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I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

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  • I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

    Hi
    I've been qualified for the past two and a half years, and I've been working for the same hospital ever since as a pharmacist, did my band 6 rotation and was promoted last october to a senior rotational pharmacist role, band 7, that is. I've done both the pharmacy practice certificate and diploma, and now I'm working in the field that I always wanted to work in - oncology.
    All this may sound perferct, but let me tell you something, I am so miserable in my life, I find it hard to love my job, everyday is like the same day before, the future looks like the british weather and sometimes I even think there is no future, unless I do something about it.
    you see, before I reached my current post, I was sedated by the aspects of persuing a goal in my career, and the learning process played a large role in keeping me happy. Now that i have reached my destination, I have hit a brick wall. Don't get me wrong, oncology pharmacy is a good career, but it is working for the NHS that kills me.
    They say that to enjoy life, you should enjoy the little things in it. It is the exact opposite in the NHS, it's the litte things that make my job so distasteful. You will know what I mean when you try to do something creative and fresh then get hit by a wall of bureaucracy, when you try to book an educational course and your boss refuses even to give you the time off because of the shortage in staff, not to mention sponsoring that course because the NHS can't afford these things, When you do a lot of great things yet nobody appreciates them, but when you make one little mistake, you get punished for it. All of this makes you feel of no value, then you loose your job satisfaction.
    Another contributing factor is that I learned a lot and gained a lot of skills to get where I am now, yet there is a lot more to be learned, but at this point, learning is only for my own amusment, since this extra knowledge is used by the doctors to treat patients as part of their daily job, i.e, I would be steping into doctors teritory if I would want to make use of this extra knowledge and make big decisions. I want to have more power, more say in matters, do things and say that I did them, not feel like I have a secondary role in a team.
    They say there is a future for supplimentary prescribing, pharmacist lead clinics and consultant pharmacists. Please don't believe this nonsense, it may sound good on paper and would be great in reality if pharmacists were given unresricted freedom, but in real life, supplimentary prescribing means you can prescribe Lactulose and Paracetamol without the need to chase a junior doctor for his signature, pharmacist lead clinics are just counseling sessions, they get repetitive and boring after a short while, just like counseling patients on wards or in community pharmacies but with a more structured approach. And don't even get me started on the consultant pharmacist posts, they say there will be more posts in the future for this kind of job, but to get to this level, you need the apporval and training of a consultant doctor you work with, but can you remember the last consultant you met? they are all cocks, they are so full of themselves they do not accept any challange from anyone. Besides, even if they are nice people, they wouldn't have reached a consultant level if they didn't know a lot more than pharmacists in their fields of speciality. Effectively, these posts are just to allow experienced pharmacists to get a little bit more money out of the NHS for things they already do.
    I have asked around some pharmacists, all are not satisfied with their jobs as hospital pharmacists except for a few who have families and like the security that their jobs offer them. I myself have worked in 5 other hospitals before qualifying, and heard the same complaints about work from other pharmacists. I have tried to find a job in big teaching hospitals in London, thinking maybe I could find more teaching opportunities to kill the pain, but it is very competitive, the job I want is very rare in these hospitals, and this would not change the fact that I would still be working for the NHS.
    Anyway, this is not my point, my point is that I can not see myself continuing my career in the NHS forever, I am not interested in industrial pharmacy, community pharmacy, marketing, or finance. I would like to use my clinical skills and knowledge in some other way.
    Can anyone make a suggestion?
    Last edited by crabman; 24, March 2008, 02:58 AM.

  • #2
    Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

    Welcome to the 'crunch'. It happens to us all.
    Community pharmacy is getting like this as it becomes more "corporatised", and "Head Office" marketing graduates who would sh*t themselves if they had to cope with the workload in a pharmacy are the only ones on the planet capable of original thought.

    There are various ways of coping with this, and it depends on your personality. Sometimes being a pharmacist can make you feel like the bloke at the back of the orchestra whose job is to play one 'tink' on the triangle in the whole symphony. (Listening to radio 3 at the moment!)

    OK here's some advice from a not so old timer (registered 1981)
    1. Find an interest outside of work that gives you something to plan for and look forward to. It gives you an outlet where you make the decisions.
    2. Find out what area of oncology is 'high risk' and become the expert on that. Hazard mitigation is big these days. It can save the patient a lot of suffering, and the NHS a load of money in legal fees.

    Career moves...
    What about moving into Health Informatics.
    There should be loads of opportunities. Try looking around under SNOMED-CT, DM+D etc.
    Patient Safety : Check out the NPSA for opportunities

    I've dried up now..
    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
    How times change.

    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

      hey crabman,

      i know what you mean, that is why i will start medicine graduate course in september

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

        I can empathise with your position. Half my time seems to be spent enforcing guidelines that I don't agree with, or struggling with the usual 'too much work, too few staff' thing. My better half works for a large multiple as an ACT - they make damn sure they have the staff to cope with the workload!! I'm halfway through my diploma (which seems like make-work to me - not learned much new stuff yet!) and already thinking about what to do after. I'm considering applying to become a magistrate, as an additional interest.

        Why not try teaching? Student techs/nurses/junior doctors? I've done it a few times and found it quite rewarding.

