The development, feasibility and acceptability of a coach-led intervention to ease novice community pharmacists’ transition to practice

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Background: Despite reported benefits of transition support programmes for other healthcare professionals, no evidence-based support interventions exist to ease newly-registered novice community pharmacists (NCPs) transition into practice.
Objectives: To develop an intervention to provide psychosocial support, support the development of professional behaviours and skills of novice pharmacists in community pharmacy and conduct an evaluation.
Methods: The Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance for developing complex interventions was applied to develop a 17-week, pharmacist coach-led intervention, using a social media group, a face-to-face introductory workshop, two webinars, weekly case studies, portfolios (reflective logs and development plans) and a handbook. Twelve newly-registered NCPs participated. A coach log and semi-structured interviews collected data on feasibility, acceptability and perceived impact.
Results: Findings suggest the intervention was feasible and highly acceptable to NCPs, who perceived the coach and social media group to be the most valuable components. The coach was described as non-judgemental, approachable and collaborative. Provision of guided one-to-one reflection was viewed as useful for debriefing, feedback and meaningful reflection, and supported development of reflection-in-action. The face-to-face workshop was considered important for establishing rapport and trust. The social media group was most valued for providing an accessible, confidential and responsive support network, in which NCPs felt psychologically safe to learn. This component was reported to present opportunities for developmental discourse and shared reflection with peers, thus reducing the sense of professional isolation. NCPs reported that the intervention led to increases in meaningful learning, confidence, critical reasoning, self-awareness and self-reflection. The webinars and handbook were identified as the least valuable components.
Conclusions: A transition-support intervention using an experienced pharmacist coach, delivered within a safe, supportive, albeit online facilitated learning environment, appeared feasible and valuable in supporting guided reflection and developmental discourse. This facilitates transformative learning, and supports NCPs to gain proficiency and become independent reflective practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Early online date16 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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