Interview: Kimberley Hunt, South Australia PATY State winner

How did you get started in pharmacy?
I started my career in pharmacy when I was just 15! I applied for a junior position at Priceline Pharmacy Galwer Place and I never looked back!

Can you give me a brief overview of your career in pharmacy?
I started working in the pharmacy as an after school casual, working on the shop floor, and then progressed through to working on the registers and cosmetics. Following the completion of my Certificate III in Community Pharmacy, I started working as a full time assistant manager and now I’m a full time manager in store.

I’m currently managing two stores, Priceline Pharmacy Gawler Place and a store in Alice Springs. It’s been an amazing experience to work in a fly in fly out capacity!

How did you come to work in two stores, states apart?
I initially ventured to Alice Springs to help during stock take. Following my first trip, I was asked if I would be interested in staying for a week at a time, to help manage and run the store. It was really something that I couldn’t turn down! So far it’s been such a great experience, to share my knowledge and experience to help another Priceline Pharmacy.

What qualifications do you have?
I completed my Certificate III in Community Pharmacy with the Guild. I’m also doing some management and leadership training through Priceline – which has been very helpful.
I would also like to do a diploma in management, as I think it would benefit me immensely in my current role.

How do you think training has benefited you in your career?
Training is so beneficial, it really teaches you about customer service and gives you that important product knowledge. As well as management training and teaching you how to run a store, from day to day.
I’ve also found that training helps with managing unhappy customers. Really, the more training you do, the easier things become.

Tell us about your PATY experience so far?
It’s been really fun, and it’s been different. I didn’t really know what to expect when I was nominated, and I never thought I would win, but it’s certainly been fun so far and a massive learning experience!

What was the workshop day like?
The workshop was great! I met lots of amazing people from all different backgrounds, but all sharing one common love and passion for Community Pharmacy. I didn’t really know what to expect, and of course, I was nervous, but it was a really enjoyable and fun experience.

The nerves are all part of the excitement! You walk away, feeling confident and inspired!

What were you most apprehensive about?
I am a little bit apprehensive about the presentation at PA Conference. I think it’s more about wanting to know what the topic will be so I can start thinking about it and create a plan of attack! I like to be prepared.

What were you most excited for?
I’m really excited to be involved in another workshop day! It’s such a great opportunity to share and increase my knowledge, but also to meet other pharmacy assistants!

I don’t often get an opportunity to network, so I’m also really excited for all the networking opportunities.

Would you encourage others to participate in PATY in the future? Why?
I think it’s really important to get involved in PATY because it’s an opportunity to grow and learn more about the industry. It’s a great experience to build on your personal and professional confidence and really push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun!

What have you gained for PATY so far?
The PATY experience has taught me that we need to praise ourselves a little more often than we do! It was an opportunity to look back on my career, and my experience and say “Ok, wow, I’ve accomplished all of this!” It’s important to recognise the important role we play in our pharmacies and our local communities.

What do you hope to achieve?
The main thing I’m looking to achieve is to gain more confidence in my personal and professional life. I would also like to really use this opportunity to network with people from different states, industry leaders, spokespeople and other passionate pharmacy assistants.

What do you love about pharmacy?
I love the people that I work with every day! My staff and our customers make me feel very happy and lucky to do what I do! We deal with a lot of different people in this industry, and I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to make a small impact on our customers each day.

We really focus on building trust with our customers, so they can trust our advice and recommendations. It’s a really nice feeling to help someone to feel happier and healthier.

Are you excited to attend PA2017 Conference?
I’m so grateful to be able to attend PA Conference this year, especially with codeine up scheduling. Codeine upscheduling will have a big impact on us, and it’s great to have the opportunity to learn about it, from industry leaders!

The workshop really covered topics around pain management and the upscheduling – which was invaluable knowledge! It was a fact-based presentation and it really filled me with the confidence I need to start having important conversations with our customers.

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