Pharmacy students’ opinions and experiences working on board the Transnet‐Phelophepa Health Care Trains
Contributor(s)10066950 - Basson, Willem Diederick
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The Transnet‐Phelophepa Health Care Trains provide primary healthcare services to patients in under‐resourced rural communities across South Africa. Selected final‐year pharmacy students work on the trains for 1 week. The aim of the study was to determine the experiences and document the work‐based activities of pharmacy students engaged in.
A hyperlink to an online questionnaire was sent to 106 pharmacy students from five Pharmacy Schools (70.75% response rate). Both closed‐ and open‐ended questions were included. Data were captured in Excel.
Respondents expressed that their motivation to volunteer to work on the train was threefold: they wanted to help the community, experience this unparalleled work environment, as well as having heard positive responses from previous volunteers. Students were exposed to a variety of pharmacy‐related activities; however, the majority of their time was spent dispensing. Although less than half (n = 33) found it difficult to communicate with patients, almost all responded that the translator helped them communicate with patients. A few saw this as an opportunity to learn a new language. The pharmacy staff was described as approachable, knowledgeable and willing to teach. Most respondents agreed that they were able to apply their knowledge and skills whilst working on the train (mean 4.52 ± 0.93; n = 75).
Pharmacy students felt valued by the community and found it to be a rewarding experience while reporting to apply knowledge and information, improve their communication skills and work as part of a team
Johnston, D.M.G. et al. 2019. Pharmacy students’ opinions and experiences working on board the Transnet‐Phelophepa Health Care Trains. International journal of pharmacy practice, 27(3):311-317. [https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpp.12504]