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Hands On Otago experience hooks students on pharmacy

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 12:26pm

HandsOnOtago
Kimberly King (front) and Zoe Luke, were among the 11 students who participated in the Hands On Otago programme at the School of Pharmacy in January. (Photo credit: Rewa Pene).

I loved learning the Latin abbreviations for making labels, as well as the hands-on experience of making my own moisturiser and sunblock.”

After one week at Otago University’s Hands-On programme, Tauranga student Kimberly King is hooked on pharmacy.
The final-year student at Tauranga Girls’ College was unsure exactly what she wanted to do career-wise, but after the hands-on programme, she’s keen to pursue a career in pharmacy.
“I knew I wanted to do something health-related. It was really between being a nurse or a pharmacist. But after the one-week Hands-On course I know that pharmacy is my passion,” she explains.

Hands-On at Otago co-ordinator and science education officer Sandra Copeland says a total of 414 students participated in this year’s programme, across sciences, health sciences, humanities and business.

Pharmacy co-ordinator Greg Walker, a senior lecturer within the School of Pharmacy, says 11 students participated in the pharmacy programme, designed to give students a taste of what pharmacy is about.

Kimberly had done some research about pharmacy online, but says her hands-on experience gave her a far better idea of what is involved in the profession.

She enjoyed talking to pharmacy staff and the other students who had the same questions as she did. “I loved learning the Latin abbreviations for making labels, as well as the hands-on experience of making my own moisturiser and sunblock.”

Dr Walker says feedback from students participating in the pharmacy programme was overwhelmingly positive. They particularly enjoyed having the opportunity of making their own formulations.
2017 was the 28th year the Hands-On programme has been held at Otago University however, the programme was initially focused across science programmes alone and it has now been extended to other departments.

All students reside at the residential colleges over the week and all participants get a taste of life at university, including a busy social programme as well as an academic programme.

Article written by Liane Topham-Kindley for Pharmacy Today, March 2017