Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist September 2012 Contents 702 Australian Pharmacist September 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Pharmacy Awareness student
By Julia Hruz and Matthew Tom
Julia Hruz from the University of
Canberra is the immediate past
Pharmacy Awareness Chair. Matthew
Tom from Charles Sturt University is the
Pharmacy Awareness Chair.
Earlier this year the National
Australian Pharmacy Students'
Association (NAPSA) conducted
the rst ever Pharmacy Awareness
Student Survey (PASS).
Since the introduction of a Pharmacy
Awareness Committee in 2005, initiatives
falling under this committee, such
as the Vampire Cup, the Charity Cup
and Pharmacy Awareness Campaigns,
have moved from strength to strength.
This survey was designed to connect
with our members to ensure that future
campaigns and developments initiated
by this committee match the needs and
expectations of our members. The PASS
comprised two focus areas: Pharmacy
Awareness at your Branch, and Pharmacy
Awareness and the Community.
Response to the survey was pleasing,
with 276 completed responses recorded.
The majority of participants were aware
of the NAPSA initiatives, the Vampire
Cup (72%) and the Charity Cup (69.5%).
This was re ected in participants'
evaluation of their branches' participation,
with 61% and 68% of respondents
reporting their branch participated well
to extremely well in the Vampire Cup and
the Charity Cup, respectively. NAPSA's
recent achievements in these campaigns
further highlight the ongoing success
of these campaigns and it is pleasing
to see our members recognising these
achievements at a branch level.
In contrast Pharmacy Awareness
Campaigns, formerly known as
'Pharmacy Awareness Week', were
shown to have a positive participation
of only 42% by each branch. As a result
of this survey, Pharmacy Awareness
Campaigns will be a primary focus for
the Pharmacy Awareness Committee
over the 2012/13 term in an e ort
to increase participation in such an
important area. Pharmacy awareness
did not go unnoticed by respondents,
with numerous campaign suggestions,
promotional and participation
improvement ideas being made in
The valuable opinions of our members
will be taken on board and used to
guide the continued development of the
Pharmacy Awareness Committee.
Pharmacists in the community
The second half of the survey focused on
the student perception of pharmacists in
the community and their contribution to
positive health outcomes.
Overall, respondents believed that
pharmacists are utilised to their full
potential and trusted by community
members and other health professionals
(80%, 88% and 79% respectively).
However, given the large and detailed
number of responses when asked how
these areas can be improved, it suggests
that our members identi ed the need for
progress in this area.
Respondents were extremely vocal when
asked how they believe pharmacists can
be better promoted to the Australian
community and how use and trust of
pharmacists can be maximised. Resonating
throughout the responses was the view
that overall there is a poor understanding
of the role a pharmacist can play in health
care. Any lack of trust in, and consequently
use of, pharmacists was attributed to poor
understanding of pharmacists' knowledge
and the belief that services provided by
pharmacists are not valuable enough to
When asked to rate the value of
pharmacists' contributions to positive
health outcomes, and also how they
believe other health professionals
perceive this, the results were surprising.
Results were scaled with a maximum
of 10 equating to 'extremely valuable'.
Graph 1 shows that respondents believe
pharmacists have signi cant value in
contributing to positive health outcomes
(navy blue), however students perceive
other health professionals (red) share less
of this same belief. This highlights that
respondents felt a gap in the perception of
pharmacists' value, which may impact on
their use, referral to, and trust held by both
the community and health professionals.
NAPSA is excited about the results of the
Pharmacy Awareness Student Survey and
the opportunity to hear from our members.
Through the continued development
of this committee, and the trialling and
roll-out of new Pharmacy Awareness
Campaigns, we believe our members will
be inspired and empowered to continue
to promote the value of pharmacists to
other members and the wider Australian
community. Watch this space!
Graph 1: The value of pharmacists' contributions to positive health outcomes
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