Residency helps identity struggle

Symposium attendees (L-R): Jacinta Johnson (SA Health), Cherrie Leong (Epic pharmacy), Courtney King (Icon Cancer Care), Chris Freeman (Vice President, PSA)
Symposium attendees (L-R): Jacinta Johnson (SA Health), Cherrie Leong (Epic pharmacy), Courtney King (Icon Cancer Care), Chris Freeman (Vice President, PSA)

NAPSA says residency is a way of moving the entire profession forward

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association says that it supports The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia’s official launch of the next round of accreditation for hospitals and health service sites seeking SHPA accreditation to begin their residency program in 2018.

Currently more than 100 residents are located at 30 accredited sites, with 51% distributed in Queensland.

“This is an outstanding result for the first accreditation round,” says NAPSA President Sandra Minas.

The SHPA Residency Program is a structured, formalised, practice-based program conducted over two years. The program provides early career pharmacists with the opportunity to fast-track their professional development path to advanced practice.

Residents participate in four six-month rotations to foster intensive experiential learning.

NAPSA highlighted the 2017 SHPA Residency Symposium, which was held in Melbourne last month.

The event attracted 78 delegates and had a focus on sharing residency experiences and providing focused support and guidance to residency program leaders and preceptors.

NAPSA cited the words of SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley, who opened the symposium saying that the vision of residency will not be realised until its normalised and every new hospital pharmacist goes through a residency program.

The competency framework for SHPA Residency is adapted from the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework (APPF), which is recognised by NAPSA and its members as an integral part of the progression of the pharmacy profession.

NAPSA Executive Director of Internal Affairs and advanced practice advocate, Mr Vasilios Sotiropoulos says, “It is encouraging to see the SHPA support the advanced practitioner development pathway, right from foundation years, through to the implementation of a hospital pharmacy residency program.”

The future of residency is advanced training residencies which serves as a pathway to advanced practice credentialing, says NAPSA.

The opportunity to be credentialed for a specific area of practice will improve the quality of healthcare delivered by hospital pharmacists as they could be treating diseases for which there is little evidence, it says. The model is aligned with other health professions and countries.

NAPSA’s 2015 National Pharmacy Student Survey highlighted that half of students perceive a struggle for identity in health and a lack of career advancement as major issues facing the profession.

Residency is a way of moving the entire profession forward by helping navigate the many career pathways available, the organisation says.

The program allows and encourages pharmacists to reflect on the impact of their practice through what they do, rather than what they know, it says.

“NAPSA is committed to supporting residency because it empowers the workforce of tomorrow to train in a structured environment within the early stages of their career,” says Ms Minas.

“Being recognised for advanced practice needs to happen and it starts with students.

“The only way we can progress this is through normalising it, supporting, adopting and championing it.

“So get on the train and start advocating, as the future of pharmacy is already here.”

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