RESEARCH ARTICLE: Pharmaceutical care journey: Final-year pharmacy students’ experiences of the hospital-based clinical pharmacy clerkship programme in north- east Nigeria


  • Roland N Okoro University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  • John David Ohieku University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  • Sani Ibn Yakubu University of Maiduguri, Nigeria



Clinical Pharmacy Clerkship Experiential, Learning, Pharmacy Students, Ward Round, Nigeria


Context: Pharmacy students need pracKcal clinical knowledge and skills to be able to provide effecKve pharmaceuKcal care aOer graduaKon. To achieve this, pharmacy students need an effecKve clinical clerkship programme.

Aims: To assess final-year pharmacy students’ preparedness, expectaKons, and experiences of a hospital-based clinical pharmacy clerkship (CPC) programme.

Methods: A pre-post, qualitaKve study involving focus groups was conducted in a Nigerian university. All final-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) students of the 2019 academic year (October 2018 to June 2019) who enrolled for the CPC course parKcipated in the study.

Results: The prevailing themes idenKfied were: theme one (level of preparedness and hospital environment), theme two (integraKon of knowledge and applicaKon to paKent care), theme three (inter-professional relaKonships and professional idenKty), and theme four (challenges and recommendaKons).

Conclusions: This study shows that B.Pharm. students exhibited a high level of preparedness and expectaKons prior to commencement of the CPC. They also had unsaKsfactory experiences during the CPC due to various challenges and unmet expectaKons mainly in terms of inter-professional relaKonships and the role of pharmacists in the healthcare team.

Author Biographies

Roland N Okoro, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration

John David Ohieku, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration

Sani Ibn Yakubu, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration


Abbas, A. (2014). Evidence Based Improvements in Clinical Pharmacy Clerkship Program in Undergraduate Pharmacy Education: The Evidence Based Improvement (EBI) Initiative. Pharmacy, 2(4), 270-275.

Abdu-Aguye, S.N., Yusuf, H., Agbale, E.O., Auwal, F.I., & Ma’aji, H.U. (2019). Connections between classroom theory and real world practice: Exploring the perspectives of undergraduate students at a Nigerian faculty of pharmacy. Pharmacy Education, 19(1), 185-189

ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education). (2016). Accreditation Standards and Key Elements for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (online). Available at: Standards2016FINAL.pdf

Alkatheri, A.M., Albekairy, A.M., Khalidi, N., Phelps, S.J., Gourley, D.R., Al Jeraisy, M., & Qandil, A.M. (2019). Implementation of an ACPE-Accredited PharmD curriculum at a Saudi College of Pharmacy. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 83(9), Article 6237.

Al-Worafi, Y.M. (2014). The challenges of pharmacy education in Yemen. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 78(8), Article 146.

Anyika, E.N., & Alade, T.B. (2009). Evaluation of Pharmacists’ Participation in Post-admission ward rounds in a tertiary hospital in South-west Nigeria. Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine, 19(3), 151-154.

Asiri, Y.A. (2011). Emerging frontiers of pharmacy education in Saudi Arabia: The metamorphosis in the last fifty years. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 19(1). j.jsps.2010.10.006

Auta, A., Strickland-Hodge, B., & Maz, J. (2016). Challenges to clinical pharmacy practice in Nigerian hospitals: a qualitative exploration of stakeholders’ views. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 22(5), 699-706.

Bassaw, B.E., & Naraynsingh, V. (2011). Ward-Rounds: roles in clinical teaching and learning in contemporary medicine. West Indian Medical Journal, 60(6), 37-43

Bhagavathula, A.S., Sarkar, B.R., & Patel, I. (2014). Clinical pharmacy practice in developing countries: Focus on India and Pakistan. Archives of Pharmacy Practice, 5(2), 91-94.

Bryant, L., Coster, G., & McCormick, R. (2010). General practitioner perceptions of clinical medication reviews undertaken by community pharmacists. Journal of Primary Health Care, 2(3), 225-233.

Carter, B.L., Rogers, M., Daly, J., Zheng, S., & James, P.A. (2009). The potency of team-based care interventions for hypertension: a meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(19),1748-1755.

Carter, B.L. (2016). Evolution of Clinical Pharmacy in the USA and Future Directions for Patient Care. Drugs & Aging, 33(3), 169-177.

CPU (China Pharmaceutical University). (2015). Office of Academic Affairs (online). Available at:

Eslami, K., Khezrian, M., Rezaei, M., & Kouti, L. (2014). Offering Clinical Pharmacy Clerkship in Hospital for Pharmacy Student: A Successful Cooperation between Medical and Pharmacy Schools. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care, 2(1), 32-36

Falade, J. (2011). How UK universities are contributing to global spread of pharmacy practice. Pharmaceutical Journal, 286(7644), 304-305

Hsieh, H., & Shannon, S. (2005). Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

Karim, Z., & Noott, A. (2011). An overview of pharmacy practice in Canada. Tomorrow’s Pharmacist

Katajavuori, N., Hakkarainen, K., Kuosa, T., Airaksinen, M., Hirvonen, J., & Holm, Y. (2009). Curriculum reform in Finnish pharmacy education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(8), Article 151.

