The Townsville Hospital is hoping a new resident training program for early-career pharmacists will result in greater retention of allied health professionals and better health outcomes for the region.
The Townsville Hospital is one of the first locations in Australia to roll out the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia (SHPA) residency program.
The two-year hospital-based program enables recent pharmacy graduates to further their training in a hospital environment.
Townsville Hospital senior clinical educator Stephen Perks said it was a privilege to be selected and to be able to offer specialist pharmacy training in a regional location.
“Being so far north and away from the major metro areas it is often difficult to get the next level of education and training for early career pharmacists,” Mr Perk said.
“This provides the structure and support and guidance to get pharmacists from their intern year to the next stage and … working towards advanced level pharmacists practice.”
“It is quite a feather in our hat to be one of those (few regional) areas because it gives us that support from the big high-quality pharmacies and hospitals that have been doing really good training for years.”
Hospital-based training supports graduates
Thirty sites around Australia have been accredited to run the program with Townsville, Mackay and Toowoomba the only regional Queensland locations.
The Townsville Hospital will initially offer two placements for early-career pharmacists.
Sophie Mokrzecki, who completed her bachelor’s degree at James Cook University, will take up one of those places.
Ms Mokrzecki said the program offered her the opportunity to develop her skills as a pharmacist and further her clinical knowledge.
“It is helpful as well, rather than just jumping deep into the water straight after you are registered I still get that help from all my colleagues here,” Ms Mokrzecki said.
“It provides the support that I probably wouldn’t have got anywhere else and the opportunity to develop and become the best pharmacist I can be.”
Mr Perks said the program should have a positive flow-on effect to the community with greater retention of allied health providers expected in regional north Queensland.
“Having this program running here now gives us more of a drawcard so we will be able to keep those really high quality early-career pharmacists and then further develop them which will build our skill level across the department which provides a better pharmacy team and better healthcare for the community,” Mr Perks said.
“It will keep more pharmacists here and hopefully raise the level the quality of the pharmacy practice as well.”
Topics: pharmaceuticals, health, healthcare-facilities, education, townsville-4810, mackay-4740, toowoomba-4350
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