Inter-professional clinical placement is an essential practice that helps learners to understand the roles played by different healthcare practitioners. My 15 hours placement in the local pharmacist setup impacted my practice as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) student. I acquired knowledge, skills as well as an understanding of what it means to be a pharmacist. The 15 hours stay in a pharmacy setting helped me learn how to collaborate with non-TCM professionals. I acquired useful skills and experiences for my future connections and practice as a TCM practitioner and the subsequent inter-professional collaborations. The essay seeks to reflect on my 15 hours placement in the community pharmacy setting. The discussion of the assignment focuses on my previous opinion and knowledge about pharmacy, a summary of the main outcomes, critical reflections of learning obtained as well as the implication of the placement for future practice.
My Previous Knowledge and Opinion
I had some opinions about the profession of pharmacy before the two days stay with the pharmacist and did not realize that being a pharmacist entails a wider scope of responsibilities and duties. I first thought that the role of a pharmacist is to disperse medication only (Bain, Batt, Darvill & Greenwood, 2016). Also, I perceived that they narrowly deal with the dispersion of medicine to clients with little consideration of other duties in the area of drugs. My previous perceptions of the role of pharmacists are wrong because their work goes beyond dispersing medicines to patients (Lui et al., 2016). I had little information about the functions of offering medical services to patients.
The other opinion and knowledge I had about the setting of a pharmacy are that clients visit chemists through appointments. The previous view about appointments was wrong as most of the clients are walk-ins who visit to get medical services and even information about drugs (Machado, Santos, & Porfirio, 2017). Moreover, I knew that the workload for the pharmacists is low considering that their role was mainly dispersing medicines to clients and they spend most of their time on Medicine Use Reviews (Matiti, 2015). It seemed to me that this was an idling profession since one has to wait for clients to come for services. The perception was wrong because pharmacists are ever busy with services relating to medication.
Major Outcomes Achieved
There are specific outcomes I achieved during the two days stay in the pharmacy setting. I realized that a pharmacist deals with advising patients on healthy living and even saw them offers counseling sessions to clients on how to live healthy lives (Shen, Chan & Ganotice, 2017). Some of the patients with drug addiction problems received counseling; for instance, in one occasion I saw a young man who was addicted to smoking being attended to by the pharmacist (Spoelstra et al., 2014). Moreover, the pharmacist was offering patient education and recommending them on healthy living.
The other main outcome of the placement is that I understood the importance of a good connection between the patient and the pharmacist in improving the client's treatment outcomes. The interaction between the practitioner and the clients was positive as there was a good rapport between them (Thandi, Forrest & Williamson, 2016). Communication was effective as pharmacists and customers were able to share information freely. Through effective communication between the pharmacist and clients, I noted that clients were able to understand medication prescriptions accordingly (Lui et al., 2016).
Additionally, there was teamwork and collaboration between the pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners. I realized that the pharmacist was working collaboratively with other practitioners as a team. There were incidences when the pharmacist received phone calls from nurses and general practitioners seeking professional advice about drugs (Bain et al., 2016). Furthermore, some patients were referred by other healthcare practitioners to seek help on drugs review or simplification of medication regimes.
Lastly, I realized that the pharmacist was involved in community service programs. On one occasion, the practitioner attended a meeting with community leaders to discuss on how to increase the supply of clean water to the community (Lui et al., 2016). The other community service was empowering the community members on how to manage symptoms of diarrhea in children. The pharmacist was giving out fliers to clients with information about the management of diarrhea symptoms in children.
The outcomes of the learning achieved reveal some insights concerning patient care. Firstly, I think patient education is important in the treatment of patients (Machado et al., 2017). Patient education helps the client to understand how to live healthy by following the advice and recommendations offered by the healthcare practitioner. During the placement, the pharmacist offered patients education and informed the patients the significance of living healthy regarding dietary intake, physical exercise and strict adherence to the medical prescriptions. As a result, patient educations empower clients to self-care and live healthy as a way of managing signs and symptoms of a particular illness (Matiti, 2015). Through the education, the patients understand the causes and a preventive measure of illness especially those arising from poor lifestyles.
The other critical element gained is the importance of a good relationship between the client and practitioner. Holistic and patient-centered care delivery requires that the healthcare providers develop a positive relationship with their clients. A good relationship between the caregiver and clients builds trusts between the two parties (Shen et al., 2017) Therefore, the patient can freely share personal information with the practitioners. Sharing of information freely leads to better understanding of the illness during diagnosis or administration of drugs. I noticed that the pharmacist was determined to serve all clients holistically by having a good relationship with them, and most of the clients were open to sharing socio-economic and health history information that could affect the treatment process. Furthermore, creating a good relationship with clients contributes to effective communication with the practitioner with a good understanding (Spoelstra et al., 2014).
Lastly, I have valued teamwork and collaboration, and this is based on the observation I made during the placement. I think teamwork and collaboration are important in healthcare as it leads to the sharing of professional information and roles (Thandi et al., 2016). Through teamwork, practitioners can actively participate in the treatment of patients. From the placement, the pharmacist was working collaboratively with other practitioners, and this increased the level of patients' satisfaction because the coordinated system ensures that the patients' medical needs were addressed comprehensively and within a short period. Professional services and information that occur through referrals yield to patient satisfaction (Machado et al., 2017). As a result, teamwork and collaboration are important as it leads to quality service as well as patient satisfaction.
Implications of the Placement
The placement within the pharmacy setting has some implication on my future connections and practice as a TCM practitioner in improving patient's quality of life, the environment as well as the community. The first implication is that I will be carrying out patient education when offering healthcare services (Matiti, 2015). I will be empowering clients about their illness and how to manage signs and symptoms. The patient education sessions will ensure that I advise patients on healthy living. For instance, when I encounter sickness caused by lifestyle like obesity, I will empower patients on how to live healthy by engaging in regular exercise and avoiding sedentary lifestyle (Spoelstra et al., 2014). Patient education will help in the integration of inter-professional collaboration through referrals and consultations with other professionals from other areas of healthcare like nursing, surgery as well as occupational therapy.
The other implication of the placement for future connections and practice is the creation of a good relationship with clients. I will ensure that I create a good relationship with clients to build trust so that patients feel free to share personal information. I will create a good relationship with patients as a way of ensuring a good rapport and effective communication with clients (Matiti, 2015). Regarding integration of inter-professional collaboration, the creation of a good relationship with clients will reveal some hidden and relevant information on the service delivery quality and other important feedbacks that can be used to improve care delivery process in the health institution. I will then share information offered by clients with respective practitioners as a way of improving patient's quality of life.
Lastly, the placement has influenced my future connections and practice by helping me realize the importance of teamwork in the professional practice. I have appreciated the importance of teamwork in healthcare, and I will work in a team with inter-professional practitioners in the sharing of information and roles (Lui et al., 2016). I will also embrace and promote teamwork in my role as a TCM practitioner by accomplishing my tasks as per the set objectives by the management. I will integrate interpersonal collaboration through open communication with practitioners from other areas of specialization (Thandi et al., 2016). For example, by sharing out problems affecting my field, practitioners from another area of the profession will offer their views on how to solve the issues.
In conclusion, my 15 hours placement in the pharmacist setup has impacted my practice as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) student positively. I have been able to acquire knowledge, skills as well as an understanding of what it means to be a pharmacist. The learning influenced my future connections and practice as a TCM practitioner and the subsequent inter-professional collaborations. I have had some opinions about the profession of pharmacy before the two days stay with the pharmacist. There are specific outcomes that I achieved during the two days stay in the pharmacy setting. From the critical point of view, the placement was of great value, and I realized that field practice requires a lot of open-mindednesses and valuing of the professional codes of practice to improve the patient's experiences. Moreover, the placement influenced my future connections and practice as a TCM practitioner in improving patient's quality of life, the environment as well as the community. Some of the future implications of the placement include carrying out patient education when offering healthcare services and the creation of a good relationship with clients and teamwork. Therefore, the placement has integrated skills and knowledge in me required in inter-professional collaboration.
Bain, A., Batt, S., Darvill, A., & Greenwood, K. (2016). The design and evaluation of an inter-professional education (IPE) intervention for pharmacy and nursing students using clinical scenarios.
Lui, S. F., Berwick, D., Chan, L. K., Chau, J., Chau, P., Ganotice, F. J. A., ... & Perlo, J. (2016). A novel way to engage healthcare students to explore patient safety: an inter-professional, interactive, experiential learning experience workshop. In International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare.
Machado, V. M....
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