Hello, my name is Ayesha Shahzad and I am in my final year of the MPharm degree in the UK. I have recently launched a pharmacy blog on Instagram (@pharmashy_) to share my career journey.
I decided to go for pharmacy due to an incident where my mother was prescribed a drug that made her feel worse rather than better. At that young age it amazed me to see that something which was meant to help had in fact caused a bigger problem. This curiosity only grew stronger and lead me to studying pharmacy.
As I started this career journey, I found that there was a great range of jobs I could go into after my degree. Therefore, I decided to opt for a sandwich course which allowed me to complete four years of university and my one year of pre-registration placement which was split into six months in a hospital and 6 months in a community setting. I believed this would give me experience in both settings and help me decide where my passion lies.
During every year at university, we were offered various placements within the community and hospital sector however, they were never comprehensive enough to actually understand what it’s really like. I applied for a part time job at a community pharmacy and although I enjoyed my job it didn’t excite me. I loved talking to patients, but each day got repetitive and I felt like I needed to do more than this.
As I started my first placement at a hospital, I was able to complete rotations in every specialty e.g. cardiology, respiratory, psychiatry, oncology, surgery and many other departments. Each day was different, each patient I saw was different and there was so much to learn! I looked forward to going work every day and although it was, on some days, very tiring I felt myself committed to my work and eager to learn during those tiring work hours. It is now safe to say that I have developed an absolute passion for hospital pharmacy and would love to pursue this as my career upon completing my degree being a qualified pharmacist.
I have always found it extremely rewarding to be part of a team providing healthcare. I feel a great sense of achievement when seeing to patients’ concerns and bringing them comfort; I hope to do my best to provide safe and effective care in the future.
When a close family member became ill and my cousin, who is a pharmacist, was the only one able to comfort her with his clinical expertise, I knew I wanted to work as a healthcare professional. I have always loved human biology; I used to wonder how something so small like a tablet could have such a large effect on a human. This curiosity is what led me specifically to pharmacy.
During my time at University, I found out about the many different career paths within the pharmacy sector, and how the field was constantly changing and developing. I realised that pharmacy is not just a career path for those good at science, but a field for those with initiative and who think big. The realisation that if I push myself, I can broaden my horizons within the pharmaceutical world, has been my main motivation since starting the degree. From volunteering at National conferences, to taking part in extra schemes and studying abroad, I’ve grabbed every opportunity that I can and hope to continue to do so on my journey as a pharmacist.
With my pharmacy blog, I hope to inspire other pharmacists/ students to advise them using my own experiences and to encourage them to use initiative and take opportunities.