Dr. Catriona Bradley, Executive Director of the Irish Institute of Pharmacy
Class of 1998
As I write this, it’s fresher’s week in Trinity. This morning I walked through Front Square, enjoying the madness and fun of societies trying to attract new students. Twenty years ago I was one of those fresher students, excited about coming to Trinity. There was no way I could have imagined all that lay ahead as I started my pharmacy degree.
After four years of hard work and fun, I graduated in 1998 and did my first six months of pre-registration experience in community pharmacy. I returned to Trinity to complete the second six months of my pre-registration experience in the Pharmaceutics Department in the School of Pharmacy, and stayed there for a further year before joining Boots as a community pharmacist. I worked in a number of different roles in Boots, including store management and area management, before returning to Trinity in 2004 as the Boots Teacher Practitioner. In this role my time was split between the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, where I was involved in undergraduate teaching, and the Boots professional training team, where I worked across Ireland, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. During this time I completed my PhD with Dr. Martin Henman, which explored health promotion in the community pharmacy setting. Once I had finished this I moved into a role in Pharmacy Research and Service Development within Boots and maintained my connection with the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences as an adjunct lecturer. This was an exciting time, as I worked as part of the team which introduced new services such as Seasonal Influenza Vaccination and the Emergency Hormonal Contraception into community pharmacies. In 2010 I took up a role as Head of Capability for Boots in Ireland where I was responsible for the training and development of approximately 3,000 staff-members across Ireland and Northern Ireland. I undertook a diploma in coaching during this time, and qualified as a personal and executive coach. In 2013 I was appointed Pharmacy Director and Superintendent for Boots, which brought me back to a pharmacy focussed role.
Earlier this year I was honoured to be appointed Executive Director of the newly established Irish Institute of Pharmacy. The Institute will play an important role in supporting both the continuing professional development (CPD) of pharmacists and the development of the profession as a whole. By virtue of our undergraduate training, pharmacists have skills and expertise across a wide range of areas. Once qualified it is important that we engage in CPD throughout our career, not only to ensure that our knowledge is up-to-date, but also to support our own professional and personal development. CPD can be achieved in so many ways. I have learnt a lot from the additional qualifications that I have undertaken, but I have also learnt as much, if not more, from the colleagues with whom I have had the privilege of working. Whilst the Institute can promote and support the development of the profession, it is pharmacists themselves who will shape how pharmacy evolves in Ireland. It is important that we are proactive in creating the changes that we want.
When I was in Trinity as a student, I couldn’t have dreamed where my pharmacy degree would take me. I gained skills that provided the foundation for an enjoyable and varied career and, more importantly, I met people who supported me along the way.
All registered pharmacists can access further information about the IIOP through www.iiop.ie
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