UKZN Pharmacy students, Mr Nathi Mchunu and Mrs Vereesha Soorju.

Pharmacy Students Benefit from Clinical Training at Newcastle Hospital

Newcastle’s Madadeni Hospital Pharmacy staff were overjoyed to be given the opportunity of hosting UKZN final-year Pharmacy students doing their first Decentralised Clinical Training (DCT) programme.

‘The students were well-behaved, respectful and very eager to learn,’ said Pharmacy Manager, Mr Nathi Mchunu.

‘We really wish we had more time with them,’ said Pharmacist, Mrs Vereesha Soorju.

The DCT programme is an initiative of the KZN Department of Health and UKZN in response to the Minister of Health’s call to optimise service delivery and to increase Health Care Professionals in all areas of the health spectrum.

The programme aims to help increase clinical training capacity in line with specific needs in KwaZulu-Natal – a province with a huge burden of disease and a specific need for service delivery necessitating clinical training.

The programme also aims to ensure that UKZN produces healthcare professionals who are fit for purpose within the Primary Health Care Model, as well as competent and prepared for the changing dynamics of health care in the developing world.

Soorju worked extensively with the students doing ward rounds together with the assistance of doctors. ‘They were really eager to learn and showed a lot of interest; asking important and relevant questions.’

The students also got a chance to work at the dispensary and assisted the pharmacists with pharmaceutical calculations.

Soorju said they were very good at spotting scripts errors and worked diligently at whatever work that they were given.

The students also gained experience in medical wards where they were each paired with a pharmacist and placed in different sections of the hospital.

‘They also worked in the burns unit where they got a chance to collaborate with occupational therapy and physiotherapy professionals. They enjoyed the multi-disciplinary collaboration,’ said Soorju.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini