Leading the Future - an Exploration of the Intern Perceptions of the Pharmacy Competency Standard ‘Leadership and Management’

Authors

  • Richard Jane 4th year BPharm(Hons) - University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Jack Papworth 4th year BPharm(Hons) - University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Andrew Walker 4th year BPharm(Hons) - University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • Therése Kairuz Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Keywords:

pharmacy research, pharmacy competency standards, intern pharmacists, leadership, pharmacy industry, pharmacy practice

Abstract

Background: Pharmacy is dynamic committed to the health of patients. During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, pharmacists were required to introduce new practice protocols and manage legislative changes. Universally, strong leadership was paramount in ensuring the profession adapted and continued to provide quality first line health care. However, health professionals reported their work as "demanding, stressful, and dissatisfying", often leading many to leave the profession. This led to the underpinning question in this study: What are the perceptions of pharmacist interns about leadership in Pharmacy, as described in Domain 4 of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016? 

Aim: To identify how leadership skills could be developed by exploring pharmacy interns’ perceptions about leadership.

Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken to encourage participants to freely express themselves and provide rich data. Thematic analysis of interview data used manual coding.

Results: Six interviews ranged between 29:12 minutes and 43:07 minutes in duration and generated 24 codes, which were collapsed into six categories. From these, three themes emerged: (1) Traits of a good leader; (2) Perceptions on the National Competency Standards Framework of 2016; and (3) Leadership being taught experientially.


Conclusion: Participants were aware of the Competency Standards, although some could not recall what was included in the Leadership and Management domain (Domain 4). The majority favoured practically developing leadership skills over theoretical learning. While intern pharmacists could identify traits they found desirable in a leader, some did not have confidence in their own leadership skills.

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25.01.2022

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