Charles Sturt University Delivers First Vaccination Training to Pharmacists

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 04 March, 2014

Charles Sturt University (CSU) has delivered the first vaccination training to pharmacists under a revised program created with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, NSW Branch.

The 'Immunisation Service Delivery' program builds on vaccination training provided to CSU's Bachelor of Pharmacy students since 2010, and was presented during the Branch's recent 2014 convention.

Mr Carl Cooper, lecturer in pharmacy practice in the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences in Wagga Wagga, said the program would help prepare pharmacists to implement vaccination programs within their community pharmacies, should legislation permit in future.

"We see vaccination as an additional service pharmacists could provide that could help improve the health of our communities," he said. "Pharmacists are probably the most accessible health care professionals, and I think many time-poor members of the community would appreciate being able to pop in for a flu-shot at a time that's convenient to them."

While current legislation prevents pharmacists providing the service, new laws introduced in the Northern Territory recently will give pharmacists, nurses, midwives and aboriginal health workers there the authority to vaccinate patients. A trial program involving pharmacists is also being considered in Queensland.

In December last year the Pharmacy Board of Australia noted its Advanced Practice Framework

Steering Committee had advised vaccination is within the current scope of practice of a pharmacist, but further work regarding standards and training was needed.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia, NSW Branch president Mr Paul Sinclair said community pharmacies in many countries, including the United States, Britain and Ireland, offered vaccination services.

"Pharmacists in NSW look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the health of our own communities in a similar way if that option became available," he said.

Mr Sinclair said the collaboration with CSU was an ideal example of the way educational institutions and industry could collaborate for the benefit of students, the wider profession, and patients.

"This type of collaboration between an educational institution, such as Charles Sturt University, and the professional body should be encouraged," he said.

"The program that has been developed blends the academic expertise and practical teaching experience of the university with the professional knowledge of the Guild."

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