Perspectives of pharmacists on facilitating experiential learning placements for pharmacy students in non-patient facing settings

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Donovan, Maria D.
Byrne, Ellen M.
Griffin, Brendan T.
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Elsevier Inc.
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Introduction: Recently, the model of pharmacy education in Ireland changed to a five-year pharmacy degree, with three distinct blocks of experimental placements dispersed throughout the degree. The United Kingdom is also considering the introduction of a similar five-year pharmacy degree, while the United States is looking to further expand non-clinical experiential learning opportunities. This study was carried out to ascertain the perspectives of pharmacists working in non-patient facing roles on the barriers to and facilitators of placements to aid in identifying placement recruitment strategies for non-patient facing placements. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to pharmacists employed in non-patient facing settings, including in pharmaceutical industry, education, and regulation. Quantitative responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative questions were analyzed thematically. Results: Regardless of experience in the practice setting or supervision, the majority expressed a preference for offering paid placements of six months' duration. There was divided opinion regarding whether students should be given study leave, whether the student's supervisor should be a pharmacist, and whether students should undertake specialized postgraduate training. The main barriers to placements were time, the placement structure, availability of suitable projects or supervisors, and awareness of placement opportunities. Prior experience in the practice area, developing the talent pipeline, and personal interests were all placement facilitators. Conclusions: Given the increasing roles for pharmacists in non-patient facing practice settings, this study highlights the importance of stakeholder involvement during the implementation of a new model of education to ensure that placements in all settings are feasible.
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Integrated pharmacy education , Non-patient facing pharmacists , Pharmacy student placements , Attitudes and perspectives
Donovan, M. D., Byrne, E. M. and Griffin, B. T. (2020) ‘Perspectives of pharmacists on facilitating experiential learning placements for pharmacy students in non-patient facing settings’, Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2020.04.011