Mental Health Curricula at Schools of Pharmacy in the United Kingdom and Recent Graduates' Readiness to Practice

University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, England, UK.
American journal of pharmaceutical education (Impact Factor: 1.08). 09/2013; 77(7):147. DOI: 10.5688/ajpe777147
Source: PubMed


To assess mental health education in the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in the United Kingdom and gauge how well prepared graduates are to manage mental health patients.

The authors conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with pharmacy educators and administered an electronic self-administered survey instrument to pharmacy graduates.

The mental health conditions of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson disease were taught, in detail, by all schools, but more specialized areas of mental health (eg, personality disorder, autism) were generally not taught. Just 5 of 19 schools attempted to teach the broader social aspects of mental health. A third of the schools provided experiential learning opportunities. Graduates and recently registered pharmacists stated that undergraduate education had prepared them adequately with regard to knowledge on conditions and treatment options, but that they were not as well prepared to talk with mental health patients and deal with practical drug management-related issues.

The mental health portion of the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom is largely theoretical, and pharmacy students have little exposure to mental health patients. Graduates identified an inability to effectively communicate with these patients and manage common drug management-related issues.

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Available from: Denise Taylor, Apr 09, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Understanding the concept of pharmacy students’ ‘work readiness’ is vital for all pharmacy educators, enabling use of informed learning strategies to optimise graduate attributes in an increasingly competitive market. Aims: To explore the concept of ‘work readiness’ amongst community pharmacists and Australian pharmacy students, highlighting implications for educators. Method: Australian community pharmacists were asked to explain their perceptions of graduate work readiness in face-to-face interviews during placement visits (2011, 2014). Pharmacy students were surveyed during lectures (2011). Results were thematically analysed. Results: There were many similarities between pharmacists’ and students’ perceptions, both emphasising transferrable (‘soft’) skills. Knowledge was secondary to experience, practice skills, and personal attributes. Recently, pharmacy employers’ focus shifted towards graduates’ management skills, ability to grow business, and implement novel pharmacy services. Conclusion: Pharmacy educators should consider implications regarding work readiness when designing and managing pharmacy curricula in order to optimise employment opportunities of pharmacy graduates.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Pharmacy Education