Community pharmacy experiential placement: Comparison of preceptor and student perspectives in an Australian postgraduate pharmacy programme


  • Jasmina Fejzic School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland & Griffith Health Institute, Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation
  • Amanda Henderson Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland & Griffith University, Queensland
  • Nerida A Smith Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Queensland
  • Amary Mey School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland


Work-Integrated/Experiential Learning, Community Pharmacy Placements, Preceptors, Preceptor Training, Students, Support Needs


Background: Community Pharmacy Placements are an integral component of the pharmacy curriculum. Their success relies heavily on the willingness and capability of pharmacists to precept.

Aims: To explore community pharmacy preceptors’ perceptions about factors that assist them facilitate student learning, and the corresponding pharmacy students’ perception of their experiential learning.

Method: Preceptors (n=75) and their preceptees (n=83) were asked to complete anonymous surveys immediately following the placement. Descriptive statistics were conducted on surveys returned [53 preceptors, 51 students].

Results: Preceptors positively rated support from the University and their teams. Students rated their experiential placement as productive. Preceptors indicated difficulty preceptoring in busy and complex situations.

Conclusion: Placements are valuable for preceptees. Preceptors are supported through information provided by the University, however guidance could be provided around managing students in complex and difficult situations. Quality pharmacy preceptor guidance should ensure continuation of positive learning experiences for students. 

Author Biography

Amanda Henderson, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland & Griffith University, Queensland

Nursing Director (Education), Nursing Practice Development Unit & Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University


Australian Pharmacy Council (2009) Accreditation Standards. Canberra: APC.

Billett, S. (2003) Guiding vocational learning. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

DOHA (2008) Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA): Analysis Of Secondary Data To Understand Pharmacy Workforce Supply - Initial Supply Report, Canberra.

Egan, T. & Jaye, C. (2009) Communities of clinical practice: the social organization of clinical learning. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 13, 107 –125.

Henderson, A., Alexander, H., Haywood, A., Stapleton, P., Cooke, M., Patterson, E., Dalton, M. & Creedy, D. (2010) Promoting and providing expert guidance in work-intensive clinical settings. Vocations and Learning, 13, 141-150.

Henderson, A., Creedy, D. K., Cooke, M. & Walker, R. (2010) Modification of a student feedback tool that provides feedback to staff in clinical contexts. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 2936–2938.

Henderson, A., Eaton, E., & Burmeister, L. (2012) Development and preliminary validation of a tool to measure nurses' support for facilitating the learning of others, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49(8), 1013-1016.

Marriott, J., Taylor, S., Simpson, M., Bull, R., Galbraith, K., Howarth, H., Leversha, A., Best, D. & Rose, M. (2005) Australian national strategy for pharmacy preceptor education and support. Aust J Rural Health, 13, 83–90.

Owen, S., Ryan, G., Woulfe, J., Mckauge, L. & Stupans, I. (2011) Collaborative development of an online pharmacy experiential learning database Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27, 1069-1081.

Rodger, S., Webb, G., Devitt, L., Gilbert, J., Wrightson, P. & Mcmeeken, J. (2008) Clinical Education and Practice Placements in the Allied Health Professions: An International Perspective. Journal of Allied Health, 37, 53-62.

Schafheutle E, Hassell K, Ashcroft D.M. & Hall, J. (2010) Learning professionalism through practice exposure and role models. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 285, 164-65.

Schoonbeek, S. & Henderson, A. (2011) The journey of building a learning culture. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42, 43-48.

Stupans I, Mckauge, L. & Owen, S. (2011) Indicators of a quality clinical placement in pharmacy: Stakeholder perspectives. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 41, 118-121.

Walker, R., Henderson, A., Cooke, M. & Creedy, D. (2011) Impact of a learning circle intervention across academic and service contexts on developing a learning culture. Nurse Education Today, 31, 378-382.

Yonge, O., Krahn, H., Trojan, L., Reid, D. & Hasse, M. (2002) Supporting preceptors. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 18, 73-77.




How to Cite

Fejzic, J., Henderson, A., Smith, N. A., & Mey, A. (2013). Community pharmacy experiential placement: Comparison of preceptor and student perspectives in an Australian postgraduate pharmacy programme. Pharmacy Education, 13. Retrieved from



Research Article