Becoming pharmacists: students’ understanding of pharmacy practice at graduation from an Australian University

Burrows, Judith, Dall'Alba, Gloria and La Caze, Adam (2016) Becoming pharmacists: students’ understanding of pharmacy practice at graduation from an Australian University. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 8 6: 729-741. doi:10.1016/j.cptl.2016.08.007

Author Burrows, Judith
Dall'Alba, Gloria
La Caze, Adam
Title Becoming pharmacists: students’ understanding of pharmacy practice at graduation from an Australian University
Journal name Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1877-1297
Publication date 2016-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cptl.2016.08.007
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 8
Issue 6
Start page 729
End page 741
Total pages 13
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: In preparing graduates for practice, education programs must transform students into pharmacists based on authentic experiences that integrate knowledge and skills into a broad and deep understanding of what it is to be a pharmacist.

Aim: This qualitative study aimed to explore how students understood pharmacy practice, nearing completion of an undergraduate program.

Method: Of the cohort of 252 final year students, 104 (41%) completed an online survey containing open ended questions relating to pharmacy practice. Responses were analysed using a phenomenological approach.

Results: Despite all students completing the same program, they understood the work of a pharmacist in diverse ways, ranging from dispensing and or providing counselling, information and advice to providing an accessible healthcare service to all members of the community as part of a healthcare team. The most common understanding, expressed by 34/104 (33%) of participating students, focused on dispensing and counselling, which aligns with traditional roles. The remaining understandings became progressively more inclusive, with 12 to 14% of students expressing each of them. Students reported that part-time work in pharmacies and experiential placements were highly influential in how they understood pharmacy practice.

Conclusion: Graduates’ understanding of professional practice is central to how they enact and develop practice. It is crucial, then, that educators consider and address the variation in how students understand professional practice and influences on how practice is understood. This is necessary to ensure that understanding what it is to be a pharmacist aligns with program goals and the vision for the profession.
Keyword Pharmacy curriculum
Pharmacy practice
Professional development
Undergraduate pharmacy education
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Pharmacy Publications
School of Education Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 22 Nov 2016, 10:56:57 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)