        Research? Clinical trials? Do a couple of community locums?

        The trouble with the NHS is that the managers are those who cannot cope in the real world, so you cannot rely on anyone to help you - you have to slog on yourself!!
        Band6 is a Band 6 no longer.. now 7/8a

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

          One thing I should do now to get out of this situation is to persue post graduate education. The worst that can happen after the degree is go back to the NHS, but at least I would have a shot at a band 8 post.
          I've been looking at three sort of programmes: health economics, MBA, and research programmes related to gene therapy which is my interest, too bad it's still in it's infancy.
          unfortuantely, in this time and age, the size of you salary can not be avoided, even if you believe that money is the source of all evil. Bottom line, Research doesn't pay, unless you actually invent something that drug companies want, which doesn't happen every day. If you get into management, u get paid, but it's a cut-throat competetion, and I think I've worked too long in hospitals that I can not see myself working in this field.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

            I'm stuck in retail and would love to get out!
            But what else can we do?

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            • #7
              Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

              My escape into industry was by becoming a rep and trotting round the Drs. A great life at the time, and this led to marketing and sales manager jobs.

              However, I would hate to be a rep calling on GPs these days. Hospital work is much more rewarding.
              johnep

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              • #8
                Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                hmmmm, interesting, maybe im already ahead of my years, pharmacy is one aspect of my life, once i qualify, i will have to do something else non-pharmacy to unleash my creative side, im an artist way before im a pharmacist.
                We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                  Interesting, I've never worked in marketing, in fact, I've never worked in anything besides clinical pharmacy. Mind you, I only have 2 and a half years experience.
                  How would you sum working in marketing?

                  Originally posted by johnep View Post
                  My escape into industry was by becoming a rep and trotting round the Drs. A great life at the time, and this led to marketing and sales manager jobs.

                  However, I would hate to be a rep calling on GPs these days. Hospital work is much more rewarding.
                  johnep

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                    Sales dominated company---You make it we will sell at a price the customer wants.

                    Production dominated company. ---we make it you sell it.

                    Marketing led company-----We will find out what the customer wants, production will produce it at a price attractive to the customer, and we must make a fair profit.

                    Americans---sales led
                    British-----production led
                    Japanese---marketing led

                    Broad assumptions and not true for many companies. But just think of Ford,
                    Austin-rover and sony.
                    johnep

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS


                      hai lost!!!i have gone through the conversations by various pharmacists,so,its very tough to work in hospital as a pharmacist.So,which is an ideal job for us-pharmacists and as u had mentioned abt medicine graduate,Are u goin 2study medicine to become a Doctor?????

                      Regards,
                      sree

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                        I gave the idea a thought a few years ago, but after I saw what doctors are going through now a days, and the difficulty in finding jobs, I thought it is not worth it. I feel I'm in a better position as a pharmacist, and I have more options than doctors do.
                        I also find it stupid that I have to spend 4 years at university to be called a doctor after studying all that medical stuff at uni, I might as well do a phd in a subject that I like and find a much better job than starting from scratch with medicine.

                        Originally posted by sree View Post
                        hai lost!!!i have gone through the conversations by various pharmacists,so,its very tough to work in hospital as a pharmacist.So,which is an ideal job for us-pharmacists and as u had mentioned abt medicine graduate,Are u goin 2study medicine to become a Doctor?????

                        Regards,
                        sree

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                          Hi,

                          It was great to read this thread!Really.
                          I'm about to start my MPharm at Uni - 30yo mature student with a background in arts!!! As I've mentioned in another thread, my Uni is all for "Hospital Pharmacists". I like the idea of becoming a clinical pharmacist but by what you're saying it's not sounding too good... Does it really get that monotonous and repetitive? Don't you get to see new patients everyday, new cases, new treatments?Mainly in oncology?! Is the career progression that hard?Band 7 in 2 1/5 years is not bad is it?
                          Funny to hear that Lost is going to a GEP medicine course. This is kind of an option for me as well...I just think that as things stand at the moment the future of doctors is not looking too good!4 years training + 2 years FY + huge steep training for a speciality (if you're lucky to get one!),etc. Aren't you taking a big step Lost? I bet you can finance your medical student years as a locum but...by the time you finish your F years you would be a Consultant Pharmacist!I don't know anymore...Decisions...
                          Crabman -what are you referring to exactly when you say you have more options now as a pharmacist than doctors do?
                          The NHS seems to be really bad at the moment for everyone!
                          Thanks a lot

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                            jobs are much harder for medics these days (finding them)

                            Can I just raise a quick point:
                            No matter what occupation you do, you will eventually get bored of your job, be it a dentist, engineer or whatever right?. If you ask anyone about their job, they say it's crap and bad.
                            3rd yr pharmacy student - bath

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                            • #15
                              Re: I feel stuck in my career in the NHS

                              I'm about to qualify in august but even at this very early stage in my career I'm wondering whether I've made a mistake in my choice. I've not particularly enjoyed working in retail,it's unbelievably boring and repetitive. I've just turned 25 and want to be able to finish in a few months and do something completely different but I'm like-what? Actually I'm convinced I'm totally in the wrong career and I'm shitting myself

                              Comment

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