It took me about two years to really get my study style locked down. Organisation was my biggest asset. Finding a balance between my life, work, JCUPSA (JCU Pharmacy Students’ Association) involvement and university assisted me in feeling prepared for assessments. I was lucky to have found a passion for pharmacy that drove me through some hard times, so my biggest tip is to make sure it’s what you want to be doing. Work in pharmacy beforehand, understand it before committing, because it won’t always be easy and the passion for medications or helping people is what will help you push through.
My first rural and remote placement was with the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, where I was lucky enough to travel to both Mount Isa and Karumba. Both experiences were irreplaceable, and I learnt first-hand about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture of these communities, the limitations faced by the population and health care professionals, but also the benefits and lifestyle. I found the difficulties facing people in rural and remote locations couldn’t be totally understood without experiencing them in person. I completed my other rural placements at Atherton, Yeppoon and Bowen, where I found a great sense of community.
After graduating, I jumped straight into working full-time before moving to Brisbane to begin my intern year. I was honoured to be selected as JCU’s nominee for 2020 Graduate of the Year and was invited to attend the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s ATU conference on the Gold Coast. The opportunity to collaborate with influential pharmacists was an experience I would recommend to everyone. The endless opportunities for education and networking that started for me at JCU have really helped strengthen my career. I continue to learn from my colleagues and am excited as my journey has only just begun.
I have done more than 500 vaccinations throughout my intern year, both the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines to adults and children over 12 years. I've felt very lucky to be able to be a part of the solution to getting my community back to normal life and proud to be the first point of call for education for our patients. When I completed my immunisation training at university I didn’t fully understand the full impact of pharmacist immunisers. The nervousness quickly gave way to confidence after my first few vaccines and now I’m the main vaccinating pharmacist in the practice.