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Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Resilience and Adaptability

Advice & Insight From Pre-Registration Recruitment Exam Specialists

The eighth attribute in the Framework for Professional Pharmacists is Resilience and Adaptability. This domain is shorter than others and ought to be relatively evident, but it will impact many questions – as well as those that are directly focused upon it.

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

These questions will typically see either you or a colleague facing a difficult situation, and then you must assess how to deal with that issue. Examples include a colleague who’s facing a difficult personal situation like a bereavement; a colleague who’s facing difficulties with their physical or mental health; a scenario in which you encounter bullying or difficult circumstances during your work; or a scenario in which something that you had hoped for or worked towards fails to come about. In all of these situations, the key is demonstrating calm resilience in the face of adversity. 

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

Let’s consider an example question which involves you directly first:

You are a pre-reg pharmacist working in a busy teaching hospital. Your role is very demanding, and requires that you teach students, treat patients, and keep on top of your learning. Recently, one of the senior pharmacists has become verbally abusive towards you, accusing you of being lazy and incompetent. As a result, you are feeling increasingly down and struggling to motivate yourself.

Here, you should look for options that show that you are able to manage your emotions, and that you can remain calm despite difficult situations or circumstances. As such, look for an option in which you calmly discuss the senior’s behaviour with them, without letting your feelings intervene. Look for other options that emphasise a willingness to adapt or change to difficult situations – here, it’s clear that you’re struggling with the workload. As such, rather than struggle in silence you ought to speak to your pre-reg tutor, for example, and seek guidance on how you can improve things. Taking a calm and rational approach should see you report the senior pharmacist if they fail to respond to you in a positive and constructive manner when you take them aside and speak to them.

An example which involves someone else might see a colleague considering dropping out from the career due to recent difficulties with their health. Here, your focus should be on exploring the colleague’s issues with them, and helping them to understand how they could adapt to the situation. Poor options that ought to be ranked lowly would see you ignore the colleague’s complaints and fail to display empathy, or fail to help the colleague and expect them to deal with their issues alone.

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Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Specific Attributes Explored

8.1 Responds well to change, and is willing to initiate change where appropriate

This could be the basis for a prompt – for example, your ward brings in a new policy that you find confusing. As such, you need to consider how to react – you should be proactive and seek advice from a senior, and admit that you’re struggling as soon as possible in order to get help.

8.2 Agile; able to quickly adapt to changes in roles, demands or environment

As above, you must show a willingness to change. Options that emphasise this should be ranked highly.

8.3 Demonstrates resilience; able to bounce back from difficult situations, setbacks or challenges

This is vital, as you may well be faced with a range of options that cover this, or that fail to show that same ability to ‘bounce back.’ If a scenario clearly features adversity, then look for options that clearly demonstrate an ability to adapt in the face of it.

8.4 Manages own emotions during interactions with others and does not allow emotions to influence decisions

This is key to the example above in this guide, in which you are being treated with a lack of respect by a senior. Rather than fall to their level and let your emotions guide you, you should instead remain calm and react in a professional manner. Any option which betrays emotion – where you become angry, for example – must be ranked very lowly.

8.5 Remains calm, and is able to work effectively, in high pressured situations

This is core to working in the health service but is unlikely to be tested directly in the SJT as it would be evident.

Pre-Reg Oriel Pharmacy SJT Guide: Resilience and Adaptability

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