The importance of health workforce provision has gained significance and is now considered one of the most pressing issues worldwide, across all health professions. Against this background, the objectives of the work presented here were to systematically explore and identify contemporary issues surrounding expansion of the global pharmacy workforce in order to assist the International Pharmaceutical Federation working group on the workforce.
International peer and non-peer-reviewed literature published between January 1998 and February 2008 was analysed. Articles were collated by performing searches of appropriate databases and reference lists of relevant articles; in addition, key informants were contacted. Information that met specific quality standards and pertained to the pharmacy workforce was extracted to matrices and assigned an evidence grade.
Sixty-nine papers were identified for inclusion (48 peer reviewed and 21 non-peer-reviewed). Evaluation of evidence revealed the global pharmacy workforce to be composed of increasing numbers of females who were working fewer hours; this decreased their overall full-time equivalent contribution to the workforce, compared to male pharmacists. Distribution of pharmacists was uneven with respect to location (urban/rural, less-developed/more-developed countries) and work sector (private/public). Graduates showed a preference for completing pre-registration training near where they studied as an undergraduate; this was of considerable importance to rural areas. Increases in the number of pharmacy student enrolments and pharmacy schools occurred alongside an expansion in the number and roles of pharmacy technicians. Increased international awareness and support existed for the certification, registration and regulation of pharmacy technicians and accreditation of training courses. The most common factors adding to the demand for pharmacists were increased feminization, clinical governance measures, complexity of medication therapy and increased prescriptions.
To maintain and expand the future pharmacy workforce, increases in recruitment and retention will be essential, as will decreases in attrition, where possible. However, scaling up the global pharmacy workforce is a complex, multifactorial responsibility that requires coordinated action. Further research by means of prospective and comparative methods, not only surveys, is needed into feminization; decreasing demand for postgraduate training; graduate trends; job satisfaction and the impact of pharmacy technicians; and how effective existing interventions are at expanding the pharmacy workforce. More coordinated monitoring and modelling of the pharmacy workforce worldwide (particularly in developing countries) is required.
Uganda has an acute problem of inadequate human resources partly due to health professionals' unwillingness to work in a rural environment. One strategy to address this problem is to arrange health professional training in rural environments through community placements. Makerere University College of Health Sciences changed training of medical students from the traditional curriculum to a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum in 2003. This curriculum is based on the SPICES model (student-centered, problem-based, integrated, community-based and services oriented). During their first academic year, students undergo orientation on key areas of community-based education, after which they are sent in interdisciplinary teams for community placements. The objective was to assess first year students' perceptions on experiential training through community placements and factors that might influence their willingness to work in rural health facilities after completion of their training.
The survey was conducted among 107 newly admitted first year students on the medical, nursing, pharmacy and medical radiography program students, using in-depth interview and open-ended self-administered questionnaires on their first day at the college, from October 28-30, 2008. Data was collected on socio-demographic characteristics, motivation for choosing a medical career, prior exposure to rural health facilities, willingness to have part of their training in rural areas and factors that would influence the decision to work in rural areas.
Over 75% completed their high school from urban areas. The majority had minimal exposure to rural health facilities, yet this is where most of them will eventually have to work. Over 75% of the newly admitted students were willing to have their training from a rural area. Perceived factors that might influence retention in rural areas include the local context of work environment, support from family and friends, availability of continuing professional training for career development and support of co-workers and the community.
Many first year students at Makerere University have limited exposure to health facilities in rural areas and have concerns about eventually working there.
Objectives. To develop, implement, and assess an interprofessional rural health professions program for pharmacy and medical students.
Design. A recruitment and admissions process was developed that targeted students likely to practice in rural areas. Pharmacy students participated alongside medical students in completing the Rural Health Professions program curriculum, which included monthly lecture sessions and assignments, and a capstone clinical requirement in the final year.
Assessment. Fourteen pharmacy students and 33 medical students were accepted into the program during the first 2 years of the Rural Health Professions program. Approximately 90% of the rural health professions students were originally from rural areas.
Conclusions. The rural health professions program is an interprofessional approach to preparing healthcare providers to practice in rural communities.
assessment; interprofessional; rural healthcare; underserved; rural pharmacy
The purpose of the study was to assess pharmacists’ current practice, perception and knowledge towards the use of herbal products in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study assessed the need for incorporating herbal medicine as a separate topic in under- graduate pharmacy student curricula.
The study was done on 600 pharmacists employed in Abu Dhabi, who were contacted electronically, out of which 271 had completed the survey. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire.
