UTS Pharmacy has established a network with Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead to further collaboration in pharmacy-based teaching and research.
The network benefits not only UTS Pharmacy students but also provides tangible benefit for the hospitals themselves, who have access to teaching methodologies, educational expertise and research capacity as a result of embedding their pharmacy staff at UTS.
Co-funded clinical lecturers
Clinical pharmacists from network hospitals are embedded part-time within the school in a co-funding arrangement between UTS and local health districts. The university is currently in negotiations with a fourth Sydney hospital to fill an additional position.
The pharmacists work with UTS academics to develop and present teaching content and materials to target current practice issues. This initiative ensures that the UTS curriculum is reflective of contemporary pharmacy practice. It also gives students a unique channel for regular contact with working pharmacists and makes hospital pharmacy a more visible career option for UTS students.
Intensive clinical placement program
The clinical pharmacist appointments complement an intensive clinical placement program. Master of Pharmacy students undertake four placement subjects over the course of their degree (amounting to over 500 hours of placement time) with one of their placement blocks in a hospital pharmacy setting. This is unlike many other university pharmacy schools, where ‘elective’ hospital placements are offered to only a small number of students. The UTS placements are intended to give students an insight into the day-to-day realities of the profession, as well as provide them with a hands-on understanding of patient management along the continuum of care.
Connecting pharmacy disciplines
For the profession, the program and its focus on clinical pharmacy bridges existing gaps between pharmacy disciplines. This is an important response to a growing recognition within the sector of the need to provide better care and service for patients as they transition across hospital and the community settings.