Are those studying pharmacy automatically dispensers/MCA qualified?

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Zaki_
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heyy guys i dont know if this is a stupid question but do pharmacy students need to take a medicines counter assistant (MCA) course or are we automatically qualified for this after first year? and at what point during studying this degree are we “qualified” dispensors, since we dont get a certificate to prove this(?) i felt unsure about applying for jobs that want people who went through MCA training and such because i dont know how qualified i am
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claireestelle
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(Original post by Zaki_)
heyy guys i dont know if this is a stupid question but do pharmacy students need to take a medicines counter assistant (MCA) course or are we automatically qualified for this after first year? and at what point during studying this degree are we “qualified” dispensors, since we dont get a certificate to prove this(?) i felt unsure about applying for jobs that want people who went through MCA training and such because i dont know how qualified i am
technically you wouldn't be qualified but doesn't mean they won't take you on for the summer perhaps.
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marinade
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Those on a pharmacy degree are in their own special category and exempted from the legal requirement to have the MCA or be studying towards it.

https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/s...a_sep_2011.pdf

Even a first year student is allowed to do stuff. A lot of students have been made to do the training dispensers training anyway. I think this is a good idea. It's upto whatever the RP and manager say ultimately. It is their 'professional responsibility' to make sure that any worker knows their **** and train them or retrain them (this bit is always forgotten) if required.
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cyiarik
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Hi Zaki - I am a pharmacy student but also have been a qualified MCA and dispenser for 5 years. What marinade said is true - you are exempted whilst doing your degree, so no job will should technically require you to do these courses. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
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Zaki_
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thank you guys!!
(Original post by cyiarik)
Hi Zaki - I am a pharmacy student but also have been a qualified MCA and dispenser for 5 years. What marinade said is true - you are exempted whilst doing your degree, so no job will should technically require you to do these courses. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
i see thank you!! i asked was because i was interviewed for a job starting soon but thought i wasnt qualified enough and would have to undergo an MCA course and need proof of it, and may have confused my interviewer/RP now realizing that im exempt, when she mentioned me being passed first year and wouldnt have to go through MCA training i was like “huh?” in my head because i didnt have a certificate or anything and told her this because i didnt wanna appear as if i was lying or something but turns out i had a dumb moment and my profs never mentioned to me about it, (though i will revisit my notes for minor ailments and such anyway!)

do you have any tips or advice on what i should focus on as a student starting an assistant job who hasnt undergone MCA/NVQ training? thank you once again!
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marinade
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Know the RP stuff.
As it is summer mug up on antihistamines.
Pay particular attention to sops on sales of medicines. SOPs for dispensing.

If you work in a lloyds there is a book listing the OTC products which is quite useful to peruse through.
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cyiarik
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(Original post by Zaki_)
thank you guys!!


i see thank you!! the reason why i asked was because i was accepted for a job starting soon but thought i wasnt qualified enough and would have to undergo an MCA course and need proof of it, and may have confused my interviewer/RP now realizing that im exempt, when she mentioned me being passed first year and wouldnt have to go through MCA training i was like “huh?” in my head because i didnt have a certificate or anything and told her this because i didnt wanna appear as if i was lying or something but turns out i had a dumb moment and my profs never mentioned to me about it, (though i will revisit my notes for minor ailments and such anyway!)

do you have any tips or advice on what i should focus on as a student starting an assistant job who hasnt undergone MCA/NVQ training? thank you once again!
Zaki, are you going to be dispensing, just working the counter or both? They are quite different roles and your degree is literally irrelevant in that it does not give you the necessary experience to be confident/to exercise your knowledge, it just comes with time. My top tip is to ask ask ask the other people that are already working there (MCAs, dispensers, techs) how they do things and why they do it that way etc. The same with any job, that is how you learn.

Don't sweat the clinical stuff, as what you need to know as an MCA/dispenser is minimal in comparison to a qualified pharmacist - 99% of stuff you have to refer to the RP anyway, even if you do know the answer, for legal/SOP reasons. This is what i mean about the degree being irrelevant. If you know the answer to stuff then good, but don't try to be the pharmacist, just treat the job as 'getting a feel' for life in a community pharmacy.

Try to actually be in the mindset of an MCA/dispenser, as when you become a pharmacist this experience will help you understand the roles of these team members better. I've worked for 4 different pharmacy chains and the SOPs are pretty standardised but every single chain (every shop even) will do things slightly differently.


Edit: I will add that, even if you haven't done the NVQs, don't feel afraid or like you don't know anything.

Edit 2: also, some pharmacists are shite and some are great. Learn to distinguish between them.
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Zaki_
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(Original post by cyiarik)
Don't sweat the clinical stuff, as what you need to know as an MCA/dispenser is minimal in comparison to a qualified pharmacist - 99% of stuff you have to refer to the RP anyway, even if you do know the answer, for legal/SOP reasons. This is what i mean about the degree being irrelevant. If you know the answer to stuff then good, but don't try to be the pharmacist, just treat the job as 'getting a feel' for life in a community pharmacy.

Try to actually be in the mindset of an MCA/dispenser, as when you become a pharmacist this experience will help you understand the roles of these team members better. I've worked for 4 different pharmacy chains and the SOPs are pretty standardised but every single chain (every shop even) will do things slightly differently.


Edit: I will add that, even if you haven't done the NVQs, don't feel afraid or like you don't know anything.

Edit 2: also, some pharmacists are shite and some are great. Learn to distinguish between them.
thank you so much!! 🥺 ill be doing both, and yeah i hear stories from classmates about their RP’s not being so good😓

(Original post by marinade)
Know the RP stuff.
As it is summer mug up on antihistamines.
Pay particular attention to sops on sales of medicines. SOPs for dispensing.

If you work in a lloyds there is a book listing the OTC products which is quite useful to peruse through.
thank you!!💕
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