Pharmacists back student learning scheme

Tuesday 13th August 2019

Pharmacists have welcomed a project that sees them host university students so they can gain first-hand experience of the pharmacy workplace as part of the degree.

A report found ‘unanimous’ backing for the project among hosts, who praised the ‘infectious’ enthusiasm of the students.

Aspiring pharmacists can undertake placements in novel areas including primary care, remote and rural pharmacy, and out of hours and unscheduled care.

One host said: “You sometimes forget or lose sight of what you’re doing, so when a student comes in, it’s really good, because it really engages my brain as well, and it allows me to impart my learning that I’ve maybe forgotten I knew.

“I think it’s really great for the rest of the team, to be able to speak to a student who’s got new fresh knowledge, and see where the pharmacy industry is at, because those coming straight out [university], their knowledge is superb.”

Organisers NHS Education for Scotland, Robert Gordon University and Strathclyde university are encouraging pharmacists who want to host students next year to get in touch.

Professor Anne Watson, NHS Education for Scotland pharmacy director, said: “We want to give our student pharmacists the best possible education, so that they have the right blend of skills to hit the ground running when they graduate. Learning in the workplace is an important part of that.”

Dr Brian Addison, of Robert Gordon University, said: “This Experiential Learning scheme is a prime example of how RGU is working to provide demand-led opportunities for our students to enhance their skills in a professional environment.

“It offers our students the chance to put their knowledge into practice and gain real-life experience which will be invaluable as they head into the workforce as the pharmacists of the future.

Chief pharmaceutical officer Rose Marie Parr added: “It is vital that we continue to invest in our pharmacists of the future, so that the use of medicines can be optimised and ensure that patients continue to get the best results from their medicines. I would like to thank the Universities and NHS partners for taking forward this exciting initiative.”