July 3 2015
Bullying in the workplace, climate change challenges to health feature in Australian Pharmacist
Bullying in the workplace has hit the media in recent months, this time in healthcare settings.
In Australian Pharmacist this month, pharmacy ethics columnist, Dr Betty Chaar from the University of Sydney, has responded to real examples of bullying raised in social media by young pharmacists.
“Clearly, there is nothing ethical about bullying in the workplace,” Dr Chaar writes.
“Principle 5 of the PSA Code of Ethics for Pharmacists states: ‘A preceptor pharmacist must not compromise or manipulate time, effort or vulnerability of intern pharmacists. A preceptor pharmacist must demonstrate fairness in the interaction between preceptor and intern, and in the allocation of learning opportunities’.”
Dr Chaar also points out that anti-bullying measures came into effect on 1 January 2014, due to changes to the Fair Work Act,2009.
The changes included a provision saying that if an employee believes a bullying claim is not being dealt with appropriately by their employer, they can go directly to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for assistance.
Pharmacy researcher Judith Singleton does not try to prove to people that climate change is happening, “because that argument has happened”. She is more interested in how pharmacy can deal with the effects of a changing climate.
This month’s cover story – Health, heat and higher tides – by Andrew Daniels explores how climate change will impact on human health and from there, on pharmacy practice.
An Australian report, Climate change challenges to health: Risks and opportunities, released by the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) at the end of April provides some insights.
It says that “those who suffer the worst effects of climate change will, in general, be the most vulnerable members of society – in particular, the sick, the elderly, the very young and the poor. Others at include pregnant and breastfeeding women and those who are socially, culturally or linguistically isolated.”
Associate Professor Craig Williams from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia was part of the think tank that compiled the report. He looked at how climate change will impact on infectious disease in Australia.
He told Australian Pharmacist that, “people will be exposed more and more to infectious diseases that they haven’t been exposed to since the settler days, since the great frontier days. I think it’s a great challenge for this country”.
The multi award-winning Australian Pharmacist journal is distributed monthly to PSA members as a member benefit.
Selected excerpts can be viewed at http://www.psa.org.au/membership/australian-pharmacist
July 3, 2015
Pharmacist Workforce Summit underscores need for longer-term plan on role of pharmacists
The first Australian Pharmacist Workforce Summit has underscored the need for a longer-term blueprint on the role of pharmacists in the future.
The summit, held in Melbourne last week, issued a communique stating that: “The capability and capacity of the workforce underpins the professions’ future. A competent and sustainable pharmacist workforce is necessary to address the increasing pharmaceutical requirements of the population and to enable continued expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice.
“The significant shortage of pharmacists which existed in the period 1995 – 2005 has largely been resolved by an increase in the number of graduates entering the profession over the last decade. Is the number and distribution appropriate and what needs to be put in place for pharmacists’ skills to be better utilised?”
National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Joe Demarte, said a long-term blueprint on the evidence-based current and future roles of pharmacists would address issued raised at the workforce summit and help to ensure the more accurate identification, and where needed creation, of demand for pharmacy services in the future.
Mr Demarte said the PSA, as the peak organisation for pharmacists in all sectors of the profession, was investing in the development of a 10 year Action Blueprint on Pharmacist Practice – a plan detailing the potential roles for pharmacists and how they “collectively we can achieve them”.
“Having a longer term plan is critical if we are to adequately secure employment for pharmacy students today,” Mr Demarte said.
He said an initial meeting with all major pharmacy organisations on the 10-year Action Blueprint on Pharmacist Practice had been held in March, where there was strong support on the need for such a blueprint. Mr Demarte said that work would commence shortly on this blueprint.
“Without such a plan we are simply planning to fail and that is just not an option. “We need this plan for the profession and for the health-consuming public,” he said.
Mr Demarte said a pivotal aspect of future workforce planning was profession-wide collaboration with Government agencies on workforce planning.
“Other health professionals have effectively developed future workforce planning strategies through such collaboration and PSA’s 10-year plan will feature a similar approach to ensure our students of today have a future tomorrow,” Mr Demarte said.
July 1, 2015
PSA welcomes GP support for pharmacists in general practices
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed a statement from United General Practice Australia (UGPA) expressing its in-principle support for non-dispensing pharmacists to work in general practice as part of a GP led team.
National President of the PSA, Joe Demarte, said PSA for some time had been working collaboratively with the Australian Medical Association and RACGP to develop a model to support a more integrated role for pharmacists to work in GP practices as part of the primary care team.
“This in-principle support from UGPA is significant as it includes a wide range of general practice organisations,” Mr Demarte said.
“UGPA in its statement reflects PSA view on some of the benefits of this model.
“UGPA has acknowledged that ‘incorporating non-dispensing pharmacists as part of the general practice team has the potential to improve prescribing and the use of medicines, reduce hospital admissions from adverse drug events, and deliver better health outcomes for patients’.
“This team care approach is particularly important at time when the ageing population and increasing chronic disease are putting added pressures on the healthcare system.
“This PSA model for pharmacists to be integrated into GP practices is a genuinely collaborative model of care and represents an exciting step for the medical profession, for pharmacists and, most importantly, for patients.”
PSA is holding a forum in Sydney on Monday 24 August to further discuss and workshop this area of practice. The PSA is working to see how this model can be applied to developing models of health care, for example through the primary health network.
“Those attending will hear from Australian experts in this area, including a pharmacist working in GP clinic Dr Chris Freeman, GPs, and international expert Ravi Sharma from the UK,” Mr Demarte said.
Details of the forum can be found at http://www.psa.org.au/event/pharmacists_in_gp_forum
June 30, 2015
Karalyn Huxhagen wins 2015 PSA QUM in Pain Management Award
Group Facilitator of the Mackay Pain Support Group, Karalyn Huxhagen, has been announced as the winner of the 2015 PSA Award for Quality Use of Medicines in Pain Management.
Announcing the Mundipharma-sponsored award, PSA National President and one of the judges of the award, Grant Kardachi, said Ms Huxhagen stood out for her work of integrating care across the health team and targeting patient self management.
“Having this leadership role in the Mackay Pain Support Group is also great recognition for her respect and skill broadly,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Ms Huxhagen’s approach and the work she is undertaking are models for the future of pain management and further utilising the skills of pharmacists in ensuring consumers are using their medicines optimally.
“She is innovative and her approach shows the impact that pharmacists can have in this crucial area.”
Mr Kardachi said Ms Huxhagen’s support group met once a month and currently had 355 members.
“Ms Huxhagen arranges a variety of speakers each month to present to the group on various ways to assist them to live with pain,” Mr Kardachi said.
“For example she organises sessions on mindfulness, tai chi, water aerobics, as well as medications and pain.
“In addition she has developed a network of practitioners who refer patients to the support group as they have identified that these patients need to interact with other patients to enable them to adjust to living with pain.
“She also works with consumers in the pharmacy and through HMRs to empower them to manage their pain more effectively. Her interaction with carers helps guide them about ways to provide non pharmacological support as well as introduce the concept of using services such as psychologists to assist with pain management.”
Jane Orr from Mundipharma said: “The judges were impressed by the quality of entries this year which is fantastic news. Commitment and dedication to pain management is something that we, as an industry, need to support and encourage. This award is one way of doing so, and we congratulate Karalyn Huxhagen on her win.”