November 03, 2020
Many pharmacy students that are in their last year of education are struggling not just financially, but also emotionally and professionally. When you look back on your pharmacy education, I believe many of us had financial challenges, but we did not experience what the new upcoming graduates are now experiencing. Many students are experiencing social isolation as well as the lack of professional interactions. This is primarily due to the absence of “on-site” experiential rotations.
As you may or may not be aware due to the pandemic, many students have been limited to virtual experiential rotations. Interacting on a computer screen instead of in person. Due to these conditions, students are losing out on a major portion of their education. Experiential rotations when done “on-site” help the student in so many ways including improving communication, professionalism, accountability, interacting with peers and patients and assist pharmacy staff identify quality candidates for employment through daily interaction.
I would ask that all pharmacy staff interacting with students to demonstrate a bit more patience with them. Try to help them through these difficult times. Also, once the student does indeed graduate, they may require a bit more assistance in their transition to their pharmacist role.
Since this last year of their education was limited in scope and content, their skills may require a bit more time to polish as well. I believe this extra support you provide for them will result in a more dedicated professional and colleague that will never forget your support and mentorship.
Michael J. Cawley, PharmD, RRT, CPFT, FCCM, has more than 25 years of experience practicing in the areas of medical, surgical, trauma, and burn intensive care as both a critical care clinical pharmacist and registered respiratory therapist.
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