LPN Chairs Blog 21st March 2016

Submitted by Martin Stephens on 21 March 2016 - 4:01pm

Educating for the future

Martin Stephens – Pharmacy LPN Chair

Undergraduates using a mechanised arm to monitor blood pressure and a dummy head to check ears were two of the workstations we encountered in University of Portsmouth teaching space at Lalys Pharmacy.  Within easy reach of the School of Pharmacy, the resource sits just behind the counselling room of this community pharmacy and the visit was part of the afternoon opening event for Healthy Living Pharmacy Live [ http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-pharmacy-and-biomedical-sciences/facilities/healthy-living-pharmacy/ ]. Vice Chancellor and Ash Soni OBE, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Portsmouth graduate, opened the afternoon; Professor Jane Portlock explained the thinking behind the initiative – to prepare pharmacists of the (near) future by ensuring they learn about practice within a practice setting and the team from Lalys reported that the initiative was positive for their business. We also heard the crucial importance of the supporting staff – very often drawn from the local community – in providing health & lifestyle advice in the pharmacy.

With Portsmouth the birthplace of Healthy Living Pharmacies it seemed a very fitting development for the University, allowing teaching close to practice and giving the chance for students to be supervised as they deal with real customers in the pharmacy. It was good to talk with the students themselves, though I did sound like a fossil as I explained in my undergraduate years I spent only 3 hours in a practice setting, albeit I did spend majority of vacation time in hospital or community pharmacy. My personal highlight was spotting the skin condition being presented by the avatar patient in the teaching video – the lowlight, being told my respiratory age was 60 at the lung health check station where I tried the e-peak flow meter.

My overall thoughts – pharmacy has a very positive future, with enthused and engaged undergraduates looking to practice pharmacy, helping patients with their medicines in context of supporting health and wellbeing.

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