Experimental Education in Australian Pharmacy: Preceptors’ Perspectives


  • Betty B. Chaar Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Professional Ethics , Faculty of Pharmacy, Room S303, Pharmacy and Bank Building A15, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
  • Jo-Anne Brien Professor of Clinical Pharmacy (St Vincent's Hospital), Pro Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Room 343, Pharmacy & Bank Bldg, A15, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
  • Jane Hanrahan Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Room 408, Pharmacy and Bank Building A15, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
  • Andrew McLachlan Professor of Pharmacy (Aged Care), Faculty of Pharmacy and Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 and Concord Hospital NSW
  • Jonathan Penm PhD Candidate, Faculty of Pharmacy, Room N515, Pharmacy and Bank Building A15, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
  • Lisa Pont Lecturer -Rural and Aboriginal Health, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacy and Bank Building (A15), The University of Sydney, NSW 2006


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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Research Article