Posted by: Ayla Atalar13 JUN 2011
The time has now come where some pharmacystudents are starting, if not already started, their summer placements. Not allof us pharmacy students are lucky enough to have a summer placement. This year,I am one of them. The only summer placement I have had was last year, at ahospital, when I finished my second year of pharmacy. Many pharmacists-to-be whohave applied for a placement, but been declined, are all asking the samequestion: what am I doing wrong?
Some students are lucky enough to getplacements every year, others are glad to have at least one placement overtheir four years of studying and others have had no placements at allthroughout their pharmacy degree. I fall into the category where I have hadone, hoping that this won’t effect my chances of getting the preregistrationplacement I want. Although I am sure that prereg employers don’t only look at placementswhen choosing what students should be given an interview, it is known that someonly consider students for prereg if they have completed a placement withtheir pharmacy. This shows that students who have not completed a summerplacement potentially have a limitation on where to apply in future, bringingabout high competition for summer placements.
To me, the limited opportunities availableto us over the summer are a problem. Not only is it preventing our experiencefrom growing to help our understanding of our degree, but it is also puttingmore stress onto students about how it will effect their preregistration year.Personally, the only way I completely understood what the preregistration yearactually consisted was by completing a summer placement.
Pharmacy students should definitely havemore summer jobs promoted to them. Whether it is helping out small communitypharmacies or even the opportunity (and an idea I thought up!) of doing a ‘minisummer placement’ at a local community pharmacy. A mini placement could easilybe a short two/three weeks long and would allow more students to gain experience.This would compare to the limited six/eight week summer placements in communitypharmacies that are currently being applied for. I am sure that, particularlyfor third year pharmacy students, these mini placements make a great dealdifference in helping students to decide on their preregistration placementand give more students a chance to build on experience that would influencethem in their fourth and final year.