+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Articles categorized as ‘Australian Pharmacy Schools’

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Monash University offers $4000 relocation grant for international pharmacy students

Studying pharmacy at Monash University not only offers you the chance to experience life in another country, but it also gives you the opportunity to qualify as a pharmacist much more quickly than you would in Canada and begin your career earlier.

Australian universities offer pharmacy degrees at an undergraduate level, which means you can enter straight from high school without needing to complete a university degree first.

Monash

Monash University School of Pharmacy

Monash University is the No.1 pharmacy school in Australia, top 2 in the world

In the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, only Harvard University ranked higher than Monash for Pharmacy and Pharmacology. At Monash you’ll have access to some of the country’s best-equipped facilities, alongside innovative teaching technologies such as MyDispense—a web-based program that combines more than 300 virtual patients and 1,500 pharmacy products to provide authentic dispensing practice. You will also undertake work placements in hospitals and community pharmacies, learning about primary healthcare, drug information and clinical pharmacy services in different practice environments. With an aging population placing ever greater stress upon the health system, the demand for pharmacists’ skills and the scope of their role can only grow. Monash gives your career as a pharmacist the best possible start.​

If studying at the number 1 pharmacy school in Australia isn’t enough, Monash also offers a $4,000 relocation grant to all ​international pharmacy students

Graduate with a Bachelor and a Master

Monash Pharmacy has replaced the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) with the new Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy combined degree, Australia’s first integrated BPharm (Hons)/ MPharm degree, with the fifth year of the course offering an internship, so students will get valuable work experience—and get paid for it!

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy / Master of Pharmacy
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged by to submit their applications as early as possible.

Apply to Monash University Pharmacy School!

*

Do you think the new Bachelor/Master of Pharmacy program might be for you? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com for details.

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Understanding UQ School of Pharmacy placements: Part 1

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) is one of Australia’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally, and offers intensive pharmacy placements so students can get fully prepared for their career in pharmacy. UQ School of Pharmacy students undertake more than 350 hours of supervised clinical practice in a range of clinical settings, including hospital and community pharmacies. The school has partnerships with more than 500 pharmacies throughout rural and metropolitan Australia and overseas.

During their placements, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge acquired through coursework and research to practice and develop their clinical skills in real-life settings, and will undertake a variety of sessional practical experiences from year one before commencing two 4-week block placements in year four.

Do you go to placement every year?

Placement is such a key part of the UQ program that it starts from second semester of the first year, and every semester after that. The first-year placement is only a one-day per week of a four-hour shift, making it a bit of an introduction into the community pharmacy world. In your second year it is slightly more intensive with a five-week placement, again attending the community pharmacy one day per week, but, also a second day at a hospital placement. This is a great experience because you get the best of both worlds while receiving hands-on experience in the differences of community and hospital pharmacies. In third year, the first semester comprises a six week community placement, and the second semester is comprised of a two-day hospital placement and a week-long community pharmacy placement. During that week-long placement you are required to be at the pharmacy for full days, like you would if you were working there full-time. In the final year of the program, there is a month long placement for the first month of each semester. One semester is community focused while your second semester is more research focused. Tip: you can also attend one semester placement overseas in any other part of the world!

Do you have to find your own placement every year?

During your first year, the UQ School of Pharmacy will allocate your placement. There is an online portal whereby you can list your top three suburbs, and international students are encouraged to a head start and fill out the portal as soon as it opens. For your future placements, you are required to find your own community locations. If you are unsure where you should start looking for pharmacies, ask friends who are in higher years to see if they can give you the contact information of the pharmacies where they completed their placement.

Are there any assignments or tasks you have to complete prior to placement?

Each year, there will be a set of required tasks you will need to complete over the course of your placement. It is important that you pay attention to each of the patients you encounter as well observe your preceptor’s interactions. You will be required to record an online diary of what your placement shift was like and what you encountered, learned, observed, and areas you think require improvement. In your later years you may be required to dispense a certain number of scripts prior to placement finishing or you may be required to set a number of goals you’d like to achieve prior to completing your placement, such as improving your over the counter (OTC) skills to a certain level.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for more UQ Pharmacy placement tips!

