Experimental Education in Australian Pharmacy: Preceptors’ Perspectives
Keywords:Experiential learning, Pharmacy Education, Preceptor perspectives
Background: Experiential education is key to students understanding their future practice settings. The quality and success of experiential education rest largely on volunteer preceptors, who are an essential asset to the education of pharmacy students in Australia. This asset needs constant support and nurturing.
Aims: This study aims to explore the perceptions of Australian preceptors‟ and their needs regarding their role in training future generations of pharmacists.
Method: Five focus groups of pharmacist preceptors were conducted, audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were thematically analysed to identify major themes related to pharmacy experiential education.
Results: Thirty seven pharmacists participated in the focus group interviews, representing diverse demographics and workplace settings. Pharmacists reported enjoying the role of preceptor however, lack of insight into education techniques, increased workload, lack of time and space, and increased stress levels were identified by participants as obstacles to achieving good educational outcomes.
Conclusion: Preceptors are role models for novice practitioners, and the relationships between universities and preceptors need to be robust, supportive and relevant to changing professional and health sector environments
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