The enthusiasm of pharmacy students attending the 2017 NAPSA Congress indicates the profession’s future will be in safe hands, says the association’s president
President of the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA), Shefali Parekh, told the AJP that 320 delegates attended the Perth Congress – making it one of the group’s largest events to date.
Several awards were presented, including the Pharmacy Student of the Year NAPSA Wildcard entry who was named at a gala dinner on Sunday night.
“That was won by Tessa Drew from WA’s Curtin University,” says Ms Parekh. “What made her stand out was very good communication, confidence in what she was saying, and her recommendations were the most correct.
“We’ve had a great week. We also gave our Vampire Cup award, which went to Pharmers, our branch from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.
“This is actually their last Congress: they’ve been removed from NAPSA as their campus is shutting down. They’re so small that the pharmacy school has decided to join up with the [Charles Sturt University] Orange campus.”
Despite the chapter’s small size, it was outstanding in competing in events such as the health students’ Blood Challenge to donate blood and NAPSA’s Charity Cup.
“The award for overall standout branch went to QPSA, which is the University of Queensland branch.
“The Congress was opened by the Hon. Ken Wyatt, which was great, and then the students were most captivated by the patient stories we heard, such as Barry Marshall, who advocates for Alzheimer’s Australia,” Ms Parekh says.
“We also had a lady called ‘JW’ who talked about her patient experience and how the smallest act of compassion by health professionals can make a patient’s experience better.
“The Congress really got the students motivated and excited about pharmacy. These 320 or so students here will be the ones who change the profession – they’re the ones networking and clearly excited to be here and learning.
“We’ve all left feeling inspired.”