I am currently a community pharmacist working mainly in West Belfast, where I’m originally from. I also own my own aesthetic and skincare business with my partner who is a doctor. During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, we returned to the front line.
After winning Miss Ireland in 2012 it was always very important for me to return to Queen’s University Belfast to complete my education in pharmacy. I took one year out from university during the time I was at Miss World. Having one of the best pharmacy schools in the UK on my doorstep was excellent, and I am very proud to have studied at Queen’s.
I have four years pharmacy experience, although it feels much longer. I competed my pre-reg in Woodbourne Pharmacy, which is one of the busiest in West Belfast. I was told if I could work there, I could work anywhere and the experience was invaluable. Since then, I have worked for large multiples and also small local pharmacies across NI.
I am passionate about pharmacy because the local pharmacist is such a vital part of the community and even more so now during the pandemic. I’m so proud to be able to help people when so many other services are unavailable. The role of the community pharmacist goes far beyond the 9-5 and a lot of people are not aware of just how critical we are to facilitating optimum patient care. Pharmacists have always worked very hard for little recognition and I’d like to highlight the vital work they do in NI.
There are vast options available for graduates today and less traditional careers are now accessible for pharmacists more than ever before. Pharmacists have become more integrated in primary and secondary care as our skills are so appliable. In my case for instance, I learned how to run a clinic while working at Boots as I trained to be one of several vaccination specialist pharmacists in NI. From this experience, I gained the confidence to start a private clinic after completing further advanced training.
Find me on Instagram @rebeccamaguiree