Establishing increased clinical pharmaceutical roles to attract more pharmacists into rural and remote areas

Unni Susil Kumar

unni.kumar92@gmail.com

Background

Pharmacists are often under utilized in urban settings with most community pharmacies requiring quicker dispensing pharmacist than one with significant pharmaceutical knowledge. A study by Pharmaceutic Society of Australia in 2010 indicated that pharmacists left their pharmaceutical career earlier due to poor job satisfaction (56%) [1]. In the same study the qualitative results reflected a dissatisfaction specifically with community pharmacists in the lack of use of their drug knowledge [1].

Aim

To investigate the interest of Pharmacy students and interns in clinical pharmacology roles including GP (General practitioner) clinics and/or hospitals in rural and remote areas of Australia.

Method

A survey questionnaire with a Lukert response scale will be formulated to target both Pharmacy students and Pharmacy interns. The surveys will be distributed to National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA), current interns registered with Guild Pharmacy program and interns doing the PSA program.

Results

The results weren’t available during time of abstract. However, as discussed in the Method the results will be presented quantitatively as histograms comparing attractiveness of different pharmacist roles including community pharmacy and qualitatively with an overview on the awareness of Rural training allowances available.

Discussion

The study will investigate the likelihood of pharmacists choosing a rural and remote workplace based on the attractiveness of the role available. Specifically, the study will reflect the attractiveness of being a pharmacist in a GP setting (currently being proposed by the Australia Medical Association) or Rural Health Clinic over community pharmacy.

Conclusion

A conclusion wasn’t available during the time of writing this abstract.

  1. Policy Unit PSA National Office.Position statement on improving access to pharmacy services in rural and remote areas. https://www.psa.org.au/download/policies/rural-and-remote-access.pdf (accessed 20 April 2016).
  2. Australian Medical Association. General practice pharmacists – improving patient care. Https://ama.com.au/article/general-practice-pharmacists-improving-patient-care (accessed 20 April 2016).

Biography

I am currently a community pharmacist working at the domestic terminal of Brisbane Airport and doing my Masters in International Public Health. As a pharmacist I have worked in communities such as Cooktown (13 months), Mount Isa (4 weeks), Karumba and Geraldton through placement and through my internship program which has given me a practical experience of the challenges in a rural and remote setting. Born in India I have experienced poor health standards and have strong ambitions in improving health opportunities in rural Australia and internationally in developing countries.