Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Quality Management & Organisation

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

The sixth set of attributes that any new pharmacist ought to be aware of is Quality Management & Organisation. Although a smaller domain within the total nine, you will find that questions relating to these attributes feature often within situational judgement tests – meaning that an awareness of the attributes and having given consideration to how to apply them to scenarios is a must.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: An Overview of Questions

Organisational or quality-based questions will fall into two categories – questions in which your own skills are lacking, or questions focused on others. In the former category, we might have a question where you’re struggling to use a new IT system to accurately categorise patient records, for example, or a question in which you’re failing to manage your time well enough to attend teaching, handle your core responsibilities, and still take some breaks. In the second category, we’d instead be dealing with others who face these issues – which requires not only an understanding of the attributes here, but demonstration of good teamwork and communication skills as well. 

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Example Questions & Process

Let’s take as a typical question the following:

You’re a pre-reg pharmacist who has just started a new role on a busy general medicine ward. The hospital uses an IT system that you’re unaccustomed to, and the volume of patients is much higher than that which you were used to in your previous role. You feel that you’re struggling to keep up, and that you might be making mistakes therefore.

Here, we should look for top options to include an understanding that we need to improve our IT skills – as this is clearly indicated within the question. Next, we should look for options where we address the issues with our organisation – this is likely to include speaking to a pre-reg tutor, for example, for assistance on how to approach the problem. Options that include speaking to less-specific individuals (e.g. friends) are likely to be distractors, while options that involve doing nothing or asking others to cover for our work ought to be ranked very low. Remember that patient safety is the main issue here, as your lack of organisation could have knock-on effects, as hinted at in the question.

Another typical question could feature a fellow pre-reg who’s been failing to organise their patient notes properly. Once again, patient safety is key – poorly organised notes might lead to important information being missed. As such, you need to directly address the issue in a polite and empathetic manner with the team member in question. Then you need to see how you can help them improve their organisational skills – strong options will include encouraging them to speak to their pre-reg tutor or take an additional module on organisation, for example, whilst weak options would involve you sacrificing your own time to correct their notes.

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Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Specific Attributes Explored

6.1 Is accurate in their work and undertakes quality assurance processes, demonstrating excellent attention to detail (NHS Values 3)

This ought to be obvious and doesn’t add a huge amount of value for the SJT.

6.2 Keeps accurate and comprehensive records (e.g. notes, labelling) for the purposes of ensuring safe and effective care

This is vital for the SJT. The records that you keep will principally be the notes that you write. You should ensure that you select options that give due respect to the importance of neat, organised note-taking.

6.3 Good self-management; organises own time effectively to meet the required standards

As with the previous attribute, this is important for the SJT. The key is ‘self-management’ – you, and your colleagues, should be able to manage yourselves independently. That means if someone is struggling they need to be coached into better time management, not prompted and spoonfed with key times, for example.

6.4 Able to prioritise; understands the importance of tasks and deadlines

Prioritisation falls into decision making as well – remember to put patients first, relationships with colleagues next, and to remember your own mental and physical being as a third. 

6.5 Takes a methodical, ordered and structured approach to their work to ensure the delivery of high quality care

The key here is that the approach leads to high quality care – so options that emphasise patient safety and outcomes should typically be selected first.

6.6 Uses information technology appropriately to effectively manage and organise work

This will often be a simple step that can be taken to correct organisational failures, so ought to be selected as one of the three if a ‘three of eight’ style question, and should feature towards the top typically in a ranking question.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Quality Management & Organisation

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