Trainer and Assessor, Linden Pirrone has been impressed by her student, Justine Northcott’s drive and determination to be the best pharmacy assistant she can be. Justine has recently taken on the role of Pharmacy Manager at Jadin Pharmacy Warner.
We spoke to Justine recently about her pharmacy career and her how Guild Training has given her the confidence to take on her new role.
How did you get into pharmacy?
In 2007 when I was 19, I was working as a waitress and wasn’t enjoying my job. I decided it was time for a change and applied at Jadin Centre Pharmacy in Morayfield. There were no current positions available but I thought I’d apply anyway and maybe they might like my resume. Six weeks after I submitted my application I received a phone call for an interview for a trainee position. I was so nervous yet excited at the same time. Thankfully I got the job! It’s almost nine years later and I am still with Jadin and still learn something almost every day!
What’s your favourite area in the pharmacy and why?
Since starting in pharmacy I have been in various roles. I started as a pharmacy assistant and after only six months I was offered a POS operator role. Since then, I have been a dispensary assistant and supervisor and just recently took on the role of Pharmacy Manager. There are so many aspects in pharmacy that I enjoy, it’s really hard to pinpoint just one thing I enjoy most. I would have to say my top three areas of pharmacy that I enjoy are:
• Helping my customers. There is nothing more satisfying than helping others and knowing that you have had a great impact on their life and wellbeing.
• I really enjoy merchandising. I am a bit of a clean freak at work so I like everything to be neat and tidy and make sense.
• I love the staff I work with. Everyone brings something different to the team and it’s nice when everyone you work with on a day-to-day basis has the same common interests.
What’s a story you love to tell about an experience you’ve had as a pharmacy assistant?
Over the years I have had the pleasure of helping some interesting characters and there is always going to be good, bad and funny experiences working in pharmacy. I love telling others about times where customers have thanked me for being patient and genuinely wanting to help them. Although it is my job to help them, it’s nice to have customers recognise your passion and the effort that we, as pharmacy assistants, put in. I have quite a few funny experiences, though as I’m sure you’re aware, not all would be suitable for printing.
I did once have a customer with a tattoo of a lightning bold on his forehead. He must have been Harry Potter’s number one fan!
You’ve been training with Guild Training, how have you found that experience?
Through Guild training I have learnt so much! The courses they offer are very thorough and make learning a breeze. During each course I’ve done, my guild trainer has always been helpful and ensured I understood every component. I would recommend anyone that is thinking of furthering their pharmacy knowledge to consider Guild Training.
You’ve come a long way in your pharmacy career, how did you find taking on the role of retail manager?
When I was offered the manager position, I was initially really nervous. It meant a change of store, a change of staff and a change of customers. My manager at the time, Lezette, was so encouraging and had so much faith in me. This really boosted my confidence. She is really big on self-improvement and learning, which meant that by my first day of managing my own store, I was prepared for almost everything. She ensured I had all the knowledge I would need and reminded me that she was only a phone call away. My General Manager and HR managers are also very supportive which is a huge help.
Without Guild training I don’t think that I would have had such an easy transition into pharmacy. The amount of knowledge I have gained, not just product knowledge but also people skills and business awareness, would not have come as easy without Guild Training.
What inspires you?
For me personally, inspiration comes from many places. Working as part of a team and reaching goals within the pharmacy as a team is inspiring and motivating. Reaching targets that have been set for me personally and operationally is really rewarding and of course recognition of this is very uplifting. Helping others is a passion of mine, so seeing my staff succeed in their development, and seeing my customers health improve and queries get solved ensures me that my place in pharmacy is worthwhile.