Community pharmacists’ experiences of undertaking an IP qualification – a qualitative analysis

Tierney, Callum (2020) Community pharmacists’ experiences of undertaking an IP qualification – a qualitative analysis. Wiley Online, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice.

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Oral presentation abstract
Non‐medical prescribing began in the United Kingdom with the launch of the Supplementary Prescribing qualification in 2003, followed by the addition of the Independent Prescribing qualification in 20061. Since the introduction of these qualifications, uptake amongst community pharmacists has been relatively low as highlighted by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Registrant Survey in 20132. As the demands and strains placed upon the national healthcare system to provide timely and efficient care increases, the need for independent prescribers within the community sector is increasing, in order to reduce the strain on other prescribing healthcare professionals. Previous studies have not addressed why community pharmacist enrolment on independent prescribing courses is disproportionately low compared to pharmacists from other sectors.
Aim : To examine community pharmacists’ experiences of undertaking an Independent Prescribing qualification at a UK university and the perceived barriers and facilitators to their studies.
Methods : A qualitative approach to data collection was adopted through semi‐structured interviews with pharmacists either currently studying on or recently completed the Independent Prescribing qualification. Twenty‐eight potential participants were identified from programme records with purposive sampling to select only pharmacists from a community pharmacy background, and invited to interview. Interviews were conducted in person at a venue chosen by the interviewee or over the phone if more convenient to them and audio recorded. Recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVivo 11 software to code data and explore emerging themes.
Results : Interviews took place with ten pharmacists. Three main themes emerged from the analysis of the transcribed interviews: A desire for career progression versus a clear element of self‐doubt in their ability to succeed, financial barriers to study and career progression, lack of opportunities to use the qualification. The experiences of the community pharmacists interviewed were generally positive with the main driving force to enrolment being the desire to further their knowledge and advance their careers “The IP course was always one I wanted to do and it was a kind of a natural progression from everything I've done to further myself” . Barriers to their studies included lack of confidence and financial issues arising from time away from work to attend university and the compulsory hours with their designated medical practitioner “So, there's financial barriers for community pharmacists…having time out of work to go and study at university and then spend the time having ninety hours’ worth of supervised training” . Lack of opportunities to use the independent prescribing qualification within community pharmacy is forcing pharmacists to work spilt sector or leave community pharmacy altogether “To be honest, then I didn't see really a way that I would use it in community pharmacy” . Suggestions to improve the independent prescribing course at the university included increasing training on the diagnostic element of consultations as community pharmacists found this area challenging and the utilisation of pharmacist independent prescribers during the teaching of the course.
Conclusions : This study specifically explored community pharmacists’ experiences of undertaking an IP qualification at a UK university. Themes that emerged have the potential to help educators better understand the reasons why uptake amongst community pharmacists has been historically low and how this can be addressed The research was limited by the relatively small sample size of students from one university, and therefore these findings cannot be said to be representative of community pharmacists around the UK.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: Sciences > Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Callum Tierney
Date Deposited: 29 May 2020 10:50
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 10:50

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