COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   Member VoiceLatest News   »   Hospital pharmacy, more than just dispensing medications

Hospital pharmacy, more than just dispensing medications

In our recent Member Voice specialist hospital pharmacist and PDA Regional Committee member, Amandip Kaur Souni discusses the pleasures and pressures of working in hospital pharmacy.

Tue 4th October 2022 The PDA

My journey to hospital pharmacy

Whilst I was at university, we used to visit the local hospital for work experience as part of our pharmacy practice module. During my visits here, I became familiar with the diverse role of a hospital pharmacist. It was fascinating to see how much involvement hospital pharmacists had in patients’ care. I realised it was more than just dispensing medications, hospital pharmacy revolves around medicines optimisation. I shadowed pharmacists and observed how diverse and challenging their daily work lives were, no two days were ever the same. My journey began as a pre-registration pharmacist at a mental health Trust. Working here truly built my confidence in dealing with complex situations. I began to value the importance of mental health alongside physical health. After passing the pre-registration exam, I began my career as a hospital pharmacist in a general district hospital.

My role as a hospital pharmacist

My day-to-day role varies but generally, I tend to cover my speciality ward which is gastroenterology. I conduct drug histories and reconcile medications for newly admitted patients, I also review drug charts to ensure that the right drug has been prescribed for the right patient. Many patient-specific factors need to be considered, such as kidney function and weight. Another essential part is the provision of non-ward stock medications and applying for funding and filling out non-formulary forms. My speciality role also involves the screening of high-cost biologic drugs and provision of parental nutrition. I am also involved in the education and training of junior pharmacists, trainee pharmacists, junior doctors, and nurses.

The element I enjoy the most about my role is the multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to patient care. I work with specialists to devise the most appropriate treatment plan for patients. Every patient is different, and it is this individualistic approach and the interaction between various healthcare professions that make the role exciting. It feels very rewarding when I can witness the positive impact on patients’ lives. The main challenge whilst working as a hospital pharmacist is the time constraints. At any given time, there could be 4-5 tasks awaiting completion and managing this can be difficult. However, with experience, I have learned to prioritise and assess the urgency of each task.

Working during the Covid-19 pandemic

Working during the Covid-19 pandemic has been an unforgettable period. It was far from anything dealt with in the past by current hospital pharmacists. The rise in the number of Covid-19 cases not only led to increased workload but also an increase in staff sickness. It became physically and mentally draining for all healthcare professionals. However, team morale is what got me through it. The determination to treat our severely unwell patients and pull through this pandemic was felt in every staff member. The importance of clinical trials was fully recognised during this phase and most pharmacists became involved.

Electronic prescribing

Lately, my Trust has implemented the electronic prescribing system which is in line with the NHS plan to become completely digital by 2024. Within a short period, I have already noticed great benefits, such as a reduction in prescribing and administration errors, no requirement for drug chart rewrites, a better acknowledgement of drug history medications and fewer drug omissions. However, there have been technical IT issues which will hopefully subside as time goes on.

Being a PDA member

I continuously strive to provide safe and efficient services to patients; however, this comes with great responsibilities. Regardless of the workplace setting, we all face challenges and may feel overwhelmed with the duties. In the hospital sector, pharmacists are constantly under pressure to meet deadlines for discharges and medication orders. I have always encouraged my colleagues to vocalise their concerns and raise awareness, but there may be situations where professional advice is required. The PDA is great for providing support and advice because they care about pharmacy professionals from all sectors. I encourage all pharmacists, trainees and pharmacy students to join the PDA and feel empowered within their professional practice.


By Amandip Kaur Souni, specialist hospital pharmacist and PDA Regional Committee member

Learn more

Not yet a PDA Member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.





The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)