Issue 4 - 7 May 2013 enews home

Pharmacy students experience remote challenges

By Louise Errington

CDU’s first year pharmacy student George Mossa was part of the class that hit the beaten track on a recent field trip to Katherine

A group of first-year pharmacy students discovered the challenges of delivering medical services in rural hospitals first-hand during a recent field trip to Katherine.

Charles Darwin University student George Mossa said the students gained an insight into a pharmacist’s contribution to patient health and their interactions with other departments during a tour of Katherine Hospital.

“We accompanied the hospital’s resident pharmacist as she took her rounds on a typical work day,” George said.

“She has a very demanding and dynamic job, and it was very different to the work done by a community pharmacist.”

After the hospital tour, the students participated in an information session about barriers preventing Indigenous Australians from receiving health services.

“We learnt that sometimes language barriers and health literacy levels can prevent Indigenous people from taking medication as prescribed,” George said.

“Indigenous culture can also determine whether patients seek health services and how successful prevention and health enhancement strategies can be.”

The class paid a visit to independent community-run clinic Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service to learn about the role of pharmacy in securing Indigenous health outcomes, and the work of Indigenous health workers.

“I now have a better understanding of the demands on an Indigenous health care practice in delivering a culturally appropriate service, and how organisations are attempting to close the gap on Indigenous health disadvantage,” he said.