Becoming an Independent Prescriber

#Hello my name is Hala Jawad

I’m back to student life and this time developing new diagnosis skills on the Independent Prescribing course at Keele University.

I completed my MPharm degree at the University of Brighton.

I started on my path in community before making my way into General Practice as a Pharmacist. Working in a GP practice, I developed an interest in asthma and this enticed me to enrol at Keele University on their Independent Prescribing course. My ambition and drive is to develop a niche practice into the area of Asthma which fascinates me. In particular I am concerned with educating those affected by this condition in how best to manage it so that in turn the number of hospital admissions can be reduced considerably, easing the pressure on the NHS to focus its resources elsewhere. The aim is to reduce the pressure on GP surgeries, allowing them to focus on other more pressing matters. This should enhance the patient experience; improving how specific issues are dealt with. Another effective tool one can use are the various platforms available through information technology, giving greater accesses to more patients and enhancing public awareness.

The Independent Prescribing course is a path between doing your day to day role as a pharmacist and being supervised by a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) to complete your 90 hours learning in practice. My strengths are patient centered care and consultation skills. My weakness is diagnosis: I intend to overcome this by spending more time with my DMP and guided reading.

The course at Keele University teaches you the difference between working in reflexive and reflective ways. So I guess you may be wondering what the difference is between the two?

Being reflexive involves focussing on your own actions.

Being reflective involves focussing on the whole situation, including other people involved, location etc.

It’s interesting to meet fellow pharmacists from a number of different backgrounds, such as hospitals, CCGs, retail community pharmacies, primary care etc. who are also completing the course and learning from each other. Regarding opportunities pharmacist can lead on different roles and sectors whereas the threats and fear of becoming an independent prescriber comes with loads of responsibilities.

My professional goals focus around patient care with a particular emphasis on patient safety.

Over the past 11 months I have developed relationships with various stakeholders in order to achieve this objective, developing links with GP surgeries and community pharmacies.

During recent years, the role of the pharmacist has evolved towards a more clinical approach. I believe this is the future role of pharmacists; applying clinical assessment skills, formulating working diagnoses and creating treatment plans.

The overall aim is to prepare pharmacists to practice as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Article by Hala Jawad


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