Pharmacists’ use of herbal products is high in the UAE, as they have a high belief on the effectiveness of herbal products, and only age was found to be the most predominant variable that was influencing pharmacists’ personal use of herbal products (p-value=0.0171). Pharmacists were more knowledgeable on the uses/indications of herbal products (47%) rather than on other areas. Knowledge of the dispensing mode (prescription only or over the counter medicines) mandated by the Ministry of Health was quite good, however, it is to be noted that the source of information on the dispensing mode was provided by medical representatives (48%). Knowledge of dispensing mode of herbal products was found to be significantly influenced by the place of work with more knowledge of the dispensing mode by pharmacists working in the private sector (p-value 0.0007). The results from the study also underscores the need for including herbal medicine as a separate topic in pharmacy college curriculum and to provide for more seminars and continuing pharmacy education programs targeting pharmacists in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Pharmacists need to be informed on indications, drug interactions, adverse events and precautions of herbal products. Concerned bodies must also provide them with regular continuing education programs apart from putting their efforts to incorporate relevant topics on herbal medicine in the pharmacy students’ curriculum.
Herbal Medicine; Education; Pharmacy; United Arab Emirates
Despite an increased need, residents of rural communities have decreased access to healthcare and oftenpresentuniquehealthcare challenges associated with their rurality. Ensuring medical students receive adequate exposure to these issues is complicated by the urban location of most medical schools. Health fairs (fairs) conducted in rural communities can provide students exposure to ruralhealth;however, it is unknown how participation affects attitudes regarding these issues.
Materials and Methods:
During the 2010-2011 academic year, first-year medical students were surveyed before and after participating in a rural fair regarding the importance of rural health issues, the need for exposure to rural healthcare, their plans to practice in a rural community,andthe educational impact of fairs.
Of the 121participating students, 77% and 61% completed pre- and post-fair surveys, respectively. Few had lived in a rural area or planned to practice primary care. Participants strongly agreed that the delivery of healthcare in rural areas was important, and that all physicians should receive rural health training (4.8 and 3.7 out of 5, respectively) despite less than halfplanning to practice in a rural community. After participating in a rural fair, student attitudes were unchanged, although 87% of participants strongly agreed their involvement had contributed to improving patient health and 70% that the fairs provided rural medicine experience.
Among urban medical school students with varied interests in primary care, there was strong interest in volunteering at rural fairs and appreciation for the importance of rural health. Fairs provided interested students with rural medicine experience that reinforced student attitudes regarding rural health. Further, students felt their participation improved patient health.
Education; Medical; Undergraduate; Rural health services; Preventive health services
To develop and implement a new course on public health into the bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) curriculum in Malaysia.
A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
public health; curriculum; Malaysia
Tobacco use is projected to cause nearly 450 million deaths worldwide during the next 50 years. Health professionals can have a critical role in reducing tobacco use. Therefore, one of the strategies to reduce the number of smoking-related deaths is to encourage the involvement of health professionals in tobacco-use prevention and cessation counseling. As future health care providers, pharmacy students should consider providing assistance to others to overcome tobacco use and be involved in promoting a tobacco free future as part of their professional responsibility.
This research was to determine the knowledge of tobacco/smoking policy, willingness to be involved in tobacco cessation, attitude to keeping a tobacco free environment and the smoking habit among pharmacy students at the University of Lagos.
Data was collected by the use of self administered questionnaire which was aimed at assessing their smoking habit, determining their knowledge and attitude to smoking policy and willingness to be involved in smoking cessation. The population sample was all the pharmacy students in their professional years (200 to 500 Levels) at Idi-Araba Campus of the University of Lagos.
Out of 327 qualified participants, 297 responded to the questionnaire which was about 91% participation rate but out of these only 291 questionnaires were useful which came to 89%.
There seemed to be no statistically significant difference between the smoking habits among the different levels (p > 0.05). Overall, the current smoking prevalence was 5.5% which is lower than the national prevalence rate of 8.9%.
Awareness of WHO FCTC global tobacco treaty was low (9.3%) among pharmacy students but they agreed that pharmacists and pharmacy students should be involved in quit smoking program (93.1%) and they were willing to be involved in helping smokers to quit (85.9%). Majority agreed that smoking should not be permitted in pharmacies (87.9%) and at pharmacy students' events (86.9%).
From this study it can be concluded that smoking prevalence is low among pharmacy students at the University of Lagos. Awareness of global policy is low but they are willing to be involved in smoking cessation and promoting a tobacco free future.
To determine whether participation in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy (UIC-COP) Pathways to Pharmacy, an early urban pipeline program, motivated underrepresented minority students to pursue a prepharmacy curriculum in college and choose pharmacy as a career.
Over a 4-year period, underrepresented minority high school students participated in a comprehensive 6-week program that included 3 weeks of prepharmacy curriculum and intensive socialization and 3 weeks working as a pharmacy technician in a chain pharmacy. The High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) was administered 3 times to 120 program participants from 2005-2008, with 4 open-ended questions added to the pretest, 3 open-ended questions added to the test administered at the midpoint of the program, and 7 open-ended questions added to the posttest.
