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Reflections on… revalidation part 10

In the latest of our series on revalidation, Asha Fowells turns her attention to the peer discussion requirements

Peer discussion was the element of revalidation I was most anxious about. As a profession, we tend to work in isolation, and this is particularly true for me as I spend my time writing from home for the pharmacy press, when I’m not going into schools to deliver drugs education workshops.

How was I going to find someone who understood my work, let alone could help me talk through an aspect of my practice in order to benefit those on the receiving end of my services? I thought long and hard, and then decided to ask a fellow pharmacist – someone who understands the nuances of working with publications for community pharmacy, someone who has been interested in and encouraging of my relatively recent move into drugs education work: Pharmacy Magazine (PM) editor Richard Thomas.

Delving into discussion

We met in person – we didn’t need to, but it felt easier – and agreed this was going to be a two way process, with us acting as each other’s peers for the purposes of the discussions needing to take place as part of the revalidation process. So there were two parts to this learning exercise, the first in listening to and supporting a colleague, and the second in working through something I felt I needed to tackle:

  1. Being a peer definitely felt less awkward, as I think would be the case for most pharmacy professionals, who tend to be good listeners and thinkers by nature. Richard wanted to talk about the journey on which he has taken PM’s CPD offering over the last year or so, plus where he hopes to go with it next, and talking about it in a ringfenced manner threw some clarity and focus on the matter, making for a very constructive discussion.
  2. Being on the other side of it felt more difficult, but I soon relaxed into it. We talked about my struggles in juggling the workload that comes with two jobs, one of which has been considerably more time consuming than I had anticipated when I took it on. I realised that my attempts to manage it had, thus far, been reactive and so were not sustainable, and this gave me an entry point to working out a more sustainable strategy for the future, which I have already put in place. This is benefitting me in terms of my stress levels, which in turn makes me feel my work has regained the precision it was in danger of losing, and this will undoubtedly be a good thing for the students who receive my drugs education workshops and the readers of my written articles.

The technical bit

The writing up was also remarkably straightforward. The examples on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s website were helpful when I was unsure about how to compose my entry, so I’d highly recommend looking at those for anyone who is feeling at all worried.

So that’s another green tick on my revalidation record. Nearly there for another year.

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