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Career Spotlight: Tamara Cairney

Tamara Cairney

Where do you work?


I work in a split post between the acute hospital and primary care settings. Currently, I work at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and in several GP practices as part of the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Prescribing Support Team.


How long have you been a pharmacist?


1 year


Why did you become a pharmacist?


I had a career crisis whilst studying for my degree in Forensic Biology when I realised that the job market was poor and that I didn’t really enjoy laboratory work. At that time I was working in a community pharmacy as a dispensary assistant which I enjoyed, especially speaking to patients about their minor ailments and recommending appropriate treatment. I chose to become a pharmacist because I saw an opportunity to combine two things I enjoyed: pharmacology and speaking to patients.


Where did you work on your first day as a pharmacist and when was that?


Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert. 1st August 2017.


What does your current role involve?


As my job is a split post, I have an extremely varied role, however, there are a number of similar tasks such as medicines reconciliation, provision of medicines information, medication monitoring and patient counselling. Practicing across both primary and secondary care settings is great because I feel that the knowledge gained from each role has really helped me to understand how patients transition between the care settings and how information about medication can be miscommunicated. I have also been able to share my knowledge in each care setting with some colleagues who have little or no experience of working within that area.


My current job is also partly a training role and therefore I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to shadow and be supervised by more senior pharmacists and gain feedback on my performance which has supported me to gather evidence for my NES Foundation Training portfolio.

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