The Pharmacy Council of Guyana, in collaboration with the Pharmacists’ Association and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has created an internship programme for pharmacy graduates of the University of Guyana (UG). The collaboration has made it possible for 17 students who have recently completed their Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy to be interns for one year.
These students were inducted as the first batch into the programme at a ceremony held at GPHC’s resource centre on Thursday.
Before the pharmacy internship programme was launched, persons who studied the theory, practiced full time without hands-on knowledge of what they have studied. However, persons now completing the programme will benefit from full-time training and practical exposure. President of the Pharmacists’ Association, Megan Barker said, “This is history in Guyana, in the pharmacy arena.”
Chairperson of the Pharmacy Council in Guyana, Carl Bacchus, while reflecting on his period of study and working said, “We were attached full time as a member of the second batch, in 1972 it started, I was a member of the second batch we were actually full time attached to departments and the training was part-time, and when we finished our three years, you would have had three years of practical experience now they are lucky they are only doing one year.”
The GPHC is the only approved medical institution in Guyana facilitating persons set to complete the one-year stint. Bacchus explained that the reason why the GPHC is the only approved medical institution is because the facility has varying departments, catering to a wide range of patient cases and illnesses.
“… the pharmacy is probably one of the first places a sick person will go or somebody with a problem would go, and even if they are not sick physically, mentally, whatever it is, therefore they (pharmacists) will have to be equipped in every single area. They will go into obstetrics/gynaecology, they will go into surgery, they will go into dispensary, they will go into the psychiatric ward, and they will go to every single ward that is the reason why the institution has these different departments in place,” Bacchus added.
Meanwhile as a preamble before the stint begins, the graduates will participate in a two- day workshop which will have various doctors and department heads making presentations, providing general knowledge on objectives of the department of the hospital.
Pharmacy is generally referred to as a local dispensary where drugs and other medical supplies can be accessed, however pharmacy as an area of study refers to the science or practice of the preparation and dispensing of medicinal drugs. This area of study is offered at UG but only accommodates 30 students on an annual basis.
By: Delicia Haynes
Recently graduated pharmacists at the induction ceremony
Carl Bacchus, Chairperson, Pharmacy Council of Guyana