About the UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours program

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy program prepares graduates for the contemporary role of the pharmacist in society, ensuring that patients optimize medication usage. Initial courses on chemical, physical and biological studies lead to professional specialties in later years. Practical and clinical science studies begin in first year, providing students with a strong background in professional practice.

Understanding UQ School of Pharmacy placements: Part 1

Learn more about the UQ School of Pharmacy

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: November 29; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if they are seeking credit transfers

Entry Requirements

Applicants to UQ Pharmacy are required to have completed their high school diploma. Applicants should have completed Grade 12 English, Chemistry and Math to meet program prerequisites.

If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects.

Credit Transfers

Many international students with prior study (especially those with a science background) are able to enter directly into Year 2. If credit is awarded, students can undertake an additional course in their first and second semester of enrollment and complete the program in just 3 years.

Apply to the University of Queensland School of Pharmacy!

*

Learn more about UQ School of Pharmacy. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

5 reasons to study pharmacy at the University of Sydney

Why should you study pharmacy with Australia’s first pharmacy school? The university asked their current students and alumni why they chose to study pharmacy at the University of Sydney. Here are their top 5 reasons to study pharmacy at Sydney Uni.

1. Diverse range of career opportunities

“I love the different opportunities that the degree offers its graduates—the ability to move from one specialty to another, industry positions and extensive research and teaching opportunities.” – Reham Raid Mansour Soro, MPharm first-year student

5 reasons to study pharmacy at the University of Sydney

Learn more about studying pharmacy at Sydney (Photo: University of Sydney)

Most people assume that there is only one career outcome when you study pharmacy: to become a pharmacist. But studying a pharmacy degree can lead to more than simply becoming a pharmacist. Pharmacists are an important part of the healthcare system. Their skills and knowledge can be applied across a range of careers, allowing for employment opportunities in

  • community pharmacy
  • hospital pharmacy
  • academic or research institutions
  • pharmaceutical industry in a wide range of roles from marketing, business development or finance to compliance and drug development.

Take Abbie Lawrie, Bachelor of Pharmacy graduate from 2009 who is now working for GlaxoSmithKline:

“Working in finance for GSK has allowed me to combine my pharmacy background with my interest in finance and business. I chose to work in the “business side” of healthcare because of the opportunities it has provided me to work internationally, experience different roles and positively impact people’s lives on a large scale.”

2. Placement opportunities

“As a student at the University of Sydney I have had the privilege of working in city, metropolitan and rural community pharmacies as well as clinical placement in a pharmaceutical company. I would say that clinical placement was the most valuable part of my degree, thanks to the great support and guidance I received from my preceptor. It’s so satisfying to go to work in the afternoon and apply the skills and knowledge I had only just learned that morning during class.” – Ardi Mirzaei, BPharm 2013

To prepare you for the workforce, the Faculty of Pharmacy offers students a range of clinical and rural work placements. Clinical placements are important to put theory into practice in community, hospital, rural or industrial settings. All pharmacy students undertake clinical placements during their degree, and are encouraged to consider a rural placement as part of their clinical training.

This helps you stand out from your peers when you are starting to look for career opportunities after your studies.

3. Unique curriculum with a focus on practical experience underpinned by world-class research

“The Bachelor of Pharmacy is so much more than being a specialist in medications and drugs. You gather skills to educate people on medication, you collaborate with doctors to ensure patients get the best care, you tell patients key things to look out for and do what you can to help each and every patient in the community.”- Matthew Huang, BPharm fourth year student

You will learn from world-leading academics that teach a unique course curriculum focused on all practical and theoretical areas of pharmacy to prepare you for the workforce. The Faculty of Pharmacy is ranked 16th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for pharmacy and pharmacology and has a proven record in teaching and learning excellence.

“My positive experience undertaking research during my undergraduate honours year encouraged me to pursue further studies in pharmaceutical research. I have always been fascinated with the human body but what really inspired me was trying to find a way to improve quality of life.” Samuel Ho, BPharm 2011 / PhD 2016

Research at the Faculty of Pharmacy is focused on improving health outcomes in cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, health services and patient safety, mental health and respiratory disease.

4. Professional network and support

“The Faculty of Pharmacy has a great sense of community. You are taught by academics with backgrounds from all different fields of pharmacy. The staff were supportive and always available to help. The structure of the course meant that there were lots of opportunities to learn about different career pathways available after graduation through clinical placements and careers events.”- Cassandra Cameron, MPharm 2013

Faculty staff are dedicated to supporting the learning opportunities of all pharmacy students. As a pharmacy student, not only will you be part of a cohesive and supportive cohort, you will also receive support from world-leading academics in deciding on career pathways, clinical placements research opportunities and general guidance throughout your degree.

The Sydney University Pharmacy Association (SUPA) is one of the larger student societies on campus, organising regular academic, professional and social activities. SUPA members also gain membership to the National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA).

5. Make a difference in the healthcare system

“I chose pharmacy because I want to equip myself with the knowledge and skills required to make a meaningful contribution to the Australian healthcare system. The course combines my interest in chemistry and mathematics with my passion to address social and health-related challenges.” – Melissa Barakat, BPharm 2015

A career in pharmacy means making a difference to the Australian healthcare system. Whether you are working directly with patients and their families in community pharmacy or in a hospital setting or research in an academic or professional institution, your career will have a meaningful impact on Australian healthcare.

How can you pursue a career in pharmacy?

The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney is consistently ranked among the world’s best for teaching and education. With more than 100 years of experience in delivering world-class professional pharmacy education, Sydney graduates are sought after both nationally and internationally.

The University of Sydney Faculty of Pharmacy offers the Bachelor of Pharmacy, which covers the study of the chemical, physical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacological properties of medicinal substances and the application of these in the pharmacy profession. The clinical experience program in the Bachelor of Pharmacy reflects the contemporary health care environment. Students undertake weekly visits to community pharmacies during their third year. Students also have a one week block placement in third year and at least a further two weeks in fourth year. By the end of their fourth year, all students have had at least three one week placement blocks in clinical experience, as well as the series of community pharmacy visits. The one week block placements are carried out at hospital and community pharmacies, and include opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, professional organisations and in rural health settings.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply a minimum of three months prior to the program start date.

Apply to the University of Sydney Pharmacy School!

*

Find out how you can study pharmacy at the University of Sydney. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

UQ Pharmacy alumnae win Pharmacy of the Year award

A rural Queensland pharmacy, owned and run by UQ Pharmacy alumnae, has been awarded Australian Pharmacy of the Year.

Lucy Walker Chemmart Pharmacy in Goondiwindi also won the Community Engagement category in the 2017 Guild Pharmacy Awards.

The annual awards, bestowed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, recognise pharmacies that are leading the way in providing innovative and optimal healthcare for members of their community.

UQ Pharmacy alumnae win Pharmacy of the Year

UQ Pharmacy alumnae win Pharmacy of the Year (Photo credit: UQ)

“The awards are a fantastic recognition for what we do on a daily basis, but we do what we do because we love it,” Mrs Walker said.

“Along with dispensing, we spend time talking to our customers about their health, providing them with help and advice.

“We are also part of the Gundy health care team—we work with other health professionals in the area, such as the local hospital, Indigenous health services and GPs, to provide a collaborative approach to regional health services.”

UQ alumna Mrs Walker has been in Goondiwindi for 10 years, where she employs 14 staff members, including pharmacist Emma Newsome who graduated from UQ in 2010.

“We care about our customers, and we feel that we’re very fortunate because we are actively engaged in a community that is very supportive of our initiatives and services,” Ms Newsome said.

“The pharmacy can be found at events around town, like Under 8s Day, Dental Health in the Park, Aged Care Expo, Colour Run, Cotton Growers’ Picnics, mothers’ groups, farmers’ talks, Community Garden Days and all sorts of fundraising events.”

