As Chair of the Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners (SICP), I have been watching with great interest the discussions on the SICP Connect Community, particularly the discussion around residency training and practice experience. Common themes have emerged such as “Does experience matter?”, “Why support residency training?” and “How can I participate in the development and revision of ASHP policies?”
Does Experience Matter? Yes, Experience is valued. As an example, the Veterans Administration, the nation’s largest integrated health care system, uses a credentialing and privileging process for pharmacists that take into account education and training, certifications, and experience. Pharmacy practice experience is not undervalued and is an integral part of the pharmacist’s overall credentials.
As a hiring manager, I take into consideration all factors when interviewing and hiring. Years of experience can bring a lot more to an organization than just clinical knowledge. Experienced practitioners may bring a level of confidence, historical familiarity with certain ordering practices, a blending of practice with text book, an understanding of guidelines and their application to practice, and skills to “persuade” a prescriber of a change in therapy just to name a few. We must take into consideration all aspects of what is the position and what is needed to best perform in various practice roles.
Why Support Residency Training? The ASHP policy supporting mandatory residency training for new pharmacists providing direct patient care is not a position to de-value experience. In fact, it is a policy to position pharmacy for the future and to expand the capacity of pharmacist providers.
The transformation of pharmacy practice may be accompanied by regulatory requirements and an increased demand to demonstrate pharmacists’ specialized body of knowledge. For new graduates entering into new practice models, residency training that translates into knowledge is the best way to provide optimal care for our patients and we need to support this future vision.
How Do I Participate in the ASHP Policy Process? These discussions have led some to ask how policies were passed without their knowledge. The good news is that any member can participate in the ASHP policy process. Paul Driver, a fellow SICP member and leader, has articulated well the many ways one can become an active participant but it never hurts to repeat: Follow and participate in the ASHP Connect House of Delegates Community where proposed policies coming to the House of Delegates will be actively debated, modified, or supported. Contact your state delegates and share your perspectives. Become active at the state and national level to be the one to drive for change. The policies that will be considered for the 2013 House of Delegates will be posted on Connect later this Spring.
I look forward to your continued interest and participation in the Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners!