Pharmacy manager Ann-Marie Wallace pictured (centre) with Jessica Ruddy (left) and Helen Gilmore outside the new Gordons Chemist, Downpatrick Street.
At Gordons Chemists in Rathfriland, Downpatrick Street, you might have seen a familiar face.
Annaclone woman Ann-Marie Wallace, educated at St Colman’s Primary School and Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry, has recently been appointed as pharmacy manager of the new store.
Ann-Marie studied Pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast before taking up the position of pre-registration pharmacist with Gordons Chemists.
Ann-Marie then built up her experience working in South Down and the surrounding area for a number of years.
“When the role of pharmacy manager for Gordons Chemists in Rathfriland, Downpatrick Street became available, I knew it was a position I would love to fill.
“I grew up in Annaclone and got the bus to school via Rathfriland. Little did I know I would one day manage a shop here!
“I am really enjoying my new role so far. My favourite part of the job is interacting with patients on a day-to-day basis and seeing familiar faces.
“The role of the pharmacist has changed in recent years. Whilst dispensing and supply of medicines remains an essential part of my job, we are now largely involved in direct patient care, through the various services we can offer within a community pharmacy setting.
“In Rathfriland we offer lots of services, to ensure our patients get the most out of their medicine. We give confidential advice in our private consultation room, by conducting a Medicines Use Review, primarily for diabetic and asthmatic patients. This helps ensure our patients understand the importance of and how to use their medicine. We even help asthmatic patients with their inhaler technique.
“We also offer free blood pressure checks in our pharmacy. Many people don’t experience any symptoms with high blood pressure, so a check-up is the only way to detect a problem. This only takes a matter of minutes, and no appointment is required. They just pop in to the pharmacy and ask to speak to me about this.”
Ann-Marie is trained to treat many minor ailments, saving valuable time and trips to the GP for our busy patients.
“Many of these minor ailments can be treated free under the Minor Ailment Scheme,” Ann-Marie advises.
“Patients can be treated within minutes and this has the benefit of saving them a trip to the GP and freeing appointments for more serious conditions.
“If you have a minor health concern, it is always worth speaking to your pharmacist first, no appointment is needed and we can discuss any health concerns confidentially in our private consultation room.”
Gordons Chemists in Rathfriland offers an extremely successful Smoking Cessation Scheme.
The role of pharmacy manager involves overseeing a lot of what happens on the shop floor, as well as in the dispensary.
“I’m very lucky to have the support of an experienced team here in Rathfriland, working alongside our experienced dispensary assistant, Helen, and having a great team including Jessica and Nicole helps me complete my day-to-day duties and as well as enjoying coming into work every day!”
One of the things that Ann-Marie believes sets Gordons Chemists apart from other chemists is their great offers.
“I think our weekly specials offer some fantastic savings on great brands, and the 99p sale is a great opportunity to stock up on every day beauty and household essentials.”
Ann-Marie concludes by commenting: “Gordons in Rathfriland is a great place to work. The highlight for me is being part of a team that goes the extra mile to ensure people receive the best in healthcare advice and products.”
To contact Gordons Chemists in Rathfriland, Downpatrick Street, telephone: 028 4063 0277.
Opening hours 9am–6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am–5.30pm on Saturday. The store closes every day from 1pm– 2pm.