After completing the program, 88 (75%) of the 120 students enrolled in the college's prepharmacy curriculum and planned to pursue a career in pharmacy, 10 (8%) were not interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy, and 20 (17%) were undecided, compared to the pretest data which showed that 40 (33%) were interested in a career in pharmacy, and 80 (67%) were undecided (p < 0.0001).
Participation in a Pathways to Pharmacy program grounded in both a theoretical and conceptual socialization model framework increased the number of underrepresented minority students in the pipeline to pharmacy schools.
Pathways to Pharmacy program; socialization; High School Survey of Student Engagement; student recruitment; diversity; minority recruitment
Recent attention has focused on access of communities to pharmacy services in rural areas. To increase access to pharmacy services in rural Western Australia some doctors have been granted a licence to dispense medication on the rationale that a pharmacy would not be economically viable in that community. However, there have been no studies conducted on whether a doctor dispensing service adequately provides a pharmacy service with respect to access and quality.
Residents of seven single pharmacy towns and seven non-pharmacy rural towns were surveyed to evaluate pharmacy services delivered by a pharmacist and doctor. The towns were chosen to match closely on key demographic features, with an average population of 1,246 and 1,263 respectively. A random sample of 150 households from each town was sent the questionnaire on pharmacy services (1050 in each group). Data was also collected from the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) on dispensing locations for the residents of the two groups of towns.
There was a significant difference in access to pharmacy services with 82.4% of participants from pharmacy towns accessing medications within their town compared to 51.3% of non-pharmacy town participants. The HIC data supported these trends with pharmacy town residents having relatively higher prescription rates within their town compared to non-pharmacy town residents where they were more likely to access prescriptions out of their town.
Pharmacy town participants were more satisfied with access to health and pharmacy services within their town. Continuation of the doctor dispensing policy requires a greater consideration of the pharmacy needs of rural residents.
Inequity in health workforce distribution has been a national concern of the Thai health service for decades. The government has launched various policies to increase the distribution of health workforces to rural areas. However, little is known regarding the attitudes of health workers and the factors influencing their decision to work in rural areas. This study aimed to explore the current attitudes of new medical, dental and pharmacy graduates as well as determine the linkage between their characteristics and the preference for working in rural areas.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted, using self-administered questionnaires, with a total of 1,225 medical, dental and pharmacy graduates. They were participants of the meeting arranged by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) on 1–2 April 2012. Descriptive statistics using mean and percentage, and inferential statistics using logistic regression with marginal effects, were applied for data analysis.
There were 754 doctors (44.4%), 203 dentists (42.6%) and 268 pharmacists (83.8%) enrolled in the survey. Graduates from all professions had positive views towards working in rural areas. Approximately 22% of doctors, 31% of dentists and 52% of pharmacists selected ‘close proximity to hometown’ as the most important reason for workplace selection. The multivariable analysis showed a variation in attributes associated with the tendency to work in rural areas across professions. In case of doctors, special track graduates had a 10% higher tendency to prefer rural work than those recruited through the national entrance examination.
The majority of graduates chose to work in community hospitals, and attitudes towards rural work were quite positive. In-depth analysis found that factors influencing their choice varied between professions. Special track recruitment positively influenced the selection of rural workplaces among new doctors attending the MOPH annual meeting for workplace selection. This policy innovation should be applied to dentists and pharmacists as well. However, implementing a single policy without supporting strategies, or failing to consider different characteristics between professions, might not be effective. Future study of attitudes and factors contributing to the selection of, and retention in, rural service of both new graduates and in-service professionals was recommended.
Medical graduate; Dental graduate; Pharmacy graduate; Medical education; Supply and distribution; Attitude of health personnel; Rural distribution
Pharmaceutical care is defined as the responsible provision of medication therapy to achieve definite outcomes that improve patients’ quality of life. Pharmacy education should equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to practise pharmaceutical care competently.
To investigate pharmacy students’ attitudes towards pharmaceutical care, perceptions of their preparedness to perform pharmaceutical care competencies, opinions about the importance of the various pharmaceutical care activities, and the barriers to its implementation in Kuwait.
A descriptive, cross-sectional survey of pharmacy students (n=126) was conducted at Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University. Data were collected via a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics including percentages, medians and means Likert scale rating (SD) were calculated and compared using SPSS, version 19. Statistical significance was accepted at a p value of 0.05 or lower.
The response rate was 99.2%. Pharmacy students expressed overall positive attitudes towards pharmaceutical care. They felt prepared to implement the various aspects of pharmaceutical care, with the least preparedness in the administrative/management aspects. Perceived pharmaceutical care competencies grew as students progressed through the curriculum. The students also appreciated the importance of the various pharmaceutical care competencies. They agreed/strongly agreed that the major barriers to the integration of pharmaceutical care into practice were lack of private counseling areas or inappropriate pharmacy layout (95.2%), lack of pharmacist time (83.3%), organizational obstacles (82.6%), and pharmacists’ physical separation from patient care areas (82.6%).
