Friday mornings are spent authorising clinic letters, assessing blood results, communicating with patients and following up on any consultations if need be. I approve my clinic letters online and once approved, they are sent to the GP and patient by the secretary.
I also spend time on Friday to ensure that any urgent tasks or objectives for that week have been addressed and completed. If not I find out why not. Furthermore, I check plans and meetings for the following week to ensure any work needed for said meetings is produced and ready to be presented if need be. I also screen any outstanding sc mtx prescriptions or any new prescriptions that land on my desk.
I have an email asking for advice from one of the specialist registrars on the best drug to use for a patient who would like to become pregnant. She has severe rheumatoid arthritis and is eligible for biologic treatment. I, therefore, use my knowledge to select the safest drug available to treat her disease as well as allowing her to conceive. I feel appreciated and respected when asked for my opinion and enjoy how this promotes the role of pharmacists as experts in medicines use.
Today I have several other meetings, one is a tutor meeting where all pre-registration tutors meet to discuss the progress of their trainees and identify any ways in which the training we deliver can be improved. We do this regularly so any issues or training needs are resolved in a timely manner.
I also meet one of our Homecare providers to look at key performance indicators (KPIs) and if these are being achieved or not. We go through patient complaints, failed deliveries to patients and other complaints or issues. I also invite the nursing team to our meetings so that they can share any problems they encounter with the provider.
The week doesn’t quite end there. I am down to work late duty so off to the dispensary I go.
So this was a typical working week condensed as much as I possibly could. I hope you have found it insightful and realised that you can be a clinically focussed pharmacist without having to visit the wards. My job encompasses many facets of a pharmacists role and I am lucky I have the support and opportunities to develop new services. I get to see the best of all worlds and have the pleasure of working alongside a fully functioning MDT.
My advice to anyone looking to move into a specialist area is the possibilities are endless. Find your niche and the rest will fall into place.
No matter what some people say we truly are indispensable and the NHS needs us now more than ever.
Kalveer Flora is Lead Rheumatology and Biosimilars Specialist Pharmacist, Deputy Chair, Rheumatology Pharmacists UK (RPUK).