KFU (King Faisal University). (2014). College of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty Handbook 2013-14. Al-Ahsa: King Faisal University

Krueger, R. (1988). Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research. Thousand Oaks, California, Sage Publications

Lai, S., Yang, F., Li, M.Y., & Wu, H.W. (2010). Curriculum setting of clinical pharmacy education and clinical practice in America and Britain. China Pharmacy, 29, 2706-2709

Lam, A. (2018). Clinical Pharmacy in Australia and the UK: How close are they now and are they set for closer collaboration? Journal of Pharmacy Management, 34(3), 93-100

Levers, L. (2006). Focus groups and related rapid assessment methods: identifying psychological HIV/AIDS interventions in Botswana. In C.T. Fischer (Ed.), Qualitative Research Methods for Psychologists (pp. 377-410). Elsevier, New York. 10.1016/B978-012088470-4/50016-8

McCartney, J., & Boschmans, S. (2018). South African pharmacy student perspectives of a hospital-based experiential learning programme. Pharmacy Education, 18(1), 29-40

Melaku, T., Bhagavathula, A.S., Getaye, Y., Admasu, S., & Alkalmi, R. (2016). Perceptions of pharmacy clerkship students and clinical preceptors regarding preceptors’ teaching behaviors at Gondar University in Ethiopia. Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Profession, 13(9).

Meng, X.M., Wan, C.L., Li, H.D., Wang, H., & Li, J. (2017). The comparison of higher education in clinical pharmacy between China and the United States. Anhui Medical and Pharmaceutical Journal, 21(5), 966-969

Moczygemba, L.R., Goode, J.V., Silvester, J.A., & Matzke, G.R. (2012). Pharmacy practice in Virginia in 2011. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 46(4), 13-26. aph.1Q802

Moustafa, M.A.A. (2014). Towards Pharmaceutical Care Services in Saudi Arabia, Personal Experience. Journal of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, 1(4).

NUC (National University Commission). (2018). Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards for Undergraduate Programmes in Nigerian Universities, Pharmaceutical Sciences. Abuja: National Universities Commission

Nwaesei, A.S., Jacob, B.C., Peasah, S.K., Perkins, J.J., & Hogan, M. (2019). A structured approach to intentional interprofessional experiential education at a non-academic community hospital. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 83(9), Article 7365.

Okoro, R.N., & Auwal, M.A. (2015). Hospital pharmacists’ participation in multidisciplinary ward rounds: physicians’ perceptions and attitudes. British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 5(5), 319-327.

Onah, P.O., Siyaka, L., Kaigamma, A., & Ahmed, A. (2018). Attitudes towards Pharmaceutical care among Pharmacy Students in a Nigerian University. Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Research, 3(2), 176-180

Owen, S., & Stupans, I. (2009). Australian pharmacy programme experiential placements: comprehensive planning for assessment and evaluation. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34(5), 579-594.

Rathbun, R.C., Hester, E.K., Arnold, L.M., Chung, A.M., Dunn, S.P., Harinstein, L.M., Leber, M., Murphy, J.A., Schonder, K.S., Wilhelm, S.M., & Smilie, K.B. (2012). Importance of direct patient care in advanced pharmacy practice experiences. The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 32(4), 88-97.

Ryan, G., & Benard, H. (2000). Data management and analysis methods. In: N.K. Denzin, & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd Edn) (pp. 769-802). Sage Publications, London

Sosabowski, M.H., & Gard, P.R. (2008). Pharmacy education in the United Kingdom. American Journal of Pharmacy Education, 72(6), Article 130.

Suleiman, I.A., & Onaneye, O. (2011). Pharmaceutical care implementation: a survey of attitude, perception and practice of pharmacists in Ogun State, South-Western Nigeria. International Journal of Health Research, 4(2), 91-97

Tsega, B., Bhagavathula, A.S., Sarkar, B.R., Melaku, T., & Shewamene, Z. (2015). Impact of clerkship attachments on students’ attitude toward pharmaceutical care in Ethiopia. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 6, 385-391.

Unimaid (University of Maiduguri). (2016). Faculty of Pharmacy students’ prospectus. Abuja: Mitchel Publisher

UW (University of Washington). (2020). School of Pharmacy. Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum (online). Available at:

Williams, A., & Katz, L. (2001). The use of focus group methodology in education: some theoretical and practical considerations. International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, 5(3)

Zillich, A.J., McDonough, R.P., Carter, B.L., & Doucette, W.R. (2004). Influential characteristics of physician/pharmacist collaborative relationships. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 38(5), 764-770.





Research Article