I have now come to the end of 4 weeks of a full-time placement at Loblaw Pharmacy. The pharmacy team, and especially my supervisor, have been great to accommodate having me there, asking many questions, and learning new skills. Loblaw Pharmacy is extremely busy, and I got to witness how a pharmacy truly has to work together as a team. This opportunity has taught me that everyone in the pharmacy must do what is needed at that moment, and not just do their assigned roles, as it’s easy to have overwhelming days, and a lot of customers to satisfy.
I have had time to practice processing prescriptions, from entering, to packaging and labelling. I also got quite comfortable with making blister packs, and have come to realize how important they are as many patients require them. I have learned a lot more about what certain medications are used for, which are most commonly used, and I am better at recognizing drug names, and generic versus brand name. I’ve learned the importance to become familiar not just with medication names, but with how medication looks, as I have overheard many patients wanting their medication refill, but all they know is what it looks like, and not the name.
I saw the theory taught in class put into practice, especially with regards to the many legal requirements for running a pharmacy, such as the rules for receiving narcotic orders, storing narcotics, transferring narcotics, and filing narcotic prescription hardcopies. I also saw or heard of situations taught in class, such as when to seek the pharmacist for a recommendation, when to fax the doctor over refills or discrepancies, and how to properly dispose of old medication returned by patients. As well, I had more real life experience with Kroll, and saw how third party billing works.
My 4 weeks of community placement at Loblaw Pharmacy definitely taught me what working in a retail pharmacy is like, all the various duties to be done everyday, and how fast-paced a busy pharmacy can be. It has helped me expand the skills I was taught in the classroom. I appreciate the time spent with the Loblaw Pharmacy team, and the guidance of their Registered Pharmacy Technician, who gave me a glimpse into my future career.