Have you ever had one of those meetings with your friends where they ask you what you are studying? Wonder what pharmacy is? What pharmacists actually do? Or do they assume that all you do is count pills?
This lack of awareness of the pharmacy profession is prevalent throughout society. Although important to patient healthcare, the pharmacy profession has not been able to communicate effectively to the public about the role, scope and importance of the profession.
As the pharmacy profession is slightly different in each country, some activities are more successful than others depending on the context of the environment, country and other local factors.
- Prepare a counselling booth in a public place such as a shopping mall or in a school where pharmacy students can clarify queries on medications;
- Assess pharmacy professional awareness by the use of questionnaires and present the results to professional stakeholders with suggestions on improvement;
- Prepare a lecture/ seminar in your school about the areas available within the pharmacy profession (community, hospital, industry, etc.) with pharmacists from each specific area as guest speakers;
- Promote the pharmacy curriculum amongst high school students, helping them to make the correct choice for them when they apply for a higher education degree.
Pharmacy students are the pharmacists of tomorrow and key players within the healthcare system. They will be leading the profession in the near future and can play a major role in not only increasing awareness, but also changing attitudes towards the pharmacy profession. Through the Pharmacy Profession Awareness Campaign (PPAC), IPSF aims to make pharmacy a recognizable profession.
The PPAC Coordinator aids in the development and movement towards the direction of IPSF’s goals in respect to possible PD projects and campaigns. Some of the duties included in this position include: helping to facilitate better implementation of PPACs, making a collection of publications highlighting role of pharmacist in PPAC, brainstorming to make PPAC orientated towards a larger audience, as well as making the campaign easier to implement and managing the online PPAC database.