In preparation for the pilot program, the role of the student and the preceptors’ expectations were discussed extensively with the pharmacists. The pharmacists felt that their expectations for the students were clearly outlined at the beginning of the program and that those expectations were reasonable. At the conclusion of the pilot program, the majority of the pharmacists and the students were comfortable with the students’ ability to perform assigned patient care activities and professional tasks.
One pharmacist conveyed support for the training program by noting that overall he “saw great improvement over the summer in terms of familiarity [with] the pharmacist’s role in [hospital pharmacy practice]”.
Overall, the pharmacists were neutral on the subject of expanding the students’ role, with only half agreeing or strongly agreeing that the students could conduct a broader range of activities; however, there was a great deal of variability depending on the individual student involved. levitra professional
The pharmacists were asked about the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the pilot program. One challenge was that of “getting into the mindset of utilizing [student] skills”. The pharmacists had to adjust to changes in their own role when the student was trained to perform a specific patient care activity. One pharmacist noted that another challenge lay in learning to assess and trust the student’s abilities. Other challenges encountered by the preceptors were related to the time required to train and work with the students. This factor is relevant given the importance of the preceptor’s role for the students. Interestingly, however, most preceptors perceived that their overall workload was reduced during the course of the pilot. Therefore, the concept that “investing time” in training the students would result in a better functioning team over the course of the summer was reasonable.
Pharmacists reported that it was rewarding to see the students grow professionally and to observe their success over the summer. One pharmacist commented, “It was pleasing to see that the tasks were performed well, with little supervision” and it was beneficial “seeing how enthusiastic the student was and how independent she became”. Most of the pharmacists were also positive about the students’ contribution to patient care and the development of their clinical skills during the course of the summer.
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In the final evaluation surveys, both pharmacists and students supported continuation of the program. This clinical summer student pilot was the foundation for another student training program developed through a partnership among Capital Health, the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, the Alberta College of Pharmacists, and Shoppers Drug Mart. Funding was provided by Alberta Health and Wellness through an Enhancing Clinical Capacity Project grant to train pharmacy students before clinical placements in community pharmacies and hospitals in regional and rural settings. This program was designed to improve the clinical experience of both students and pharmacists.