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Pharmacy Placement Reflective Essay

Pharmacy Placement Reflective Essay

Reflective writing is a process that helps pharmacy students and practitioners to analyse their experiences and learn from them. It is a vital skill for developing self-awareness, critical thinking, and professional competence. In this article, I will reflect on my one-day placement at a community pharmacy, using the What?, So what?, and Now what? framework.


I visited a community pharmacy in Ashburn, Virginia, as part of my pharmacy course. The pharmacy provides prescription dispensing, medication counselling, immunization, and health screening services to the local population. I was assigned to shadow one of the pharmacists, who was very friendly and helpful. He showed me around the pharmacy, explained the workflow and procedures, and involved me in some of the tasks. I observed how he checked prescriptions, prepared medications, communicated with patients and other health professionals, and documented his interventions. I also had the opportunity to ask him questions and learn from his feedback.

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So what?

The placement was a valuable learning experience for me, as it exposed me to the real-world practice of pharmacy. I learned a lot about the roles and responsibilities of a community pharmacist, the challenges and opportunities they face, and the skills and knowledge they need to provide quality care. I also gained insights into my own strengths and weaknesses as a future pharmacist, and identified areas for improvement.

One of the aspects that impressed me most was the pharmacist's communication skills. He was able to communicate effectively with different types of patients, such as elderly, children, non-English speakers, and those with low health literacy. He used clear and simple language, active listening, empathy, and non-verbal cues to establish rapport and trust with the patients. He also educated them about their medications, answered their questions, and addressed their concerns. He demonstrated professionalism, respect, and cultural sensitivity in his interactions.

I realized that communication is a key skill for pharmacists, as it can influence patient outcomes, satisfaction, and adherence. It can also prevent medication errors, misunderstandings, and conflicts. I recognized that I need to improve my communication skills, especially in terms of expressing myself clearly, asking open-ended questions, and providing feedback. I also need to be more aware of my own biases and assumptions, and respect the diversity of patients.

Now what?

To enhance my communication skills, I plan to do the following actions:

  • Read more literature on effective communication techniques for pharmacists .

  • Practice my communication skills with my peers, tutors, and mentors. Seek feedback on my performance and areas for improvement.

  • Participate in more placements or internships in different pharmacy settings. Observe how experienced pharmacists communicate with patients and other health professionals. Reflect on my own experiences and learn from them.

I believe that by improving my communication skills, I will be able to provide better care to my patients and become a more competent pharmacist.


  • Aslani P., Hamrosi K., Feletto E., Raynor D.K., Knapp P., & Hughes J.D. (2012). Communicating with consumers: The experiences of 12 Australian community pharmacists. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice , 20(6), 349-357.

  • Berger B.A., Villaume W.A., & Barker K.N. (2005). Communication Skills for Pharmacists: Building Relationships Improving Patient Care (3rd ed.). Washington DC: American Pharmacists Association.

  • Taylor K.M.G., Harding G., & Nettleton S.J. (2003). Communication between pharmacists and patients: A review of research methods . Pharmacy World & Science , 25(4), 151-156.


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