Issue 4 - 8 May 2012 enews home

NT pharmacy student has first shot at national title


By Leanne Coleman

Adam Bourke

CDU final year pharmacy student Sarira El Den will represent the NT at the national Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year competition later this year

The Territory's top pharmacy student will compete at the national finals of the Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year competition.

This is the first year NT students have had the opportunity to compete in the national competition that recognises outstanding pharmacy students.

During the recent South Australian and Northern Territory regional finals in Adelaide, Charles Darwin University pharmacy student Sarira El Den was judged to have recommended the best medicine, securing a place in the finals in Melbourne later this year.

She will compete for an all expenses paid trip to the Netherlands to attend the International Pharmacy Student Federation Congress in August 2013.

CDU pharmacy practice lecturer Mary Madden said competitors would showcase their knowledge and ability to act and counsel as a pharmacist in a scenario-based activity with actors posing as patients.

"For over a decade, the award has been dominated by students from metropolitan-based universities," Ms Madden said. "But this year that may all be about to change, with an NT finalist entering the competition."

Ms Madden said that while the all expenses paid overseas trip and notoriety were attractive, the competition was a fantastic opportunity for students to network, meet with representatives of pharmaceutical professional bodies, and to hone their counselling skills and bedside manner.

Sarira, who is in her final year of pharmacy, said that being a pharmacist required more than clinical knowledge.
"I learn best when I get to apply what I have studied and this competition has reinforced all the material we have learnt in class and during practicals in the mock pharmacy at CDU," she said.

"Winning the competition has reassured me that I have the personal and social skills to deal with my patients with the utmost care and consideration after I graduate and register as a pharmacist."

Sarira will travel to Melbourne to compete in the Alphapharm Pharmacy Student of the Year Competition held as part of the Pharmacy Australia Congress in late October.

The Pharmacy Student of the Year award is a joint initiative of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Alphapharm, in collaboration with the National Australian Pharmacy Student Association.