX a short summary of a current role of mine that I want to discuss. I also sent her the RPS Peer Discussion prompt sheets for the peer and the practitioner (that’s me!). So we are all set and I am looking forward to the beginning of a new relationship – albeit a learning one. Except, typically of me, I am mulling, in the midst of a very crowded bus shelter (with people cowering from driving rain), whether discussing something else might be more useful – I want to get the most of my time with RX. Deep in reflection I am pulled out of my thoughts when the old lady next to me gets up for her bus and before I know it, she is on the floor and there is blood coming from her head on the pavement. A mother and daughter, a young man and me spring from the bus stop and attempt to stop her bleeding and call an ambulance. We lift her onto the bench, she is fragile with the most piercing blue eyes – I look at her closely, she seems in full control of her senses. We wait for the ambulance.
A little while later, I am back on the bus and back in reflective mode (who’d have thought London buses were good for reflection – mind you it is some way prior to the schools’ ejection hour and the kids taking control of public transport!). I think about the old lady we just helped. It would seem a possible subject for the Peer Discussion – I could discuss how I managed the situation and what my learning gaps might be. Alas I am no longer in clinical practice so I cannot relate it to a current role and the old lady was a member of the public rather than a service user. So whilst my reflection was interesting, it wasn’t that useful as that specific instance would be outside the GPhC’s requirements. However I am then on a roll and other potential work areas start to whirl round my head – a big project I am involved in, a controversy I caused at a board meeting (may be not), my recent appraisal and my need to understand Microsoft planner – a project management tool (how will we stay awake discussing that?).
As the bus nears its destination, I decide to stick to the original plan. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to spring a new topic on RX plus I will get more out of this experience if RX knows what I want to talk about. I will discuss a role I have advising a panel on pharmacy education. I am one of only two pharmacists amongst a plethora of medics, nurses, healthcare scientists and allied health professionals. I want RX to help challenge and support my practice here as it is more isolated (this is one of the reasons the General Pharmaceutical Council set-up the Peer Discussion – to make sure people in my position continue to improve their practice). We can explore that I have learnt everything I need to and that I can communicate effectively to the panel who in this case are my service users that need benefiting – a GPhC requirement. I can’t help thinking that the old lady at the bus stop was typical of my previous service users in a hospital less than a mile from the location of my Peer Discussion…. Join me for the next exciting installment – how did my Peer Discussion go?!
Read Chris John’s other blogs all about his Peer Discussion journey here