Professor Peter Little AM, Head of the UQ School of Pharmacy, said the awards highlighted the dedication of UQ’s pharmacy graduates.

“Mrs Walker and Ms Newsome are shining examples of the outstanding calibre of our graduates who continue to strive to provide more health care in even more ways,” he said.

“Delivering health care to isolated and regional communities can be challenging, so it’s inspiring to know that UQ graduates are playing an important role in this area.

“Our school encourages students to take up regional placements to see first-hand how rewarding it is to pursue a career in regional health services.”

UQ Pharmacy student Brooke Hilton (pictured left) is currently on placement in Goondiwindi, and Mrs Walker hopes to welcome more students on placement in the future.

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) Program at UQ

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program is a well-established, professionally accredited learning framework that is well received by both students and the profession. The program has evolved into one of the country’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: November 29, 2017

Entry Requirements

Applicants to UQ Pharmacy are required to have completed their high school diploma. Applicants should have completed Grade 12 English, Chemistry and Math to meet program prerequisites.

If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects.

Credit Transfers

Many international students with prior study (especially those with a science background) are able to enter directly into Year 2. If credit is awarded, students can undertake an additional course in their first and second semester of enrollment and complete the program in just 3 years.

Apply to UQ Pharmacy School!

*

For more information about UQ Pharmacy, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com or call toll free 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Monash University explains the difference between pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences

Pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, potato, potahtoh. What’s the difference?

Monash explains the difference between pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences

Is pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences for you?

On one potato, if you are interested in science and healthcare, and enjoy communicating with people, then the Bachelor of Pharmacy is for you—it’s the degree you need to be a pharmacist. Pharmacists are

  • directly concerned with people’s health and well-being;
  • work as members of a healthcare team;
  • provide advice on the safe and effective use of medicine;
  • actively involved in patient care in hospitals and the community; and
  • medicine experts, who can also work in government, industry, research and clinical-trial roles.

On the other potahtoh, pharmaceutical science is a broad discipline and a thriving sector within a large and essential industry. When you graduate from this degree, you don’t graduate as a pharmaceutical scientist—you graduate as a pharmaceutical scientist with a particular specialisation and multiple career options. Although understanding medicines is a central focus of the course, the skills you’ll learn will translate to many different chemistry-related jobs. Graduates can be found in industries from paint to cosmetics, from drug development to food manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical scientists are

  • experts in the chemistry, biology and biotechnology required to design and develop medicines;
  • key players in improving human health and well-being by researching and developing reliable, accessible and effective treatments;
  • experts in bringing safe and effective products to market as they understand the impact of medicines on the body and diseases.

If you enjoy solving problems, love chemistry or biology, and want to improve human health, then a pharmaceutical science degree could be your calling. It equips you to work in the pharmaceutical science and biomedical fields.

About the Monash University Bachelor of Pharmacy Program

If you’re interested in studying pharmacy or pharmaceutical science, we’ve got great news: Monash Pharmacy is ranked #2 in the world and #1 in Australia according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy / Master of Pharmacy
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged by to submit their applications as early as possible.

Apply to the Monash University Pharmacy School!

*

Discover more about Monash Pharmacy and the new Bachelor/Master of Pharmacy degree. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy scholarships available for trimester 2 intake

Wouldn’t it be nice to put $4,000 toward your tuition costs? Griffith University is offering just that with their Bachelor of Pharmacy Scholarships, and they’ve just announced a trimester 2 round! Here are the details:

Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy scholarships available for trimester 2 intake

Apply for a Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy scholarship

Available to: High-achieving students applying for the Bachelor of Pharmacy program at Griffith University in July 2017.
Level of study: Undergraduate
Citizenship: Citizen of a country other than Australia or New Zealand
Award value and benefits: $4,000 in total (2 tuition payments of $2,000 each over 2 trimesters)
Duration: 2 trimesters
Programs of study: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Applications close: May 12, 2017
Scholarship application outcome: May 26, 2017

Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy

Students learn through hands-on experience in formulation, pharmacology and analytical laboratories, and during professional practice placements at the new Gold Coast University Hospital and other clinical settings. They will take also specialist courses in areas such as pharmacy management, complementary and alternative medicine, and pharmacology.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Trimester intakes: February and July each year
Program duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. It is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

To be eligible to apply to the Griffith Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy, applicants must have a high school diploma with a minimum of 76% average with Grade 12 math B and one of biology, chemistry or physics. If applying after having partially or fully completed post-secondary studies, applicants need to have a minimum of 76% cumulative GPA to be considered.

