Aileen Farrell grew up in Drumsurn, a small village outside Dungiven. She studied for her GCSE's and A levels at Loreto College in Coleraine, pharmacy at Queens where she achieved a First Class Honours Degree and became a pharmacist in August 2005. She joined the Sprucefield team in July this year after a new pharmacy was opened at the store in May. She has now been appointed Manager of the Pharmacy.
No two days are the same in Sprucefield and that's what I love about this job.
One day I can be in our new pharmacy helping a patient understand how to take their medication and another I could be planning our Christmas season.
I am involved in dispensing of prescriptions and helping patients with healthcare advice but I am also the manager for the rest of the store and this involves working with my team to ensure our customers get a good experience when they visit us.
I work five days a week which often includes a Saturday and or Sunday The pharmacy here opens 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am to 8pm on a Saturday and from 1pm to 6pm on a Sunday, so my hours regularly change to suit the opening hours.
The biggest buzz of the job is the diversity. With such a range of products there is always something new to learn about and consequently I have a great team who love the products we sell. Recently we have launched Tony Ferguson Weightloss Programme and this has been a huge success.
Most recently we have also renovated our skincare department and now offer a free skincare consultation for any customer provided by a trained consultant.
My primary responsibility is to ensure all customers have a good shopping experience when they visit but my other responsibilities include ensuring my team are happy and motivated to do a good job. I have a duty to ensure they are supported and recognised when they do. I also have a responsibility to ensure the shop is a safe place to shop
I feel the job requires a real passion for patient care. I genuinely care about the experience patients get and this drives me to do the very best I can. You also need to be a good communicator as I need to talk to patients and my team regularly.
It's also important to take time to listen and understand before making a decision. I do learn something every day and its about ensuring I act upon what I learn each day.
It's most important that I can make a difference and to feel I can bring my personal values to my job. Its also important to me to have some fun at work.
Community Pharmacy is a dynamic job and I truly love it so would say go for it to anyone interested. It does require developing the skill of listening to patients and counselling them and this is a very satising feeling to know you have made a difference.
Also as the profession continues to change the vision would be to get more involved in our communities and helping to alleviate some of the pressures on GPs and hospitals.