Alisha, Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Alisha is a pre-registration pharmacy technician working at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. She'd always been interested in working the NHS and found out about NHS apprenticeship programmes online. Alisha says she signed on the Board's website for email alerts. When Alisha received the vacancy alert for the role, she decided to apply.

My name is Alisha. I am a pre-registration pharmacy technician and I started in the month of September 2021.

I'd always been interested to work within the NHS and I found out they had apprenticeships on the careers website. I signed up for the email alerts and saw the pharmacy technician one come through and I applied for that.

When I saw the opportunity, I thought I put myself forward for it because I'd always been interested in sciences in school. The things I've done in school is what I needed to do for it, so I thought why not?

So, in the morning we'll wipe down the pharmacy, make sure it's clean, then we would pull off prescriptions from the system that's been prescribed to patients where we would label the items on the prescription to then dispense the medications that are prescribed for the patient.

The most important skills to carry out my job well, I would say, are communication, as you need to communicate with other members of staff, healthcare professionals, and most importantly patients. Teamwork is another important skill, as you need to work with other members of the team to ensure you're carrying out the highest and best quality care possible, and problem-solving, as you need to make sure you find ways to work around the problem.

So, one thing I wish I did know before I started my apprenticeship is how much help and support you get from the team in regards to it. I thought it would be a bit more independent and I would have to balance everything out myself, but you actually get a lot of help and advice to help you get through it.

The thing I like most about my job is helping people, as this is something that i really wanted to do and this reason why I took up this job. The amount of things you learn each day, so you're always learning something new. You've never learned everything within pharmacy. I'm always learning so I don't feel left out. Well, if you think oh you're a student, you're the only one learning, everyone else is learning with you, so that's something I really enjoy about this job.

I would say a Modern Apprenticeship with the NHS is the best way to start off your career, if you're interested in working with the NHS. It gives you a lot of opportunities and insights to what it's really like to work there, whilst learning, and if you have any queries it's always okay to ask, even at the start, email back, ask anything. They'll let you know and give you a bit more advice.


Why did you decide to apply for the apprenticeship?

When I saw the opportunity, I put myself forward for it because I'd always been interested in sciences in school. The subjects I studied in school are the same as what's needed for the role, so I thought why not?

Tell us about a typical day in the pharmacy.

So, in the morning we'll wipe down the pharmacy, make sure it's clean. We also access the system to print out patients' prescriptions. We make up and label the items on the prescription and then dispense the medications.

What are the most important skills for your job?

I would say the most important skills are communication, as you need to communicate with other members of staff, healthcare professionals, and most importantly patients. Teamwork is another important skill, as you need to work with other members of the team to ensure you're carrying out the highest and best quality care possible. You also need good problem-solving skills, as you need to find ways to resolve a problem.

Is there anything you wish you knew about the apprenticeship before you started the programme?

One thing I wish I knew before I started my apprenticeship is how much help and support you get from the team. I thought I would have to work everything out for myself, but you actually get a lot of support and advice to help you get through it.

What do you like most about your job?

The thing I like most about my job is helping people, as this is something that I really wanted to do. It's reason I took up this job. You're always learning something new. You've never learned everything within pharmacy. I'm always learning, so I don't feel left out. If you think that oh you're a student, you're the only one learning, remember that everyone else is learning with you.

What advice would you give to others thinking about apply to do an apprenticehip in the NHS?

I would say an apprenticeship is the best way to start off your career, if you're interested in working with the NHS. It gives you a lot of opportunities and insights to what it's really like to work there, whilst learning.

If you have any queries it's always okay to ask, even at the start. You can email the apprenticeship team to ask anything. They'll get back to you with an answer and give you a bit more advice.