Apply to Griffith University Pharmacy School!

*

Find out more about the Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy scholarships! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Monash Pharmacy offers Australia’s first combined pharmacy degree

The work of pharmacists changes people’s lives for the better. And it has done so for centuries.

Monash Pharmacy offers Australia's first combined pharmacy degree

Study pharmacy at Monash University

But the pharmacy profession is facing a combination of challenges it has never seen before: an ageing global population, increasingly complex and personalised medicines, as well as a move towards team-based integrated healthcare.

With those challenges comes the need for new thinking—from the next generation of practitioners and from those who teach them.

In response to these challenges, Monash University is preparing the students of today for tomorrow’s world of medicine, demography and healthcare by offering a new combined degree. From 2017, Monash Pharmacy will replace the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) with the new Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy combined degree, Australia’s first integrated BPharm (Hons)/ MPharm degree, with the fifth year of the course offering an internship, so students will get valuable work experience—and get paid for it!

Did you know Monash Pharmacy is ranked #2 in the world according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017?

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy / Master of Pharmacy
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged by to submit their applications as early as possible.

Apply to Monash University Pharmacy School!

*

Would you like more info about Monash Pharmacy and about the new Bachelor/Master of Pharmacy program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Studying at UQ Pharmacy is more than just counting pills

Studying pharmacy is more than just counting pills. Meet current UQ Pharmacy student, Sakina, who applied through OzTREKK in 2013. In Part 1 of his blog, Sakina offers advice for anyone considering studying pharmacy in Australia.

My name is Sakina. I am currently in my third year of pharmacy at UQ. I was born and raised in Canada and made my big move to Australia two and a half years ago. I am a chemistry nerd at heart so pharmacy seemed the best fitting career for me. I aim to be a high achiever but I don’t like to get consumed by classes or work, so in my downtime, I love to explore the outdoors such as going on hikes, to the beach, traveling, going on road trips, and hanging with friends. Fashion is another passion of mine so that is another aspect of my life that I really want to continue to develop.

Studying at UQ Pharmacy is more than just counting pills

Former OzTREKK student Sakina enjoying the UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy program (Photo credit: UQ)

I have found that sometimes uni students become so obsessed with their grades and results that they forget to focus their attention on the key experiences which are designed to develop them into a valued professional.

When you first come to uni you realise very quickly that university and high school are two completely different beasts. There are a range of changes which make them so vastly different and it can feel intimidating at first, but trust me when I say this: you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Patience and hard work are some of the key elements which will help you to achieve your goals. Regardless of the field of study you are in, communication and social skills are essential when it comes to life in general, so best to get good at this early on. These are the factors which many students forget about. They think that achieving straight high distinctions will lead to their future success, when in reality it really doesn’t guarantee anything.

Pharmacy is one of those fields where these skills are more essential than you may think. Regardless of whether you choose to become a hospital or community pharmacist, you will be communicating with patients on a daily basis. It is important that you learn how to communicate with patients in the most simplistic, informative, and non-frightening manner, especially when it comes to medication administration and usage. As a healthcare professional, patient care should be at the core of your profession, which is why the UQ Pharmacy program places so much emphasis on this.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Sakina’s story: Placements

Are you interested in studying pharmacy at the University of Queensland?

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 3–4 years, depending on candidate’s education background
Application deadline: Generally November 29 each year; however, late applications may be accepted.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to have completed their high school diploma. Applicants should have completed Grade 12 English, Chemistry and Math to meet program prerequisites. If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects.

Apply to the University of Queensland Pharmacy School!

