We speak to Krysti-Lee Rigby, voted by readers at number three in our list of Pharmacy’s 10 Rising Stars
AJP spoke to Krysti-Lee to find out more about her career to date, and what this recognition means to her
AJP: What does this recognition as one of Pharmacy’s 10 Rising Stars mean to you?
KR: I am very humbled to be selected by readers and colleagues to be considered a ‘rising star’. However to be honest I don’t see what I do as better or different than any other passionate ECP. I do what any pharmacist does every day.
But with this recognition I can share my passion and positivity with other ECPs, and hopefully they can find their passion and love their jobs as much as I do!
AJP: Can you briefly describe your career to date?
KR: I started working in pharmacy when I was 19 as a pharmacy assistant, while studying Biomedical Science at UNE.
I soon discovered my passion for pharmacy and made the move to Orange to study pharmacy at Charles Sturt University (CSU). I graduated in 2014, completing my internship in a community Pharmacy in Orange the following year.
In July 2016 I moved to Forbes NSW to take up the position of Professional Services Pharmacist at Flannerys Pharmacy, and in July 2017 I took up the position of Pharmacist in Charge at Life Pharmacy in Forbes.
AJP: You’ve also moved into some professional leadership roles?
KR: I am a current PSA NSW Branch Committee member, and the national representative for the PSA NSW ECP Working Group.
I have also been involved in the review of the PSA Professional Practice Standards and the PSA guidelines for Medchecks, DAAs, and Staged Supply. I was also part of the PSA ECP White Paper Advisory Group.
I also sit on the University of New England Pharmacy Program – Course Advisory Committee and the CSU External Advisory Committee.
In order to keep myself ahead of the game I have undergone further training and I think this is extremely important for ECPs to differentiate themselves and to show initiative to future employers. I am vaccine accredited, hold a MHFA certificate and currently completing a Diploma in Leadership and Management.
AJP: What do you think of the current and future options for younger pharmacists?
KR: For ECPs and students coming through the future career pathways are growing and ever changing. When I first started studying pharmacy I thought the only options were hospital or community. But a career in pharmacy is so much more than just those two options.
Attending events such as APP, PSA and others has opened my eyes to the diverse career options available to pharmacists and there may be career options that are yet to be discovered!
In terms of career outlook, there has been a lot of talk recently, with the launch of the ECP White Paper, on remuneration for young pharmacists. Although I agree that the Award wage is too low, I think young pharmacists need to push themselves and differentiate themselves from other graduates by undergoing further training, such as vaccine accreditation, MHFA etc so that they are able to negotiate a better wage by showing initiative to prospective employers.
AJP: You’re now working in a rural area. Would you recommend this to other ECPs?
KR: I really urge young pharmacists to get out of their comfort zone and try working in a rural area. There are many contracts on offer that provide very comfortable packages, but also the experience you gain is invaluable.
Certainly it was hard living away from my partner and family for a year but the experience I gained and the difference you can truly make in smaller communities makes it worthwhile.
AJP: Any other career tips?
KR: Surround yourself with other positive and passionate pharmacists. During my internship I was starting to question as to whether I had made the right decision to continue on the pharmacy path.
Luckily for me I surrounded myself with other pharmacists that were passionate and positive about the pharmacy industry.
I did this by attending events such as APP, PSA and NAPSA. I also reached out to pharmacists in my local area for mentorship and completed the PSA Mentoring program.
Doing this helped to reignite my passion and continue my career in pharmacy.
If you are a student get involved with your University pharmacy student association as the networking and educational opportunities are extremely valuable. Unfortunately I did not see the value of this until I had left university.
AJP: Do you have any final advice for other ECPs?
KR: If I can give some advice to other ECPs it is to accept any opportunities that present themselves to you. If I had not have put myself out there and accepted the opportunities that have presented themselves I would not be in the position I am in today.
Yes I don’t have a lot of experience and I had self-doubt about accepting some of the roles I am in but I am willing to give anything a go and try my best, and if it doesn’t work out that is OK too.
At least I know that I have given it a go….