Pharmacy students’ attitudes and perceived preparedness can serve as needs assessment tools to guide curricular change and improvement. Student pharmacists at Kuwait University understand and advocate implementation of pharmaceutical care while also recognizing the barriers to its widespread adoption. The education and training provided at Kuwait University Faculty of Pharmacy is designed to develop students to be the change agents who can advance pharmacist-provided direct patient care.
Students; Pharmacy; Education; Pharmacy; Curriculum; Attitude of Health Personnel; Professional Role; Kuwait
Pharmacists are consistently ranked among the most trusted professionals, and research shows high levels of satisfaction with pharmacist services. Studies have also shown that the public is generally unaware of the full range of roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist. The purpose of this study was to explore the public’s knowledge and attitudes regarding the role of the community pharmacist and to determine their likelihood of using expanded pharmacist services.
Adults across Newfoundland and Labrador were surveyed by telephone. Survey questions addressed how frequently participants visited the pharmacy, understanding of duties undertaken by pharmacists, perceptions and attitudes regarding pharmacists as health care professionals, likelihood of using expanded pharmacist services and participant demographics. Comparisons were made between responses from urban and rural participants and frequent versus nonfrequent pharmacy users, to determine if there were any differences.
The majority of participants were generally aware of what pharmacists do when filling prescriptions; those who visited the pharmacy more frequently appeared to be more informed. Participants indicated they would take advantage of the expanded services suggested, with greatest interest in receiving advice for minor ailment management and prescription refills from pharmacists. Results support the prevailing view that pharmacists are trusted health professionals who should have access to patients’ health information to provide best care.
The public is aware of aspects of the pharmacist’s role, but opportunities exist to better educate the public on the knowledge, skills and unique professional abilities of pharmacists to support uptake of expanded pharmacist services.
In the recent years, the role of a pharmacist has been significantly changed. Traditionally, in the late 20th century, a pharmacist’s role was considered as merely dispensing medication to patients. This view however, has been significantly altered, and, today, a pharmacist is supposed to provide patients with information regarding the medication they are to take, as well as on different aspects of their disease. Therefore, one can suggest that some other factors have recently come into play in the daily tasks of a pharmacist such as accountability and authority.
The current cross-sectional survey is conducted on a cohort of community pharmacists attending a continuing education program. A questionnaire comprised of 26 Likert-type scale questions was designed to assess pharmacists’ attitude towards professionalism and its subscales which are defined later in detail. A total number of 1000 pharmacists were surveyed and 560 of them filled and returned the questionnaires. On a scale from 1-5 on which 1 was corresponded with strongly agree and 5 with strongly disagree, the total score of pharmacists professionalism was 92.9 ± 10.4 out of 130. As regards the subscales, in the subscale of accountability 46.8% of participants, in the subscale of altruism 90.1% of participants, in the theme of duty 85.7% of participants, and in the subscale of working relationship with physicians 84% of pharmacist achieved more than two third of the total score. Only in term of conflict of interest 67.9% of participants scored less than two third (17–25) of the total score. Women obtained significantly higher scores in altruism (P<0.05). Furthermore, there was a correlation between age and the score of accountability and working relationship with physicians; and, the same was observed in regards with work experience with the score of working relationship with physicians. The employment position affected neither our participants’ response to the whole questionnaire nor any of subscales.
Although the total score for professionalism was not dramatically decreased, the significantly low results are alarming and they should be considered more seriously. In order to enhance the level of pharmacists’ professionalism, especially in some special aspects, it seems necessary to conduct similar surveys on pharmacy students and registered pharmacists with a more comprehensive questionnaire. Overall, it can be concluded that designing a proper teaching course in professionalism for pharmacy students is of paramount importance if we are to promote professionalism in future pharmacists.
Pharmacy professionalism; Altruism; Accountability; Pharmacy ethics
To evaluate University of Alberta staff and students’ acceptance of and satisfaction with receiving influenza vaccinations from student pharmacists during the university’s annual influenza campaign.
Material and methods:
A patient survey was created to collect patient demographics, influenza history and feedback on the services provided by pharmacy students and to measure willingness to receive vaccinations from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy. The 13-question survey was distributed to patients who received an influenza vaccination from a student pharmacist during the influenza campaign.
A total of 1555 staff and students completed the satisfaction survey. Almost all (n = 1533, 99%) survey participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by student pharmacists. A total of 1437 (92%) participants agreed or strongly agreed that based on this experience, they would be willing to receive vaccinations from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy and 1526 (98%) participants rated their overall experience at the flu clinic as very good or excellent.
