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5 Key Pharmacy Situational Judgement Tips & Techniques

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

1. Don’t hesitate to think twice

Rushing into decision making can have serious consequences if there are other options you have not yet thought of let alone explored before making a decision. This is especially the case in pharmacy practice where there are many other factors that could be required to consider first. It is always important in these situations to think about the consequences should you decide to not act upon undertaking a method or decision alone and what the repercussions maybe if any. Never rush any decision making even when you are under pressure to make a decision; if it is an especially important one sometimes it would be a good idea to ask the patient to return or to even take some time out to discuss with colleagues what the best course of action would be. However, there may be times whereby a decision does require urgency but through training and experience you will be aware of when this would be the case. 

2. Picture yourself in the scenario

If you have worked in pharmacy practice during work experience or as a part time job, it would be a good idea to think about how you would react in the situation you are faced in. Sometimes, putting yourself into the actual environment can change and adapt your thinking of how you would respond in certain situations as you might take other factors into account such as professionalism and dignity of others as well as staff members and your team. This often helps you imagine what your first reactions might be too and then how you would formulate a response based upon this. Since you aren’t physically facing the situation you might be answering a question for it is difficult to answer it subjectively however, if you can imagine being in the situation this would help with answering it objectively. At the same time, keep in mind that the scenario model solutions reflect ‘model practice’ of a pre-registration pharmacist, rather than  ‘common practice’ whereby appropriate standards are not always followed.

3. Always relate the question back to the GPhC standards

When considering your responses by either most appropriate or ranking order; keep in mind the GPhC standards and how your answers relate back to these, do they fit the standards correctly and are you adhering to them by choosing these answers. If you have time or you are finding it difficult to choose between a number of options, examine each one to determine how they best fit with the standards and why others don’t, this may help to decipher between two closely matched answers. In relation to this technique, it is important to note the first and foremost standard of making your patient your first concern. All answers that you choose to include in your answer should begin with this focus; if there isn’t one that is aimed at making the patient your first concern in a relevant situation it most likely could be that the answer chosen is incorrect. 

4. Never make an assumption

When it comes to any pharmacy practice related situation, the key aspect to always remember is to never assume anything. Examples being; never assume every patient pays attention to detail especially when it comes to their medication and usage, being thorough and always confirming details with them ensures that they are receiving their own medication, as an error such as an incorrect prescription handout like this is all too common and can happen. Making assumptions on dosing or what might be intended by the prescriber without checking can lead to errors and potentially fatal consequences, even in situations whereby you are unable to contact the prescriber, it is still safest to never assume what they might have wanted. From another point, sometimes you may want to or require documenting this type of evidence if you have had to check over details on a prescription, therefore making assumptions would mean you are incorrectly stating you have checked the details too. 


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5. Be mindful of the professional approach

Whichever situation you are faced in, always approach it in the professional mind set and relate any chosen answers to whether or not the approach is professional. Ensure that when you are faced with a difficult customer or colleague, that your response in these situations relates back to thinking about who is the professional. It is very easy to retaliate in a difficult or challenging situation but this must be avoided at all costs, the aim of dealing with difficult customers especially is to try to diffuse the situation as much as possible, giving them a chance to note their concerns before responding and this must always be done in a fair way. 

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5 Key Pharmacy Situational Judgement Tips & Techniques

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