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Pharmacy students undergo on-the-job training in Northern Ireland


Pharmacy students undergo on-the-job training in Northern Ireland

By Neil Trainis

This story was originally published by Independent Community Pharmacist

Pharmacy undergraduate students in Northern Ireland will undergo 12 weeks of on-the-job training across hospital and community pharmacy and general practice as part of a government programme that launched yesterday.

Under the Experiential Learning scheme, pharmacy students will spend six weeks in hospital pharmacy, three weeks in community pharmacy and three weeks in general practice during years two to four of their undergraduate programme.

Northern Ireland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Cathy Harrison said the hands-on training will give students experience of “more clinical practice during their studies” which will allow them to “better connect the theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real health and social care situations.”

Insisting she was looking forward to seeing the benefits of the programme for pharmacy graduates and, ultimately, patients, Harrison said: “I am certain that this programme will contribute to a more capable, effective, skilled and flexible pharmacy workforce. In turn, this will allow the Health and Social Care (public health agency) to respond to changing population demographics and patient need.”

The Department of Health commissioned the Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development (NICPLD) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to create the new programme.

NICPLD said the work placements, which it is co-ordinating alongside QUB, Ulster University and local employers, will see student pharmacists take part in “defined professional activities routinely undertaken by pharmacists and record their learning in an e-portfolio.”

NICPLD also said students will receive “developmental feedback from their practice supervisor pharmacis which will support them to achieve their learning objectives.”


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