Pre-reg tutor and trainee interview

Amy, our Graduate Attraction Advisor, spoke to Pre-registration tutor William Pike, and trainee Ben Hilborne.

What was it that first appealed to you about becoming a Pre-reg tutor?  

I first met my Pre-registration trainee Ben at the beginning of his second year at university for a routine undergraduate placement week. Ben enjoyed the week and found it so helpful he continued to work for Well during the holidays including Christmas and the summer. 

Ben had expressed an interest in completing his Pre-registration year in hospital, but we discussed at length the pros and cons of both community and hospital pharmacy and I hoped Ben was able to come to an informed decision to do his Pre-reg with Well in Torbay. My long professional relationship with Ben meant I had no reservations when recommending him for a Pre-registration place with Well. He is a great communicator, fantastic with patients and a credit to the profession. Pharmacy could benefit from having more young pharmacists like Ben. Having the opportunity to help train and develop a Pre-reg like Ben made the role of a tutor more appealing knowing the positive impact I could have on his future in community pharmacy. 

I am a firm believer in giving trainees autonomy in the Pharmacy by exercising their knowledge and expertise, I realise that as tutors we can learn just as much from our trainees as they can learn from us. 

How do you balance your own workload whilst giving the right amount of support to your Pre-registration trainee?  

The key for me was to ensure that Ben was fully trained up using all our systems as soon as possible, given that he has already worked for Well we had a slight head start with this. 

Ensuring that your Pre-registration trainee is up to date with Well’s processes, visions and goals can be a huge advantage to not only their development within store but also their ability to help you as the responsible pharmacist and the rest of the team. 

Make sure you set aside time with your Pre-registration trainee to have an open conversation about their progress and development as well as any concerns. This is a benefit not only to their training year, but it helps build that relationship with the trainee. Sometimes it is helpful to have discussions outside branch in a more informal setting.

Do you feel like you have been adequately prepared prior to undertaking the role of a Pre-registration tutor?  

This is my first time being a tutor and having now completed 13 weeks in this role, experience is really the only factor that I feel can adequately prepare you for the role. However, support within Well is second to none, and the Pre-registration team have a wealth of experience and are just a phone call away, which is useful if you have any questions as a tutor.

The tutor training day was excellent and gives you plenty of confidence to deliver the best possible experience to the trainee. 

You are kept in the loop with all the study day content that your Pre-registration trainee is working on, and have access to their learning records, it’s a really good way to test your trainee’s knowledge and progress. 

Do you have any tips for Pre-registration trainees? 

  • Get involved in absolutely everything with the day to day running of the pharmacy from the fire alarm to cashing up. 
  • As a trainee, prepare the pharmacy and team for the annual audit. If you can nail this as a Pre-reg you'll smash it when you're qualified. 
  • Go out of your way to deal with the challenging customers and feed back to your tutor and the team on how the interaction went.
  • Constantly ask for feedback and never stop asking questions.  
  • Relax: Your Pre-reg year should be great fun and a learning opportunity, not a chore or just another job. If you find yourself getting anxious and stressed, talk to your tutor, you are in the best place in the best company to deliver an excellent registration year and produce a great pharmacist and manager at the end.

William Pike, Pharmacist Manager.