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Preceptor and mentorship opportunities now more important than ever.
In today’s evolving healthcare landscape, real-world experience is more important than ever for pharmacists training to serve on the frontlines of patient care. Yet, pharmacy students now face the unique challenge of fulfilling their training requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, with limitations that range from telework and decreased interaction with patients to a reduced number of available preceptor sites.
As an accredited provider and leader in pharmacist education, it was natural that Pharmacy Times Continuing Education (PTCE) would help fill the void left by more traditional training placements. In fact, we have served as a preceptor site prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a remote medical communications elective for students in their final year of advanced pharmacy practice experiential rotations. We are active preceptors for the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Farleigh Dickinson University, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences, and Touro College of Pharmacy to provide a unique experience for students who may be interested in pursuing a career path that includes contributing to pharmacy CE.
As a preceptor site, PTCE is screened by the schools with which we partner to ensure that we adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). These include ensuring access to learning and information resources; providing appropriate oversight, guidance, and feedback; fostering a collaborative, nurturing professional environment between students and their mentors; and reinforcing a strong commitment to health promotion and disease prevention. PTCE takes these responsibilities seriously as it is important for us as leaders of pharmacy education to grow our relationships with faculty and students around the country.
The profession of pharmacy relies heavily on practicing pharmacists to train each new generation. Our internal team of pharmacists volunteer to serve as preceptors and work closely with the pharmacy students they mentor to instill knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values they will need as they prepare to serve as an essential part of the patient care team. The program also offers learners a glimpse at the range of career possibilities within their chosen field.
The preceptor program also has multiple benefits for the pharmacists who are responsible for developing content at PTCE’s accredited activities. Our connections with pharmacy schools and their students give us a first-hand look at current educational gaps in the pharmacy community, helping us to stay current with new trends. According to Palatine, “The preceptor relationship helps PTCE understand how best to support new generation of pharmacists.” These insights help us ensure that we are developing relevant educational activities and give us insights into innovative approaches to learning, while also allowing PTCE to build relationships with future leaders in the field of pharmacy.
PTCE is proud to support pharmacy students looking to fulfill their training requirements in this challenging environment and will continue serving the pharmacy community as a preceptor site. We look forward to guiding future generations on their path to graduation while also keeping our finger on the pulse of today’s educational trends and growing our reach to pharmacists at every stage of their career.