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Pharmacy Internship –
Students’ Learning in a Professional Practice Setting

Andy Wallman, MSc Pharm, PhD 
andy.wallman@chem.umu.se





Supervisors:
Dr Lena Ring
Dr Åsa Kettis Lindblad
Dr Maria Gustavsson

This is a PhD project initiated 2004 by Andy Wallman, Uppsala University, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research group.


Dissertation presented at Uppsala University was publicly examined in March 26, 2010  for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Faculty of Pharmacy).

Pharmacy Internship - Students' Learning in a professional practice setting

This thesis aim was to explore Swedish pharmacist students’ learning during the pharmacy internship. Internships are supposed to introduce student to professional practice. Education programmes have to reflect changes in the professional role, and take into account that learn-ing in a professional practice setting differ from ordinary formal education. This thesis in-cludes both quantitative and qualitative research approaches and applies workplace learning theories.
A scheme for measuring pharmacy students’ reflective ability was developed and shown to be feasible and reliable. Factors important for reflection were found to be primarily social and contextual, especially tutoring and the pharmacy size, whereas, students’ reflective ability did not correlate to learning style or critical thinking. Tutors and students perceived that students used a wide variety of activities supporting learning of a broad repertoire of knowledge and skills, preparing them for coming professional worklife. Tutors with appropriate tutor training are important to support learning. However, the current curriculum and formal activities do not address all these outcomes and learning activities used e.g. workplace learning.
The first overall conclusion is that the internship plays an essential part in the pharmacist education programme. The integration of formal and informal learning activities during the internship, including raising awareness of incidental learning, is important to support students’ learning the professional practice of pharmacy. This integration could possibly be strengthened by introducing further tutor education, different assignments and by using portfolios.
The second conclusion is that the community of practice is essential for students’ learning during internship, especially the interaction between student and tutor. Introducing an accreditation of tutors and pharmacies might help to make sure that students participate in a good learning environment,
In summary, this thesis contributes to the understanding of students’ learning during pharmacy internships and introduces educational research on the Swedish undergraduate pharmacy education programme.


Presentations and publications:

Pharmacy Internship - Students' Learning in a professional practice setting

Wallman A, Kettis Lindblad Å, Håll S, Lundmark A, Ring L. A Categorization Scheme for Assessing Pharmacy Students’ Levels of Reflection During InternshipsAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2008 72 (1) Article 05

Wallman A, Kettis Lindblad Å, Gustavsson M, Ring L. Factors Associated With Reflection among Students after an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) in Sweden. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2009 73(6) Article 107

Wallman A, Kälvemark Sporrong S, Gustavsson M, Kettis Lindblad Å, Johansson M, Ring L. Swedish Students' and Preceptors' Perceptions of What Students Learn in a Six-Month Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience
American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2011 75(10)

Wallman A, Gustavsson M, Kettis Lindblad Å, Ring L. An Exploration of How Students Learn in a Pharmacy Internship
Pharmacy Education 2011 11(1)

ISPW 2006, Oxford (presentation slides) (Abstract)
NSPHSR 2005, Lahtis (abstract)
EAFP 2005, Malta (presentation slides)

 
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