Positive responses to the survey suggest that University of Alberta staff and students are satisfied with the service provided by student pharmacists. Their willingness to receive vaccines from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy highlighted public acceptance of the expanding role of pharmacists as immunizers.
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team, especially in minority and urban communities. This study was developed to assess pharmacists' ability and willingness to counsel the public on prostate cancer in the community pharmacy setting. A mail survey was sent to all 192 community pharmacies in Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, Maryland. A total of 90 pharmacists responded to the questionnaire, providing a 46.9% response rate. One third of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to participate in a prostate cancer training program. Perceived benefits and perceived barriers were each measured through five questionnaire items using Likert-style statements with responses ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The most significant predictor of perceived benefits of providing prostate cancer information was gender; male pharmacists perceived greater benefits for providing prostate cancer information than female pharmacists. Similarly, black pharmacists perceived greater benefits of providing prostate cancer information to their patients than non-black pharmacists. Also, pharmacists in stores that offered disease state management programs had a significantly lower perceived benefit of providing prostate cancer information. These findings indicate that gender and race may play a role in health promotion in health disparities. There were no significant barriers to providing prostate cancer information. Thus, many pharmacists are willing to participate in health education on prostate cancer.
One of the key features affecting the transition from university to paid
employment is the graduate’s perception of their capability to
satisfactorily perform the work of a graduate. In some professions such as
in nursing, the concept of "transition shock" is referred to.
There is a need to understand how pharmacy students perceive the transition
to their first job as intern pharmacists and identify potential curriculum
gaps in their pharmacy studies. To date, little evidence around whether
university programs are effective in equipping pharmacy graduates in
transitioning to the world of work has been published.
To explore from the perspective of new pharmacy professionals, graduated from
one Australian university areas that need to be addressed in pharmacy
programs to prepare graduates for the transition to full-time work as
interns in pharmacy.
Thematic analysis of interviews with interns.
Subthemes were identified within the responses- relationships within the
workplace and graduates needing to interest themselves in other people,
adjusting to work hours and the differences between university assessments
and performing in a workplace. Suggestions were made by graduates that the
placement period within the pharmacy program be increased.
Pharmacy graduates appear prepared for the world of pharmacy work. The
concept of "transition shock" or "transition stress"
described for graduates of other health professions commencing work was not
Clinical Competence; Education, Pharmacy; Internship, Nonmedical; Australia
Regional or state studies in the USA have documented shortages of rural physicians and other healthcare professionals that can impact on access to health services. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rural hospital chief executive officers (CEOs) in the USA report shortages of health professions and to obtain perceptions about factors influencing recruiting and retention.
A nationwide US survey was conducted of 1031 rural hospital CEOs identified by regional/state Area Health Education Centers. A three-page survey was sent containing questions about whether or not physician shortages were present in the CEO’s community and asking about physician needs by specialty. The CEOs were also asked to assess whether other health professionals were needed in their town or within a 48 km (30 mile) radius. Analyses from 335 respondents (34.4%) representative of rural hospital CEOs in the USA are presented.
Primary care shortages based on survey responses were very similar to the pattern for all rural areas in the USA (49% vs 52%, respectively). The location of respondents according to ZIP code rurality status was similar to all rural areas in the USA (moderately rural, 29.3% vs 27.6%, respectively), and 69.1 % were located in highly rural ZIP codes (vs 72.4% of highly rural ZIP codes for all USA). Physician shortages were reported by 75.4% of the rural CEOs, and 70.3% indicated shortages of two or more primary care specialties. The most frequently reported shortage was family medicine (FM, 58.3%) followed by general internal medicine (IM, 53.1%). Other reported shortages were: psychiatry (46.6%); general surgery (39.9%); neurology (36.4%); pediatrics (PEDS, 36.2%); cardiology (35%); and obstetrics-gynecology (34.4%). The three most commonly needed allied health professions were registered nurses (73.5%), physical therapists (61.2%) and pharmacists (51 %). The percentage of CEOs reporting shortages of two or more primary care specialties (FM, IM or PEDS) was 70.3% nationally, with no statistically significant regional variation (p = .394), while higher for the New England through Virginia region (83.9%) than for all other regions. The CEOs reported the highest specialty care shortages for psychiatry (46.6%) followed by general surgery (39.9%), neurology (36.4%), cardiology (35.0%) and obstetrics-gynecology (34.4%;). Major specialty shortages varied among regions and only for neurology and cardiology were regional differences statistically significant (p < .05). Marked variation between need for healthcare professionals were reported ranging from approximately 73% for registered nurses (RNs) to 16% for health educators. Reporting of need for RNs in rural areas was nearly 74% nationally and 35% reported a need for nurse practitioners. Differences for both RNs and nurse practitioners were not statistically significant among regions. Nationally, approximately 30% of CEOs reported a shortage of licensed practical nurses, which differed significantly among regions (p = .006). There was variation in physical therapist shortages among regions (p = 001), with 61.2% of CEOs reporting shortages nationally. Regional variation pattern was observed for pharmacists (p = .004) with approximately 50% of rural CEOs reporting a need for pharmacists nationally. The association between CEOs’ reported shortages of two or more primary care doctors and their indication of the need for other health professionals was statistically significant for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and dentists. The recruitment and retention attributes deemed to be of greatest importance were: (1) healthcare is a major part of the local economy; (2) community is a good place for family; (3) doctors are well-respected and supported; and (4) people in the community are friendly and supportive of each other. These were remarkably similar across 6 US geographic regions.
