Elsy Campos, an experienced pharmacist details her career journey and why she is still passionate about her career choice.
Qualifying as a pharmacist in the UK is one of the many personal achievements I am most proud of. Having studied pharmacy in Cuba, I had to start scratch when I immigrated to the UK. I initially worked as a volunteer in three different hospitals in London. I then had to practice as a pharmacy technician to raise the university fees to undertake a one year conversion course at the University of Sunderland. I was simultaneously attending evening English language lessons.
I then commenced my training to become a pharmacist or pre-registration training. After qualifying as pharmacist, I began working full time. I also achieved a Certificate and Diploma for pharmacy practice at the School of Pharmacy and subsequently completed a MSc in pharmacy practice at the University of Brighton.
I enjoyed many years practicing as a hospital pharmacist before taking on managerial and leadership responsibilities. For years I successfully led multi-disciplinary teams of pharmacists and technicians. During this time I experienced many challenges as black female pharmacist from a different country. During 2014 I enrolled into a leadership programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) NHS leaders. It was here I discovered that others were facing similar challenges. Since them I have put lots of effort in highlighting inequalities within the profession and in the NHS.
In summary, I can confidently say that I love my profession. Pharmacists have an important role to play in the well-being and positive outcome of patients in hospitals and in the community. Nowadays, pharmacists have undertaken many new and challenging roles that were only a dream when I first qualified. Many pharmacists are now Independent Prescribers; the role has evolved from giving advice on the management of common minor ailments to running clinics and working alongside nurses and doctors providing expert advice on the use of new medications and treatments.