17 pharmacists inducted into the profession

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 29, 2018

The pharmacists’ profession in Guyana welcomed 17 clinically trained pharmacists into the fraternity. On the evening of Wednesday, March 28, 2018, the pharmacists took their oath and were presented with their licenses to practice.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, donning one of the first locally trained Pharmacists, Keola Agard, with her white coat.

Symbolically, the pharmacists also lit individual candles, representing themselves, from a single flame carried by Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence who urged them to make a resounding difference in their service to the public.

Dubbed the ‘White Coat Ceremony’, the 17 pharmacists were donned with white coats for being the first batch to complete the internship programme for University of Guyana (UG) pharmacy graduates.

Recognising the critical role that pharmacists play in any health team, Minister Lawrence said “as pharmacy practitioners, you fit into this wide health spectrum and envisage ways in which you can provide enduring service to our Guyanese nation… you are now recognised as qualified resource practitioners.”

She also opined that pharmacists are the trustees of safe and effective medicine since the field of pharmacy is regarded as the most trusted profession within the health sector.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Brigadier Ret’d George Lewis openly extended the corporation’s willingness to hire the new pharmacists.

“The bottom line is, you pharmacists are experts on the uses of medicinal drugs. Without you, the healthcare system will be incomplete and I dare say it would possibly fail,” the CEO said.

The students, now pharmacists, underwent intense training at the GPHC in a number of areas. One of the Preceptors of the programme, Monique Hamblin gave a brief overview, outlining their experience during the internship.

She explained that they, “spent 160 hours in ambulatory or the outpatient clinic, 160 hours in emergency medicine, in the other areas they were more involved in daily rounds with the doctors… they spent 480 hours in surgery… 320 hours spent in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 80 hours in Psychiatry and… 400 hours in internal medicine.”

Before the pharmacy internship programme was launched in March 2017, persons who would have studied the theory, practised full-time without hands-on knowledge. Today, those completing the programme can benefit from full-time training and practical exposure.

The GPHC is the only approved medical institution in Guyana facilitating persons preparing to complete the one-year stint, since the facility has varying departments, catering to a wide range of much-needed patient care services and illnesses.

A 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 the University of Guyana but only accommodates 30 students on an annual basis.

The new interns are to be oriented shortly.

One of the ‘Preceptors of the Pharmacists’ internship programme, Monique Hamblin.

The recently trained interns taking the Oath of Commitment as professional pharmacists.


By: Delicia Haynes


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