Similarities in shortages and attributes influencing recruitment across regions suggest that major policy and program interventions are needed to develop a rural health professions workforce that will enable the benefits of recent US health reform insurance coverage to be realized. Substantial and targeted programs to increase rural healthcare professionals are needed.
health care; geographic variation; workforce; USA
The widespread use of CAM around the world requires health professionals including pharmacists to have the required knowledge to better advise their patients. This has lead to an increased need for the inclusion of CAM instruction into the mainstream undergraduate Pharmacy education. This study was designed to describe pharmacy students awareness, use, attitude and perceived need for CAM education at COMAHS-USL and at the same time, determine how these descriptive outcomes are influenced by the socio-demographic variables considered in this study.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate pharmacy students (n = 90) at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone using a structured questionnaire. Chi square, fisher exact test, and general linear model univariate analysis were used to compare data between independent cohorts.
All 90 (100%) of the students were aware and have used (except Ayurveda) at least one of the listed CAM modalities. Herbal/Botanical/Supplements followed by Spirituality/Prayer were the most commonly known and used CAM modalities. Almost two thirds of students considered the CAM modalities they have used to be effective and not harmful. Overall, pharmacy students had a positive attitude towards CAM (Mean attitudinal score = 34.9 ± 4. 5 (range 19–43)) with fourth and fifth year students showing a significantly less positive attitude as compared to the first, second and third year (B = −3.203 p = 0.001, 95% confidence interval - 5.093 to −1.314). The media [53 (58.9%)] was the most frequent source of information about CAM. Nearly all students [89 (98.9%)] agreed that CAM knowledge is important to them as future pharmacist and that CAM should be included into the Pharmacy curriculum at COMAHS-USL [81 (90.0%)].
Pharmacy students in Sierra Leone are aware of and have used at least one of the CAM modalities and do show a positive attitude towards CAM. This was demonstrated by their overwhelming endorsement for CAM course to be part of the undergraduate pharmacy training at COMAHS-USL. This study among others will inform and guide the development and implementation of CAM instruction at COMAHS-USL.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-438) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Complementary and alternative medicine; Pharmacy students; Awareness; Attitude; Use; Education; Sierra Leone
The renal dosing directive of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Pharmacy Program outlines an auditable pharmacy service whereby pharmacists are required to perform documentation (i.e., document their rationale) only if they do not adjust the dose of any medications listed in the directive.
To compare the suitability of manual orders (hard copy) and reports from the pharmacy information system (computer-generated) for determining pharmacists’ compliance with the renal dosing directive; to measure compliance with the renal dosing directive; and to determine pharmacists’ opinions about audit programs.
A retrospective audit was used to compare 400 manual orders with the corresponding orders in reports from the pharmacy information system, to determine compliance with the renal dosing directive. An e-mail survey was performed to gather pharmacists’ opinions about audit programs.
Of the 400 orders evaluated, 86 (22%) required consideration of a dose adjustment. Of these, 78 (91%) showed that dosing followed the guidelines for renal dysfunction in standard pharmacy references. Six (7%) of 86 manual orders and 8 (9%) of 86 pharmacy information system orders were not compliant with the renal dosing directive (i.e., no dosage adjustment and no documentation of rationale). Of 77 pharmacists approached, 34 (44%) completed the survey. Most respondents (31/34 [91%]) agreed that auditing is beneficial to patients, and the same number (31/34 [91%]) agreed that auditing provides important information to the pharmacy program. Only 17 (50%) were aware of medications listed in the renal dosing directive, and 14 (41%) felt that they had received sufficient education about pharmacy directives. Most respondents (29/34 [85%]) agreed that audits would reveal areas for improvement, and all (34/34 [100%]) would comply with any changes required to facilitate performance of an audit if such changes did not increase workload.
