NT’s top Pharmacy student set to compete in SA


CDU student Karl Staben is set to compete in the Pharmacy Student of the Year NT/SA regional final in 2014

CDU student Karl Staben is set to compete in the Pharmacy Student of the Year NT/SA regional final in 2014

A student who gives his own time to help people overcome health issues has taken out the Northern Territory title of Pharmacy Student of the Year for 2014.

In a demonstration of professional skill, Charles Darwin University’s third year Pharmacy students went head to head as they completed two health consultation activities in a mock pharmacy scenario, with actors posing as patients. The 2014 competition was run early in the NT.

Karl Staben, who splits his spare time between volunteering with St John Ambulance and working in a community pharmacy, was crowned the NT winner for the quality of counselling he offered his patients during the competition.

He said coursework prepared him and his fellow students well for the competition, but his previous work experience may have given him the upper hand.

“My practical experience really helped me in asking the right questions to make sure the therapy I chose was appropriate for the patient,” Karl said.

“I had to consider other medications the patient was taking when recommending a course of treatment in case the drugs interacted.”

Karl said becoming a pharmacist seemed logical for him because he wanted to play a part in making life more comfortable for people who suffered from illness and disease.

He said he planned to stay in the NT after he graduated to pursue a career in remote health care.

The competition’s judging panel consisted of CDU lecturers, previous contestants, representatives of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, consultant pharmacists and pharmacists working at the Northern Territory Department of Environmental Health.

Karl will travel to Adelaide next year to participate in the South Australia/NT regional finals for the 2014 national competition.

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. The event is supported by Australian Pharmaceutical Industries and Self Care.

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