Journey to the Red Centre
Liam Nguyen graduated from the UTS Graduate School of Health (GSH) in 2016 with a Master of Pharmacy. He completed his internship at Sydney Eye Hospital in 2017 and once he received his full registration in 2018, took up a Pharmacist role at Alice Springs Hospital.
Alice Springs must be quite different to working in Sydney, what made you choose to relocate to the Red Centre?
I wanted to throw myself in the deep end and soak up as much knowledge as I could early on in my career, so here I am!
What’s your current role and what do you do in your day to day?
I’m a pharmacist on one of our general medical wards and I can definitely say no two days are the same. It’s fast-paced and I speak to many different patients, ranging from those with a chest infection, to those who have just been given the gift of a much-needed organ transplant.
I was also recently accepted as a pharmacist observer onto the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) for South Australia and the Northern Territory, so that’s an exciting piece of news.
Once I found out that the Master of Pharmacy at GSH offered guaranteed specialised placements to each student, I was sold.
What made you choose GSH?
Once I found out that the Master of Pharmacy at GSH offered guaranteed specialised placements to each student, I was sold. Many prospective students think that pharmacy is limited to community pharmacy and do not get the opportunity to experience other branches before they graduate. Knowing I had something different locked in for the second half of my degree was very attractive.
What is your most striking memory from your time at GSH?
The staff were overwhelmingly supportive, especially in the last semester when all the students were seeking full-time employment. They are all current practitioners and/or experts in their field, and they actively want to see their students succeed. They really push and test your limits, and without them, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.
How did you enjoy your clinical placements and what did you gain most from them?
My first year of clinical placements was in a compounding chemist where I learnt how to make unusual suppositories and eye-drops. I was also lucky enough to be placed at Royal North Shore Hospital in my second year then Grafton Base Hospital in my final semester. Working in a rural town was fantastic and shortly after finishing my intern year, I was contacted by my old preceptor in Grafton who referred me to my current job.
What is the most important quality that pharmacists need to thrive today?
Don’t be afraid of change! Even though my career is just starting, pharmacy is such a fluid and evolving profession, and it's really exciting to be a part of such an important period of change.
What are your future career plans?
I have a few ideas. I’d love to become an Air-Force Pharmacist if I can meet the physical and mental requirements, or perhaps an education pharmacist or tutor.
Learn more about the UTS Master of Pharmacy program.