Similar results were obtained with the 2 auditing methods used for this study (manual orders and reports from the pharmacy information system). However, pharmacists’ current use of electronic documentation limits the feasibility of pharmacy information system audits. Survey respondents claimed that they were not familiar with the renal dosing directive, but they did agree that auditing clinical services is beneficial.
renal dose adjustments; pharmacists’ compliance; pharmacists’ behaviours and attitudes; ajustements posologiques chez les insuffisants rénaux; conformité de la part des pharmaciens; comportements et attitudes des pharmaciens
In India, private pharmacies are ubiquitous yet critical establishments that facilitate community access to medicines. These are often the first points of treatment seeking in parts of India and other low income settings around the world. The characteristics of these pharmacies including their location, drug availability, human resources and infrastructure have not been studied before. Given the ubiquity and popularity of private pharmacies in India, such information would be useful to harness the potential of these pharmacies to deliver desirable public health outcomes, to facilitate regulation and to involve in initiatives pertaining to rational drug use. This study was a cross sectional survey that mapped private pharmacies in one district on a geographic information system and described relevant characteristics of these units.
This study of pharmacies was a part of larger cross sectional survey carried out to map all the health care providers in Ujjain district (population 1.9 million), Central India, on a geographic information system. Their location vis-à-vis formal providers of health services were studied. Other characteristics like human resources, infrastructure, clients and availability of tracer drugs were also surveyed.
A total 475 private pharmacies were identified in the district. Three-quarter were in urban areas, where they were concentrated around physician practices. In rural areas, pharmacies were located along the main roads. A majority of pharmacies simultaneously retailed medicines from multiple systems of medicine. Tracer parenteral antibiotics and injectable steroids were available in 83.7% and 88.7% pharmacies respectively. The proportion of clients without prescription was 39.04%. Only 11.58% of staff had formal pharmacist qualifications. Power outages were a significant challenge.
This is the first mapping of pharmacies & their characteristics in India. It provides evidence of the urban dominance and close relationship between healthcare provider location and pharmacy location. The implications of this relationship are discussed. The study reports a lack of qualified staff in the presence of a high proportion of clients attending without a prescription. The study highlights the need for the better implementation of regulation. Besides facilitating regulation & partnerships, the data also provides a sampling frame for future interventional studies on these pharmacies.
To use an unconventional data - pharmaceutical sales surveillance for the early detection of respiratory and gastrointestinal epidemics in rural China.
Drug sales data as an early indicator in syndromic surveillance has attracted particular interest in recent years (1, 2), however previous studies were mostly conducted in developed countries or areas. In China, many people (around 60%) choose self-medication as their first option when they encounter a health problem (3), and electronic sales information system is gradually used by retail pharmacies, which makes drug sales data become a promising data source for syndromic surveillance in China.
This experimental study was conducted in four rural counties in central China. From Apr. 1st 2012, there are 56 retail pharmacies joined the study, including 21 county pharmacies and 35 township pharmacies. 123 drugs were selected under surveillance based on the analysis of local historical sales volume and consultation with local pharmacists, including 19 antibiotics, 15 antidiarrheal medications, 9 antipyretics, 41 compound cold medicine, and 39 cough suppressants. Daily sales volume of the selected drugs was recorded into the database by pharmacy staff at each participating unit via electronic file importing or manual entering. Figure 1 showed the user interface for data viewing, query and export. Field training and supervision were regularly conducted to ensure the data quality.
From Apr. 1st to Jun. 30th 2012, there were 103814 sales records reported in the system, including 44464 (42.83%) records from county pharmacies and 59350 (57.17%) from township pharmacies. Among all surveillance drugs, the sales of compound cold medicine accounted for the largest proportion (43.42%), followed by antibiotics (22.52 %), cough suppressants (18.50%), antidiarrheal drugs (9.49%) and antipyretics (6.06 %). More than 80% data were reported into the system within 24 hours after the sales date, and the reporting timeliness of county pharmacies improved with time (table 1). Missing report rate was less than 5% for all surveillance units. Several reporting mistakes were found during the first three-month implementation, which might be due to system bugs, data provider unfamiliar with the system especially when manual reporting, data providers’ carelessness, and some pharmacies reluctant to share sales data amongst others.
Although the current reporting timeliness and completeness are satisfying, it is noteworthy the quality of data is not stable during the beginning phase of the implementation. Further validation of the data will be required. To ensure the accuracy of data and the effective and sustainable deployment of the system, it is imperative to establish a data sharing policy between pharmacies and public health agencies, and achieve automated data collection to avoid additional human labor involvement.
Syndromic surveillance; Medication sales; Developing settings
Objective. To determine the effectiveness of a summer pharmacy camp on participants’ pursuit of enrollment in doctor of pharmacy degree programs.
Methods. All participants (n = 135) in a pharmacy camp at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy from 2007-2010 were invited to complete an anonymous online survey instrument.
Results. Seventy-three students completed the survey instrument (54% response rate). Ninety-six percent of pharmacy camp participants said that they would recommend pharmacy camp to a friend, and 76% planned to apply or had applied to doctor of pharmacy degree program. Seven of the camp participants had enrolled in the UAMS College of Pharmacy.
