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‘The readiness is all’ – Australian pharmacists and pharmacy students concur with Shakespeare on work readiness

Jasmina Fejzic, Michelle Barker

Abstract

Background: Understanding the concept of pharmacy students’ ‘work readiness’ is vital for all pharmacy educators, enabling use of informed learning strategies to optimise graduate attributes in an increasingly competitive market.

Aims: To explore the concept of ‘work readiness’ amongst community pharmacists and Australian pharmacy students, highlighting implications for educators.

Method: Australian community pharmacists were asked to explain their perceptions of graduate work readiness in face- to-face interviews during placement visits (2011, 2014). Pharmacy students were surveyed during lectures (2011). Results were thematically analysed.

Results: There were many similarities between pharmacists’ and students’ perceptions, both emphasising transferrable (‘soft’) skills. Knowledge was secondary to experience, practice skills, and personal attributes. Recently, pharmacy employers’ focus shifted towards graduates’ management skills, ability to grow business, and implement novel pharmacy services.

Conclusion: Pharmacy educators should consider implications regarding work readiness when designing and managing pharmacy curricula in order to optimise employment opportunities of pharmacy graduates. 


Keywords

Work Readiness, Perceptions, Pharmacy, Preceptors, Students, Education


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