I currently work as a provisionally registered pharmacist and to be honest this year has been horrendous.
My mental health has been destroyed.
I can hardly sleep at night, I keep weighing up the choice of going to work to earn for my family and sustain my self or stay at home and study for an exam that will assess suitability for a job I’m already doing.
I’m sorry but the chain of events around the registration process this year has been appalling. The entire process from beginning to end has been dreadful and the way we have been treated is disgusting. The GPHC has left us in such disarray due to the haphazard handling of the entire process.
We should have had the exam cancelled and an alternative form of registration. Perhaps a foundation or provisional year with a more intense learning procedure to ensure safety.
Instead, the GPHC has focussed on setting the usual exam for a cohort who have had an unusual learning experience. A pragmatic approach was required but unfortunately, they were not able to deliver.
The mental health ramifications for the cohort this year are unthinkable.
Patient safety is important but they have already let loose 2000 plus provisionally registered pharmacists. They should have instead supported these people with more clinical targets and calculations support.
But to further burden them at a time when pharmacy is under such pressure, understaffed and busy is just not right.
They have really said:
‘Work now and earn your money when we need you during the pandemic and soon when we won’t. We’ll then throw an exam at you with minimal revision time.’
It’s just not right.
Why can’t there be an alternative way of registering? Why can the GPHC not be pragmatic?
We are expected to maintain exam level knowledge whilst working through a busy pandemic to support our families and the public. We should be allowed to register this year without sitting an exam. Simple.
We have already been acting as full pharmacists. We should be supported in our roles to build on weaknesses. This cohort of students this year have had a unique learning experience compared to every pre-reg since 1992. They should therefore have a unique way of registering.
A pragmatic approach is required.
The author of this blog is a provisionally registered pharmacist and wishes to remain anonymous.
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