Conclusions. The pharmacy summer camp at UAMS is effective in maintaining high school students’ interest in the profession of pharmacy. Continued use of the pharmacy camp program as a recruitment tool is warranted; however, additional research on this topic is needed.
pharmacy camp; recruitment; admissions; pharmacy students; survey
To understand how the formal curriculum experience of an Australian
undergraduate pharmacy program supports students’ professional identity
A qualitative ethnographic study was conducted over four weeks using
participant observation and examined the ‘typical’ student experience from
the perspective of a pharmacist. A one-week period of observation was
undertaken with each of the four year groups (that is, for years one to
four) comprising the undergraduate curriculum. Data were collected through
observation of the formal curriculum experience using field notes, a
reflective journal and informal interviews with 38 pharmacy students. Data
were analyzed thematically using an a priori analytical framework.
Our findings showed that the observed curriculum was a conventional
curricular experience which focused on the provision of technical knowledge
and provided some opportunities for practical engagement. There were some
opportunities for students to imagine themselves as pharmacists, for
example, when the lecture content related to practice or teaching staff
described their approach to practice problems. However, there were limited
opportunities for students to observe pharmacist role models, experiment
with being a pharmacist or evaluate their professional identities. While
curricular learning activities were available for students to develop as
pharmacists e.g. patient counseling, there was no contact with patients and
pharmacist academic staff tended to role model as educators with little
evidence of their pharmacist selves.
These findings suggest that the current conventional approach to the
curriculum design may not be fully enabling learning experiences which
support students in successfully negotiating their professional identities.
Instead it appeared to reinforce their identities as students with a naïve
understanding of professional practice, making their future transition to
professional practice challenging.
Students, Pharmacy; Professional Practice; Professional Role; Curriculum; Program Development; Qualitative Research; Australia
Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Despite this fact and the development of effective antihypertensive drug therapy, hypertension is often poorly controlled. Community pharmacies are an ideal site for the management of hypertension and other modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. The purpose of the current study was to develop and assess a pharmacy-based cardiovascular risk screening program implemented by graduate students.
Methods: Four graduate students trained as health coaches screened a convenience sample of adults who were interested in cardiovascular risk assessment in 21 Montreal area pharmacies. On the screening day, we assessed cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, used the Cardiovascular Life Expectancy Model, which includes cardiovascular age, to inform patients of their personalized risk profile, delivered an individualized health coaching intervention and conducted a participant satisfaction survey. This was followed by an individualized health coaching intervention. The intervention program was implemented by trained graduate students and supported by pharmacists.
Results: Among the 238 patients who participated (57% female, mean age 60.6 years), 67% had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 kg/m2, 52% had abdominal obesity, 58% reported insufficient physical activity and 14% were smokers. A total of 120 patients (51%) were taking antihypertensive medication, yet 63 (53%) had blood pressure readings above currently accepted targets. Higher BMI and physical inactivity were associated with increased rates of poorly controlled hypertension.
Conclusion: The screening program identified individuals with modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and poorly controlled hypertension. The intervention program was well received by participants and the majority provided contact information for future cardiovascular screening clinics. These findings support the feasibility of screening programs run by graduate students in the pharmacy setting.
Increased access to sterile syringes among injection drug users (IDUs) has been correlated with reduced syringe sharing. Many states, including Rhode Island, have legalized non-prescription (NP) sale of syringes in pharmacies. Previous studies have suggested that training pharmacists to provide HIV-related services to IDUs may be an important opportunity to engage IDUs and provide them with such services. However, it is not clear to what extent pharmacy staff are willing to expand their roles in providing services to IDUs who come in to purchase syringes. We recruited pharmacists and pharmacy staff from the 48 pharmacies indicating NP sale of syringes in the greater Providence, RI area, to participate in an online survey consisting of demographic information; views about the current syringe laws in Rhode Island; willingness to provide HIV-related services, including referral for HIV testing, substance use treatment, and medical and social services, to IDUs; and past experiences with IDU customers. One hundred and forty-six individuals completed the online survey (32 pharmacies, 114 pharmacy staff). Most participants were employed by chain pharmacies (92%). Most participants thought that pharmacies are important resources for IDU customers (77%) and that they would be willing to provide health and prevention information/referrals to IDU customers who purchase NP syringes (59%). With respect to willingness to offer HIV prevention-related services, access to confidential space and concern about personal safety had the strongest associations with willingness to provide HIV prevention services (OR, 4.3 and 0.1, respectively). As the nature of the retail pharmacy shifts, researchers, pharmacy executives, and health care officials can build upon the willingness of pharmacists and pharmacy staff in order to address the health needs of injection drug users and other underserved populations.
Pharmacies; IDUs; HIV prevention; OTC syringes