Tuesday 9 July 2019 8:08pm
Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Brunton says the new laboratory helps demonstrate the University’s commitment to a modern pharmacy school. Photos and video: Sharron Bennett.
A freshly-completed laboratory at Otago’s School of Pharmacy may be one of the nicest in the world.
The Virtual Professional Practice Laboratory (VPPL) includes a central debrief area and 10 “pods” – independent rooms where pharmacy students can participate in dispensing, skills and simulation sessions.
School of Pharmacy Dean Professor Carlo Marra says the innovative teaching facility provides a space to deliver a modernised curriculum for pharmacy students who will go on to provide world-class, patient-centred care.
“This new laboratory helps enhance and strengthen the School's vision to be globally recognised as leaders, innovators and change agents in pharmacy education, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences, leading to improved health outcomes in communities we serve,” Professor Marra says.
At a ceremony on Friday to celebrate the laboratory’s completion, Professor Marra called the new facility “game-changing” for the School and its students - as well as being “a really wonderful space” to teach and learn in.
"I go around the world and see a lot of these spaces, because every pharmacy school has one. But this one is probably the nicest."
Everybody who had come together to make the “gorgeous” space become reality deserved congratulations, he said.
“I go around the world and see a lot of these spaces, because every pharmacy school has one. But this one is probably the nicest.”
Division of Health Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Brunton says it is important that academics and students are able to teach and learn in wonderful environments – and the new laboratory fits that description.
The University is committed to a modern pharmacy school and curriculum, Professor Brunton says, and the VPPL, along with the recently-opened pharmacy outpatient clinic, demonstrates that.
Dr Carla Dillon, who heads the pharmacy skills programme, says alongside the knowledge necessary to succeed in pharmacy, students also need to learn the communications skills which are “vital” to success.
The new laboratory was designed with that need in mind, she says, and will help improve communication learning in pharmacy.
Professional Practice Fellow, Dr Carla Dillon (left), and School of Pharmacy Dean, Carlo Marra, in one of the laboratory’s 10 new “pods”.