What is it like to train as an IP (article 4)

“I am not telling you it is going to be easy, I am telling you it will be worth it”, Art Williams

The night before my first IP session at the university was the usual rigmarole of questions, “where do I park”, “do I make lunch”, “how early do I get there”. As this was a hybrid session, meaning I could attend personally or virtually, I also wondered how many people would actually turn up?

I decided to go face to face for a number of reasons; to fully immerse myself in the learning environment and also to network!

The people in my cohort are such a mixed bag of professionals from dieticians, specialist nurses, paramedics, all with different levels of experience, which I soon realised was wonderful to learn from but also daunting. They had a lot more clinical experience than me as a community pharmacist. But instead of panicking I decided to think positively, what do I have here to offer?

The IP course is not just about writing prescriptions, its all about being patient centric, effective consultation skills and shared decision making amongst others. As a community pharmacist, I believe some of these aspects come naturally. We are holistic in our approach already, we take into account a patient’s lifestyle, we already offer consultation tailored to the patient. So, I will use that as a base and work around that!

Going through the day the level of work dawned upon me, however, I was optimistic! With careful time management and organisation around work, home (husband, 2 children and a dog) and study, It is possible to do this!

The deadlines are thick and fast, but I can’t expect anything less from a 6 month programme.

I am super pumped after my first session and can’t wait to get cracking in my GP placement!

– By Herpreet Sharma, PharmaPlus