Qualitative interviews of pharmacy interns: determining curricular preparedness for work life
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.
Objectives: 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.
Methods: Thematic analysis of interviews with interns.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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 apparent.
Keywords: Clinical Competence. Education, Pharmacy. Internship, Nonmedical. Australia.
2. Framework AQ. AQF Qualification by Sector of Accreditation. Available at: http://www.aqf.edu.au/Portals/0/Documents/Handbook/AQF_Handbook_51-72.pdf.
3. Competency Standards for Pharmacists in Australia. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia; 2010.
4. Smith RA, Pilling S. Allied health graduate program – supporting the transition from student to professional in an interdisciplinary program. J Interprof Care. 2007;21(3):265-276.
5. Moriarty J, Manthorpe J, Stevens M, Hussein S. Making the Transition: Comparing Research on Newly Qualified Social Workers with Other Professions. Br J Soc Work. 2011;41(7):1340-1356.
6. Willis SC, Hassell K, Seston EM, Hann M. Using learning outcomes for undergraduate pharmacy education to assess final-year students' perceptions of their preparedness for pharmacy practice. Int J Pharm Pract. 2009;17(6):351-358.
7. Kairuz T, Case S, Shaw J. Perceptions of graduates and preceptors regarding a new pharmacy programme. Pharm Educ. 2007;7:151-157.
8. Owen S, Stupans I, Ryan. G, McKauge L, Woulfe J. Support needed by pharmacy students in experiential placements: stakeholders' expectations. J Pharm Pract Res. 2010;40(2):99-102.
9. Duchscher JB. A Process of Becoming: The Stages of New Nursing Graduate Professional Role Transition. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2008;39(10):441-450.
10. Duchscher JEB. Transition shock: the initial stage of role adaptation for newly graduated Registered Nurses. J Adv Nurs. 2009;65(5):1103-1113.
11. Katinka P, Margaretha Van de W, Cees Van der V, Henny B, Albert S. Junior Doctors Opinions about the Transition from Medical School to Clinical Practice: A Change of Environment. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2004;17(3):323-331.
12. Tweed MJ, Bagg W, Child S, Wilkinson TJ, Weller JM. How the trainee intern (TI) year can ease the transition from undergraduate education to postgraduate practice. N Z Med J. 2010;123(1318):81-91.
13. Corcoran E. Transition Shock. Journal of Teacher Education 1981;32(3):19-23.
14. Bailey J, Oliver D, Townsend K. Transition to practitioner: Redesigning a third year course for undergraduate business students. Journal of Management & Organization. 2007;13(1):65-80.
15. Strauss A, Corbin J. Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1998.
16. Eraut M. Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence. London:The Falmer Press; 1994.
17. Benner P, Tanner C, Chesla C. Expertise in Nursing Practice – Caring, Clinical Judgement and Ethics. New York: Springer Publishing; 1995.
18. Burke V, Jones I, Doherty M. Analysing student perceptions of transferable skills via undergraduate degree programmes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 2005;6(2):132-144.
19. Stupans I, McKauge L, Owen S. Indicators of a quality clinical placement in pharmacy: Stakeholder perspectives J Pharm Pract Res. 2011;41(2):118-121.
20. Katajavuori N, Lindblom-Ylänne S, Hirvonen J. The Significance of Practical Training in Linking Theoretical Studies with Practice. Higher Education 2006;51(3):439-464.
21. Roberts AS, Benrimoj SI, Dunphy DC, Palmer IC. Community pharmacy: strategic change management. Sydney:McGraw-Hill; 2007.
22. Ramsden P. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: London: Routledge;1992.
23. Boud D. Avoiding the traps: seeking good practice in the use of self assessment and reflection in professional courses. Soc Work Educ. 1999;18(2):121-132.
24. Eva KW, Regehr G. Self-Assessment in the Health Professions: A Reformulation and Research Agenda. Acad Med. 2005;80(10 Suppl):S46-S54.
25. Andrade H, Valtcheva A. Promoting Learning and Achievement through Self-Assessment. Theory Into Practice. 2009;48(1):12-19.
The authors hereby transfer, assign, or otherwise convey to Pharmacy Practice: (1) the right to grant permission to republish or reprint the stated material, in whole or in part, without a fee; (2) the right to print pr epublish copies for free distribution or sale; and (3) the right to republish the stated material in any format (electronic or printed). In addition, the undersigned affirms that the article described above has not previously been published, in whole or part, is not subject to copyright or other rights except by the author(s), and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere, except as communicated in writing to Pharmacy Practice with this document.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC-ND) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.