February 17, 2024, by Mei Kee Lee

Experience Sharing: Summer Internship at Alpro Pharmacy

By Chong Zi Jia, currently MPharm (Pharmacy) year 2 student at UNM


Where did you do your summer internship? How long was it?

I did my summer internship at Alpro Pharmacy Rasah Jaya, Seremban last year and it was a 2-week long placement.


What did it involve?

During this placement, I was introduced to various services provided in the pharmacy: smoking cessation, diabetes management, and other common essential services. The pharmacy also provides additional services such as the rental and repair service of wheelchairs and walking sticks, as well as a newly launched service called “Pilcube” which helps patients pre-pack all their medicine into different small packages and courier them to their houses. This service is specially provided to those who have adherence problems and other patients who have a long-term medical condition and need to take a lot of medicine (polypharmacy). Furthermore, I had the chance to observe the daily operation of a community pharmacy: stock management and staff education towards recommending simple OTC medicine to patients in order to reduce the pharmacist workload (eg: Alpro academy). Other than that, I have also learned some simple treatment and management for certain diseases from the pharmacists and I was taught how to perform the blood glucose test, blood pressure test, and blood cholesterol test. I am grateful that I was given a few chances to perform the tests on the patients to have a better hands-on experience under the supervision of the pharmacist in charge of the day. I have also observed how they arranged their products or merchandise in the pharmacy, as well as how they promoted their in-house products to the patients and the techniques they used to boost sales. Moreover, I was also given the chance to observe the cooperation between the pharmacist, nutritionists, and dieticians in tailoring a thorough care plan and lifestyle advice to the patients.


What did you find interesting throughout this experience?

I was impressed by the pharmacists and other pharmacy technicians on how well and fast they could always locate the medicine or supplements in the pharmacy immediately. Also, I admired the pharmacists’ outstanding ability as they could always understand the patients’ demands and make the right diagnosis even though it is sometimes very difficult for the patients to describe their symptoms correctly, especially the elderly or those who can only speak one language.


How did the summer internship support your learning and future career development?

This summer placement has given me a clearer picture of how a community pharmacy operate under the cooperation of different healthcare professionals and it has also made me understand the role of a community pharmacist and the different services we could provide to safeguard patients’ overall health. Moreover, it has made me understand the importance of having good communication skills as it could help us to complete our job more efficiently without any misunderstanding among colleagues or patients.


What is one take home message you obtain from this experience?

As a future pharmacist, we should understand what our roles are and should always equipped ourselves with sufficient clinical knowledge in order to face any situations that could happen at any time.


What is your advice to current or prospective students on signing up for summer internships?

I’ll highly advise those who are planning to have their summer internship in a community pharmacy to be more proactive and ask as many questions as you can to all the pharmacists and staff working there to get the most out of the experience.

Posted in Experience SharingInternshipMPharm