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Confessions and tips of a Pre reg trainee juggling revision and work.
So how, do I hear you cry, am I going to cope with revision for the biggest exam of our careers with work when I haven’t even started my checking logs!
Thankfully our hospital comes equipped with a mini Pre-reg library in the MI office, with a few useful books like RTS books, calculations and pre-reg guidance books. Quite often hospitals are given funding for resources to enhance training for staff so it would definitely be worth a question or two about what you can get for your hospital for Pre- reg support like this!
This is a Pre- regs best undiscovered secret:
It’s a gold mine of learning for trainees and Pharmacists and its all free! Yes that’s right, all you do is register using some number that you can find on your payslip and GPhC number and then you get tokens to spend on work books and clinical packages like the one I recently splashed out on; ‘Antibiotics and their role in managing infections’.
It’s like being at the Fayre but they’re giving away the tokens for the rides at no charge!
2. Mocks exam papers
Obviously this pre reg exam should just be building on long term knowledge that you should have acquired over your pharmacy career to date but there’s nothing wrong with doing a bit of questions spotting over past exam papers and seeing the common subjects that are always ask about the repeated questions that they sneak in every other year or so.
The GPhC are pretty generous at kindly putting up sample papers on their website for pre- regs to pore over.
3. Syllabus- Changes
Now don’t be caught out with this one especially this year when we’re the guinea pig year that the GPhC will be writing the exam questions this year. Yes there is a syllabus in your pre- reg manual but theres also a document online where some of this information in the syllabus has been adjusted which will change the questions slightly e.g. no longer having the drug tariff and MEP. But yes don’t breathe out yet, we’re likely to still get a question about poisons!
I’m surprised not more of the Pre-reg trainees have taken up fine art with the state of how some have prepped their BNF’s for the exam. Yes some people say maybe highlight a few sections and make sure the main chapters are flagged to allow easy access in the exam but some trainees have taken tagged to whole new level so that you can’t even see what the pages say anymore! I mean I know it’s the 2012 Olympics and all but with the colours and flags that some have slathered all over the drug bible anyone would think the Olympic opening ceremony has come early.
It is recommended that all trainees obtain 80% on three occasions in calculations papers before considering entering the exam. This can be harder for some and unfortunately there are no shortcuts and the best way to improve is only practise so I would definitely advise to do those dreaded dilutions and moles questions till you’re as sick as the patients you’re calculating the medicines for!
Lastly I would say it’s likely that trainees know a lot more than they actually think for this exam as our brains seem to work pretty well learning on the job and next thing you know, advising on avoiding alcohol with metronidazole will come as naturally as brewing a cup of tea (...or coffee)!
... on that note, I’m going to make a tea. Happy revising.