Background and Importance The role of a pharmacist is ever-expanding with an increasing need for the provision of enhanced health services. In response to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s recent announcement for ‘prescribing ready’ pharmacy graduates by 2025, Health Education England has, this year, broadened the clinical tariff for education providers to include pharmacy giving an opportunity to enhance the clinical placements offered to pharmacy students in the UK.
Aim and Objectives The aim of this project was to assess the overall experience students had on an Enhanced Clinical Placements over a variety of clinical settings.
Material and Methods The placement was patient-facing (5-days) under the primary supervision of a prescriber, with a pre-placement induction (15 hours of blended learning) consisting of simulated clinical activities, and a post-placement conference (1 day). During the placement, students had the opportunity to develop an extended range of clinical skills and observe and discuss the prescribing decisions made by their prescribing supervisor which are currently outside the scope of the pharmacy degree.
Two focus groups (n=10 and n=9) were held with students at the post-placement conference. Students were asked about their induction and placement experience. Focus groups were transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis.
Results Four main themes emerged from the data, which were named Variety, Consolidation of prior learning, Professional identity, and Logistics. Students expressed an appreciation for the ECP in providing them with additional clinical experience over a wider variety of settings than they had seen before. There was a recognition that the ECP helped to consolidate learning they had gained on the taught courses and that it heightened their professional identity but students also raised some areas for improvement in terms of the general logistics of the placement.
Conclusion and Relevance This was a useful exercise to provide students with a range of experiences, helping them to promote an understanding of their professional value and role within a multi-disciplinary team. Future implementation needs to consider the level of standardisation between placements and the importance of having clear expectations for students and providers.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.
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