1st year Pharmacy student, Saffah, undertook voluntary work at a local Oxfam bookstore in Lincoln, to enhance her communications abilities. As a result of her voluntary work, she also gained a host of transferable skills which can be directly applied to her future work in pharmacy.
Read on to find out about Saffah’s experience:
Being an active member within the community, not only feels selfless and useful, but also allows some imperative qualities to be gained in order to build one’s professional character. For example, when volunteering, key qualities such as organisation, time-keeping and confident interaction are regularly exercised and enhanced. These attributes are some of the most crucial aspects a pharmacist would require when working within a pharmacy.
Volunteers are often heavily relied on so if they do not complete a project, the chances are the task will remain incomplete and unfinished. This usually means that a group of volunteers have to work together in order to achieve a goal efficiently and ensure that it is at an excellent standard. In a similar way, a team within a pharmacy works together to ensure the smooth running of a pharmacy and to avoid near misses or errors. As well as this, patients can receive their medication quickly and correctly.
Active and effective communication is another skill that is valued in a pharmacist and is another factor that can be developed whilst volunteering. Whilst volunteering at the Lincoln Oxfam Bookstore, I have been able to respond to queries confidently and professionally. Separately, I have also been able to identify categories of books and organise them according to their genre. In a pharmacy, locating a specific medicine amongst many others, could sometimes lead to near misses and could also increase patient waiting time.
Overall, volunteering is not just an activity to engage in one’s spare time, but it is also an invaluable learning-curve that should be explored to enhance and refine many useful qualities.
Volunteering opportunities can be found on the Student Union website – remember to log your hours as you go along!
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