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Striking a Good Balance: An Alumna’s Experience in Managing Professional Work and Study

28 May 2021

Hemawathi Ramaya began her journey in pharmacy in 2012 As she finished her undergraduate degree, Hema knew she wanted to be a clinical pharmacist. Engaging in clinical pharmacy practice is not an easy task for a pharmacy graduate who has just completed their registration training, but Hema was determined and passionate about clinical pharmacy.

As a means of advancing her clinical practice, she decided to undertake Masters study with a focus on clinical pharmacy. Hema was attracted by the flexibility of the Master in Pharmacy Practice (MPP) offered by IMU, and the range of modules in the clinical pharmacy stream. Weekend classes, clinical case learning in the workplace, and Hema’s active, engaged approach made for effective, flexible postgraduate study and development.

Clinical pharmacy is my passion and I have a particular interest in managing chronic disease in patients. The clinical pharmacy specialty gives me the confidence to ensure my approach to patient care is appropriate. For anyone beginning a career as a clinical pharmacist, or thinking about changing their role to clinical pharmacy, the Master in Pharmacy Practice programme should be the next step in building a clinical portfolio.

The University has given me the resources to help me progress academically and professionally. Modules such as “Clinical Pharmacy Practice” and “Clinical Pharmacy Practice and Services” made it possible to analyze a range of case studies and assess evidence-based practice. The Pharmacoeconomics module helped me to understand the outcome-based research and supported my career development. The modules of the program were complementary to my clinical practice. Most importantly, I gained confidence in clinical decision-making and improved my ability to deliver better care to patients.

If someone is seeking a role as an advanced practitioner, I believe that good time management is critical to achieving our goal. When it comes to work, I always give priority to what I do. This has helped me become more productive and efficient. Normally, I take one step at a time and manage my time efficiently. In the meantime, I’m also making sure I take breaks.

Overall, the schedule, teaching sessions and assessment tasks offered the flexibility to achieve work-life balance. Having a positive work-life balance enables me to have a greater sense of control and ownership over my professional and personal life, which keeps me motivated to grow continually. My experience with the MPP programme, including research, has helped me grow as a person and become a better pharmacist. This is a career path that I wanted to pursue, and I am excited to have completed my Master’s degree on time and to become a better pharmacist. The IMU Master in Pharmacy Practice programme is a great opportunity for working pharmacists to undertake formal continuing professional development, expand and develop their skill sets in clinical pharmacy practice and in research. The structure of the Master in Pharmacy Practice program was designed by experts and is aligned with the standards of Malaysian Qualifications Agency. Learning outcomes are directly linked to pharmacy practice frameworks and students are immediately able to put their learning into practice.

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