Qatar University’s (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) has announced the successful completion of its 14th cycle of the Structured Practical Experiences in Pharmacy (SPEP) Programme, a statement said.
The SPEP involves 24 weeks (960 hours) of structured pharmacy practice experience in six successive rotations. It is organised as a progressive continuum to support growth in the student’s capabilities to render patient-centred care as a competent, independent practitioner. SPEP involves placement in a community, hospital, clinic and elective pharmacy practice setting over a 2-year period.
The SPEP Programme is an integral part of the CPH’s mission to prepare students for an interconnected healthcare landscape and marks a significant leap forward in shaping culturally aware pharmacists. The initiative, facilitated through partnerships with esteemed pharmacies worldwide, reflects the college’s commitment to advancing health outcomes on a global scale.
Dr Ziad Nasr, assistant professor and coordinator of the SPEP Programme, said: “Our final professional year P4 students successfully completed seven community pharmacy internships in the UK, Scotland, and New Zealand during the Fall 2023 semester. This accomplishment is a testament of our commitment towards broadening students’ perspectives, enhancing their skills, and fostering cultural exchange, ultimately contributing to their personal and professional development.”
As part of this cycle, Laila El-Mancy and Hafsa Shehzad had the opportunity to visit Mint Pharmacy in Glasgow, Scotland. They said: “Our international community pharmacy internship was truly a phenomenal experience that has left a lasting mark on both our personal and professional journeys. It provided us with a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves within distinct healthcare practices in a different cultural context and helped us to gain a wealth of novel knowledge and skills.”
Eman Abou Madi and Muneera al-Hajiri, who also completed the programme in Scotland said: “The Mint Pharmacy team ensured that we learned something new every day, encompassing not only aspects of pharmacy practice but also insights into work culture and patient interactions. As a result, we returned with reshaped ambitions, future goals, and a heightened commitment to the field of pharmacy, having observed how our full potential as future pharmacists could be effectively utilised.”
Kaoutar Barakat had the opportunity to complete her internship in Leicester, UK, with the BMP healthcare group. She said: “My internship at Brother’s Pharmacy and Belgrave Health Center Pharmacy helped me engage with diverse cultures and healthcare systems.
“It has enriched my perspective, emphasising the importance of adaptability and empathy in the field of pharmacy.”
Sarah al-Qattan and Salma Said travelled to Dunedin, New Zealand. “During our international pharmacy practice rotation at Knox Pharmacy in New Zealand, we were immersed in a healthcare system that emphasised patient-centred care and autonomy for pharmacists.
“The use of the national health identification system enhanced patient counselling and safety. Notably, the pharmacy’s focus on harm reduction and medication abuse management, including methadone clinics and needle exchange programmes, showcased a commitment to public health.
“This experience not only provided us with a rich knowledge base but also instilled a passion for advocating positive changes in pharmacy practice, both in Qatar and on an international scale,” they said.
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