Now working as the hospital’s clinical education pharmacist, Dr Perks thinks people would be surprised by the size and scope of the career opportunities offered to pharmacy graduates in the hospital.
“We've got nearly a hundred people working in the pharmacy department, and the roles range hugely. We have pharmacists who provide clinical services on the ward, we have pharmacists working purely in manufacturing who make the oncology and chemotherapy medications for patients on the oncology ward. We have pharmacists who work on the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) ward, helping with high dose complicated infusions,” Dr Perks said.
“We also have pharmacists who are working in research, where their entire job is based around putting together research packages that will improve services for patients in our district.”
Dr Perks relishes the fact that no two days working as a pharmacist in the hospital are ever the same.
“That's what's great about my job. Some days I can be working on a ward so I'll have 20 or 30 patients to look after. I’ll see the patients who are potentially being discharged, I’ll meet the new admissions, and see their acute and chronic conditions, marrying up the medications with the problems to make sure they're optimising their medications. I’ll liaise with the doctors and nurses to make sure that the quality of our care is the best that we can deliver," he said.
“Other days, I'll do education with the nurses and doctors. We work together planning for the future at the hospital and making sure our staff is top-level so that we can provide quality health care. Other days I'll be performing research, or working directly with patients on their care.”
It’s also clear that for Dr Perks the best part of his job revolves around patients and their care.
“We have a close relationship with them from the time they first come in the door of the hospital. We have a big conversation with them, discussing their medications, we're talking about how to optimise those medications and we're working very closely with the doctors and the nurses. Most of my day is spent talking directly with the patient or talking with doctors and nurses to make sure that we get the best patient outcomes. Very little of my day is spent dispensing medications."
- Dr Stevie Perks