*

Learn more about UQ Pharmacy School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

UQ pharmacy student’s community placement

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) is one of Australia’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally, and offers intensive pharmacy placements so students can get fully prepared for their career in pharmacy. Here, a current UQ Pharmacy student talks about the community placement experience.

I have had three blocks of placements (over the course of the past three years) while undertaking the Bachelor of Pharmacy, and I have learnt many different things from each experience. I hope that this post helps anyone thinking about studying pharmacy to have a slight insight into the degree, and helps those already enrolled in the program to prepare for their first placement.

UQ pharmacy student's community pharmacy placement

Study at UQ Pharmacy School

As a first-year pharmacy student, I wasn’t quite sure why we needed to do a community placement in the first place. Since then the answers have become quite obvious. Community placement gave me an insight into the operations and running of a small business and got me familiar with the daily practices of a pharmacy. This was particularly helpful as it was segmented throughout my degree and in plenty of time for my final intern year (which all students must complete after graduation). The experience also helped me to plan my study more effectively and assisted me in making career decisions, e.g., whether to be a community or hospital pharmacist. After my very positive placement experiences in community pharmacies, I have now decided to pursue this career avenue.

How to prepare for your first placement?

When on placement, you must be aware and switched on at all times. An attendance sheet must be signed by your preceptor (supervisor) after each placement, so it is important to try to impress them with your professionalism and pharmacy knowledge. You will be taking notes on every patient case that you observe; therefore, remember to pack a good pen (possibly a backup too), your attendance sheets, and your pharmacy student badge. For your second year you will also have to remember your graduated descriptor tools; however, you won’t need these in the first year. These tools allow your preceptor to grade your performance and enables open communication and advice between the two of you. It’s actually quite fun when you get to this stage and start to discuss your performance and things which you could improve on, with a graduated professional. Often the things that you feel like you are doing wrong, do not look the same (or as bad) for others. This feedback really helps shape and improve your placement performance.

What do you do on placement?

On your very first day on placement you will be required to observe and answer a list of questions provided by your course coordinator. These questions prompt your thoughts and help you to familiarise yourself with the business and how to deal with customer interactions. They may also teach you some of the basics including compounding medicine and using the cashier machine. Try to soak up as much experience and knowledge as possible in your four-hour shift. The time seems to fly past!

On your second placement (which is in second year, second semester) you will be required to get much more involved in the customer interactions, you may even handle some of the customer cases in regard to over-the-counter medications (either from direct-product request cases or symptom-based cases). Try to write down or remember each of your cases after your shift. These examples will be useful for your weekly reflective diary. Each year your responsibilities will grow and by year three you will be required to dispense a number of scripts and be confident with your patient interactions.

How to find a placement location?

In most cases for first-year students the placement locations will be arranged by the UQ Pharmacy administration. Or, if you have a specific pharmacy in mind, you can be proactive and find your placement site yourself. If you are planning to find it yourself, I would recommend you to search for the pharmacies nearest to your house, or at least those you can reach easily through public transport. Make sure you also take into consideration the services they provide, such as compounding, dose administration aids and any specialty services. Remember to take into account the business environment in which it operates. If it’s a busy pharmacy you may get to learn more and receive more opportunities to learn.

Choose the pharmacy that fits your preferences, then approach the manager in person to politely ask about their placement opportunities. Be prepared with your resume, university timetable and preceptor introduction letter (provided by the school). This will make you look organised and professional. This preparation will give you practice for your future placements, which must be found yourself. My suggestion is to not put all your eggs in one basket by only approaching one pharmacy. Many students are looking for placements and it takes them some time to filter through the students. Visit as many pharmacies as you can and put your best foot forward (including dressing smartly) to give a good first impression and increase your chances of being chosen.

What happens if you mess up on placement?

Mistakes do happen, which is why it is important to wear your student placement badge. This allows customers to be aware that you are still studying and are not completely armed with the knowledge and skills of a qualified professional.  Often this makes customers much more forgiving and considerate if you do make a mistake. If there is something you are not sure of then don’t freak out. Apologise and get help from one of the other pharmacy professionals. Make sure you listen to how they deal with the problem in order to learn from the experience and get it right next time around. Don’t be shy to speak out and ask the other staff members lots of questions on placement. You will learn much more from them than from reading a book or studying your lecture notes.

