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Perceptions on requirements to inform the design of a pharmacist tutor training programme

Gillian Knott, Linda Crane, Ian Heslop, Beverley D Glass

Abstract

Background: Practising pharmacists as sessional tutors have been identified as providing value to a Pharmacy programme, particularly in maintaining the currency and relevance of the curriculum. However, the lack of training and support provided to this sessional academic workforce has been considered as a risk to the quality of their contribution to the education of pharmacy students at universities.

Aim: This study thus aimed to determine the requirements of pharmacist tutors in order to inform the design of a pharmacy tutor training programme.

Method: A cross-sectional survey was administered to pharmacist tutors, with simple descriptive statistics used to calculate frequency counts and percentages. Focus groups with tutors, pharmacy academic staff and students were conducted in order to interpret and develop the survey data.

Results: Ninety-six percent of the 27 respondents supported the development of a pharmacy-specific tutor training programme, indicating that they saw their primary role as providing the link between theory and current practice. This was strongly supported by the participants in both the staff and student focus groups. Assessing student performance and giving effective student feedback were identified as two key areas for inclusion in a pharmacist tutor training programme, with 93% and 89% of respondents respectively rating these areas as very important and important.

Conclusion: This study highlighted the need for a pharmacy-specific tutor training programme, addressing key areas, which have been identified by not only the tutors themselves but also the pharmacy academic staff and students. 


Keywords

Pharmacist Tutors, Pharmacy Student Perceptions, Training Programme, Tutor Support


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