30 November 2011
INTEREST HIGH WITH STUDENTS IN ABORIGINAL HEALTH
The future supply of pharmacists to work in Aboriginal health is healthy if the outcome of a National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association survey is anything to go by.
While 83% of respondents felt it is important to be taught about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues as part of their pharmacy course curriculum, only 60% have access to such education. Furthermore, only half of those respondents feel they are taught enough about this topic.
Students believed that the present level of awareness was good with 60% saying they had exposure to Aboriginal health learning during their course.
Only 9% of respondents had Aboriginal health as an integral part of the core curriculum while 50% had the information delivered in just one or two lectures.
A minority of respondents (25%) felt they were trained to competently practice in a culturally acceptable manner while 35% felt they could not.
The favoured method of learning about cultural awareness in Aboriginal health was a half day or one day training course (45%) while practical experience was mentioned as the best way of learning the subject.
The recommendations of the survey outcomes should see an increase in the component of Aboriginal health training in pharmacy curriculum with an emphasis on cultural awareness.
With a workforce planning study being commenced on the supply and demand for pharmacists in rural and remote areas it is to be hoped that staff establishments for primary health care in communities will include the position of a pharmacist.
It is only by participating that pharmacists will be able to show how they can contribute beyond the “pick and lick” image that is currently held on their role.
Comment to Rollo Manning at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0411 049 872