Do placements lead to paid jobs?

Many of my friends got hired by their preceptors and started to work part-time in the pharmacies whilst finishing their degree. If you are hoping for the same result then I would suggest you to try to go on placement at the big franchise pharmacies like Chemist Warehouse or Terry White Chemist. They will have greater job opportunities due to their many locations.

Finally, double-check everything before you go for your first day on placement: badge, attendance sheets, and pens. The last thing you want is to look disorganised on your first day. Most importantly, enjoy the experience and learn as much as you can. The skills you learn during this time will be the backbone of your future career as a pharmacist.

Story via UQ School of Pharmacy
Meet the author

Hi, my name is Pei Sin. I am in my third year of the Bachelor of Pharmacy at UQ. I am originally from Malaysia and am enjoying my time studying in Australia. I am a creative person so in my downtime, outside of uni, I enjoy painting, sketching and drawing. If I can find the time amongst study I also am a big fan of crime and investigations shows like NCIS, CIS and Bones—I definitely get a kick out of it when they mention chemical/medical terms which I understand.

UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy program prepares graduates for the contemporary role of the pharmacist in society, ensuring that patients optimize medication usage. Initial courses on chemical, physical and biological studies lead to professional specialties in later years. Practical and clinical science studies begin in first year, providing students with a strong background in professional practice.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years

Apply to the University of Queensland Pharmacy School!

*

Learn more about UQ Pharmacy! Krista McVeigh is OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer. Contact Krista at 1-866-698-7355 or krista@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

UQ Pharmacy research: A good pharmacist-doctor relationship helps patients

Medication-related problems are one of the most common reasons for patients to be readmitted to hospital.

UQ School of Pharmacy researcher Dr Chris Freeman is investigating whether having a pharmacist working alongside your GP could save you that hassle in the future.

UQ Pharmacy research: A good pharmacist-doctor relationship helps patients

Learn more about UQ Pharmacy

“In Australian hospitals, up to 45 per cent of patients discharged from medical units and 61 per cent from geriatric units, have an unplanned readmission within a year,” Dr Freeman said.

“One of the main groups of people at high risk of readmission include those taking multiple medicines. Many of the medication-related problems encountered are preventable.”

Dr Freeman and his research team are trialling the concept of having a non-dispensing pharmacist embedded in 14 medical centres in the greater Brisbane area.

They anticipate that the presence of such a pharmacist could improve the transfer of information between hospitals and caregivers and ensure treatment plans remain appropriate to the patient.

The pharmacists can help patients negotiate changes to their dosage and assist in stopping and starting different medicines, as well as follow-up blood tests.

Aside from saving human lives, it’s forecast that placing pharmacists in general practice could result in $544.87 million savings in health care over four years.

“The pharmacists in the trial will perform a comprehensive review to identify any medication-related problems,” Dr Freeman said.

“They’ll assess medication adherence, review the patient medication discharge letter, and discuss any changes made to medication during hospital admission with the patient.

“The pharmacists will then update medical centre records and inform community pharmacies of the changes.

“After consultation, the patient will see their usual GP to receive any necessary new prescriptions and to consider any changes suggested by the embedded pharmacist.”

The research project is titled REMAIN HOME and is funded by the HCF Research Foundation and Brisbane South PHN and Brisbane North PHN.

Study at UQ Pharmacy School

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program is a well-established, professionally accredited learning framework that is well received by both students and the profession. The program has evolved into one of the country’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years

Did you know you can apply for credit transfers?

Many international students with prior study (especially those with a science background) are able to enter directly into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program. If credit is awarded, students can undertake an additional course in their first and second semester of enrollment and complete the program in three years instead of four!

Apply to the University of Queensland Pharmacy School!

*

Do you need help with your UQ Pharmacy School application and credit transfers? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com! We’re here to help!