Marketing of rural and remote pharmacy practice via the digital medium
Peterson, GM and Fitzmaurice, KD and Rasiah, RL and Kruup, H, Marketing of rural and remote pharmacy practice via the digital medium, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 35, (4) pp. 409-414. ISSN 0269-4727 (2010) [Refereed Article]
Aim: The shortage of community and hospital pharmacists is particularly acute in rural and remote areas of Australia. Pharmacy students, in particular, as those who may be able to alleviate this shortage, need to be made more aware of the challenges and rewards of rural pharmacy practice. A marketing tool was developed to promote rural and remote pharmacy practice as a career option. A DVD was produced from interviews with health professionals working in rural and remote areas of Australia. This DVD will complement current rural practical placements, which have been incorporated into the curriculum of Australian schools of pharmacy.
Methods: Interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals from areas in Tasmania, Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. Interviewees included pharmacists, graduate pharmacists, pharmacy students, aboriginal health workers and a general practitioner. Each of the interviewees was able to provide personal accounts of experiences in rural and remote healthcare, and roles and opportunities for pharmacists. A final draft of the DVD was shown to University of Tasmania students to assess the impact and quality of the production.
Results: A number of common themes arose from interviewing and these were subsequently converted into five key chapters of the DVD – Lifestyle, Belonging, Diversity, Indigenous Health and 'Give it a go'. The final DVD, produced from over 15 h of footage, runs for 35 min. Students reported positive feedback on both the technical quality and the information contained within the DVD; 37% of students who viewed the DVD felt that it increased their awareness of what rural pharmacy has to offer.
Conclusions: The rural pharmacy, 'Enjoy the Lifestyle' DVD can be used to increase awareness of rural and remote pharmacy practice to students and other pharmacists, and complements other pharmacy workforce strategies for rural and remote areas of Australia. It could also be a useful approach for adaptation in other countries.