Typically a quarter of all enquiries to the charity come from pre-registration trainees, with spikes in contact in the lead up to and post the registration assessment.
Most trainees will be in the final months of their placements now and will be gearing up to sitting the exam. It’s a difficult time for most, juggling the pressures of work with exam preparation and for some; there are the added pressures of families or other caring responsibilities. The good news is that there is free and confidential support available during any stressful times, be that during the remaining months of training or indeed as a qualified pharmacist.
Some ways we have already provided assistance are:
- for trainees experiencing problems with a particular member of staff or their tutor we have provided them with a Listening Friend and also guidance from our specialist employment adviser
- for trainees struggling with pressures in the lead up to the registration assessment, particularly if they have previously failed this, are in between re-sits or are waiting to become registered, we have given financial assistance to cover priority living expenses, assistance with revision courses and GPhC registration fees
- where a trainee has failed the assessment twice, and is required by the GPhC to undertake a further six month work placement and is seeking a placement or has only been able to find an unpaid position, we have provided emotional support and encouragement via a Listening Friend, plus benefits and debt advice along with financial assistance for priority living costs and bills
- when a trainee has failed for a 3rd time, we have provided information on alternative career options.
Pharmacist Support has information available on a range of topics on our website, including factsheets on the pre-registration year, stress, bullying and career options for those with a pharmacy degree. Also on our site is a directory of organisations and websites providing hints and tips to assist with revision and exam preparation.
People are often reluctant to make that first call for help, for a whole range of different reasons, but once they’ve made it, they often tell us they wish they’d contacted us earlier. One trainee told us
I had finished my pre-reg programme, but had to re-sit the assessment in September and there was no money coming in from anywhere. I got some encouragement from my friend to contact Pharmacist Support, so I did. The assistance I received meant that I was a lot less stressed, as I was able to pay the bills and not worry about food while studying for the re-take.
If you are a trainee, struggling with the demands of your placement or with personal issues or you are a pre-registration tutor or colleague and know someone who might benefit from our help, be sure to check out the range of free and confidential support available through your profession’s charity.
You can now access our brand new webinars looking at stress, time management and assertiveness with tips and resources to help improve your wellbeing!