June 26, 2015
University of New England pharmacy students welcomed to the profession
The newest cohort of pharmacy students at the University of New England have been welcomed to the profession in a ceremony held this week. The ceremony was held as part of the pharmacy discipline’s first intensive residential program for first-year students.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) partners with UNE to deliver the Welcome to the Profession ceremony and supplies all first-year students with their white practice shirts. The practice shirts were presented by the PSA’s NSW Branch Director Steven Drew and are a nod to white jackets which are historically associated with the profession of pharmacy. About 60 students are in the 2015 first-year intake.
The Welcome to Profession event also featured a presentation by UNE Pharmacy alumni and NSW Intern Pharmacist of the Year Laura Norman. Laura will be competing for the title of Australian Intern Pharmacist of the Year award at the upcomingPSA national conference – PSA15 – being held in Sydney from 30 July – 1 August 2015.
In his address to students, Mr Drew affirmed PSA’s commitment to the pharmacists of the future, demonstrated by its constant development of new pathways for their careers.
“At the ceremony we were able to discuss with students their hopes and aspirations and also point out that there are many different career pathways for them when they graduate,” Mr Drew said.
“It is a competitive environment for young pharmacists and at PSA we take very seriously our role of helping to guide these young people as they pursue their careers.”
Mr Drew also noted the enviable record the UNE Pharmacy program was establishing despite being in only its sixth year of operation. Already UNE has produced two NSW Pharmacy Student of the Year award winners (including 2015 winner Brighid Carey) and NSW Intern of the Year Laura Norman.
Mr Drew said the ceremony was an important step in the students’ journey to becoming pharmacists.
“It is a special occasion in that it brings them into the pharmacy family and also introduces them to some of the support and mentoring services available to them through PSA as they progress,” he said.
“This ceremony highlights that the students are not alone in this journey and have the support of the PSA and their peers.
“The white coat ceremony is an affirmation of that commitment and an opportunity for the students to engage with the Society and with pharmacists who can help guide and mentor them as they move forward.
“I welcome these students to our great profession and look forward to continuing to work with them.”
June 24, 2015
Report urging greater emphasis on self care welcomed by pharmacists
Calls for greater integration of self care into the national health policy have been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the report, Towards Responsible Self Care: The role of health literacy, pharmacy and non-prescription medicines specifically recommended that pharmacies should play a greater role in delivering primary health care, promoting health literacy and supporting responsible self care.
“This principle is totally supported by the PSA and is embedded in much of the work the Society undertakes,” Mr Kardachi said.
“In addition we are now moving into the implementation phase of our Health Destination Pharmacy model which is designed to build greater interaction and communication between pharmacists and consumers to increase health outcomes.
“The Towards Responsible Self Care report says greater investment is required in preparing the pharmacy to conduct private discussions with consumers, ensuring adequate staffing levels, training and professional development of staff and continually reviewing and assessing its services for quality improvement.
“These are features of the Health Destination Pharmacy model.
“A key component of the Health Destination Pharmacy is the presence of a non-dispensing pharmacist assisting with the provision of a range of evidence-based minor ailment and professional pharmacy services.
“The Health Destination Pharmacy evolved from the need to reposition community pharmacy and transition it to meet the changing health needs of consumers with pharmacies as health destinations and pharmacists as clinicians.”
Mr Kardachi said the Towards Responsible Self Care report noted ‘pharmacy first’ policy for short-term self-limiting ailments would free GP and hospital resources to concentrate on more serious cases.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible of all health professionals and often the first point of contact a consumer has in regard to discussing an issue with a health professional,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Further utilising our skills and knowledge in delivering primary health care makes good sense for consumers and for the viability and sustainability of the health system in this country.”
Mr Kardachi said health literacy concerns were raised in the report and this was an area that needed to be improved in the community.
“Pharmacists need to continually upskill their health literacy to ensure that knowledge and information is communicated effectively during interactions with consumers,” Mr Kardachi said.