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Seven years of stellar service

After a decision to change careers, Ana Pazeiro has found her role in pharmacy most fulfilling.

With a desire to find a more consistent role than her job as a waitress, the pharmacy stars aligned, bringing Ana Pazeiro to Pharmacy Exprezz in Great Yarmouth. “I applied for 15 different jobs and apprenticeships, and this pharmacy gave me a call, and I’m still here after seven years,” she exclaims. The role continues to surprise her and now, years later, she has seen much change in the sector but has upskilled herself substantially for the benefit of her team and community.

Slick services

Having started out in the dispensary, Ana has added many more feathers to her cap during her time at Pharmacy Exprezz. Since joining, she has finished her technician course and, on top of her daily responsibilities in the dispensary, also provides many of the pharmacy’s services. These include flu and Covid vaccinations, B12 injections and ear wax removal. Ana also advises customers on travel vaccinations and oversees the pharmacy’s smoking cessation service and C-Card scheme. Their flu and Covid vaccination services have been notably busy, with Ana adding that they have helped almost 6,000 people in their community over the last three months. The impact this has on the community is sizeable, especially as the team are the only pharmacy to offer such services in the area. “All the other pharmacies, they only do prescriptions, they don’t do any services. Our community relies on us a lot to provide these services for them,” she explains.

“We also do private blood tests in the pharmacy,” she adds. “I’m trying to become a phlebotomist!” The blood-testing service is certainly a great addition to the pharmacy. It allows the team to become involved in their customers overall health and provide the necessary over-the-counter supplements they may need, such as vitamin D, calcium or vitamin B12 based on their lab results. It comes full circle!

“Ana has upskilled herself substantially for the benefit of her team and community”

Smoking success

One of the main areas Ana has been involved in throughout her time at Pharmacy Exprezz is the smoking cessation service. Having provided the service for years now, Ana says she has noticed a common denominator amongst those who succeed in quitting. Along with the smoking cessation advice and practices “there has to be willpower” Ana says, to successfully stop smoking. She has seen many people use the service, but it is only those who believe in their decision to quit who are able to kick the habit for good. An interesting change in this service, Ana notes, is the introduction of vaping as opposed to the usual nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) recommendations in their smoking cessation service. “There are different levels of nicotine [in the vapes], so we put them on the stronger ones [to start] and then reduce the nicotine level over eight weeks.” While it is a short course, Ana and her team have already seen one patient successfully quit using this method.

Better together

The growth of the services provided by the pharmacy has largely been due to the trust placed in Ana by her boss, also the on-site pharmacist, and their great team dynamic. “When I started working here, we only used to do prescriptions. I think when she realised I was going to stay [at the pharmacy] and she could trust me, we started investing more in services.”

Ana credits her happy work environment to the close relationship she shares with her boss. As there are only two of them – apart from their delivery drivers – it is a very tight knit team. “We are not like an employer and employee; we are more like friends. We are always together, eight hours a day!” Their friendship, Ana says, is a huge motivator in why she has learnt how to provide the multiple services now available in the pharmacy, and why she still has many more ambitions to expand her capabilities. “I want to help her and help grow the business as well,” she says.

Alongside her happy work environment, the impact Pharmacy Exprezz has on their community provides Ana with daily motivation. This too is something that she enjoys the most about her role. “I think it’s the feedback from people. Hearing people say, you know, you’ve saved my life or you have done so much for me. Stuff like that, it actually makes me happy,” she explains. Indeed, a ‘thank you’ really does put a smile on her face each time she successfully helps a customer.

“Our community relies on us a lot to provide these services for them”

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