Volunteers needed to help train next generation of pharmacists

The University of Nottingham is looking for people with long term health conditions to take part in the training of the next generation of pharmacists.

People with long term conditions including asthma, diabetes and depression are being invited to take part in the virtual ‘Patient Café‘ where student pharmacists will undertake video call interviews.

The aim of the Patient Cafe is to improve person-centred care by giving pharmacy students greater opportunity to meet a diverse range of patients. Patients will be asked about their medication, how their condition affects them day to day and what their experience is of healthcare.

Dr Matthew Boyd, Head of the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Policy at the University of Nottingham is leading the project. He said: “The role of a pharmacist in both community and hospital practise has grown considerably. They are relied on to undertake regular patient interaction, with tasks including medication reviews and management of long-term conditions a crucial part of their role. In addition to the traditional pharmacist role many are now becoming independent prescribers managing their own caseloads in general practices. In hospitals they deliver specialist services such as blood-thinning clinics and improving patients’ timely access to medicines.

Taking on these tasks means pharmacists can significantly relieve pressure on doctors and nurses by providing these patient focused services that help free up appointment times, so it’s essential that the next generation are equipped with all the skills they need. Having the chance to interview patients is vital in allowing students to gain consultation skills experience, building their confidence and, expertise in interacting with patients. Most importantly however is really understanding what’s important to patients to achieve a truly empathetic patient-centred consultation.”

Each session will be 30 minutes long with up to four students and all information shared is strictly confidential. The Patient Cafés are student-led but supported by dedicated academic and administrative team and co-funded by the University of Nottingham Cascade funding programme.

Dr Boyd adds: “This project builds on the university internationalisation augmenting our commitment to learning without borders. The UK is a multicultural country and the School of Pharmacy welcomes students from over 25 different countries every year on our courses. Pharmacists need to be ready to respond effectively to all patients regardless of ethnic background and this project will help our students to become these culturally competent health professionals.”

Dr Li-Shean Toh, Lead for Placements at the University of Nottingham added: “In these unusual COVID times we all need to think differently about what students’ education looks like. It is critical that students get the experiences necessary to make them the highly trained pharmacists of the future.”

To find out more or to book go to the booking page

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