Becoming a preceptor means being willing and able to carve out significant amounts of time to dedicate to a student pharmacist or resident.
It’s a challenging effort, especially when the pharmacist making this huge investment in the future of the profession works in an especially busy, fast-paced pharmacy. Last month, we featured Guardian Pharmacy as our Community Pharmacy of the Month. It operates through seven locally owned and operated pharmacies, seamlessly serving assisted living and skilled nursing communities of all sizes throughout Florida and select areas of southern Alabama.
Busy and fast-paced may be understatements.
And yet Dennis Van Dyke, RPh, who practices at the Deerfield Beach location, makes time to precept students. The students who are precepted by Van Dyke get the chance to build their confidence by putting into practice the pharmacist skills they’ve learned about in school. They also learn the ins and outs of working at a pharmacy with a setup like Guardian’s. Most important, however, they see firsthand the interaction between Guardian pharmacists and the community members they serve.
Van Dyke has taught his students valuable lessons that are not found in textbooks: integrity, reliability and kindness, all of which are integral to engendering trust between pharmacists and their patients. Van Dyke communicates to the students he precepts the importance of being able to connect with patients, providing them with the care they depend on. He also shows them firsthand how a pleasant work environment is beneficial to patients and pharmacy staff alike.
These types of lessons help shape the future of the profession, not just by teaching future pharmacists and technicians the importance of doing the essentials of the job well, but the importance of having compassion. It’s crucial in a place like Guardian that works in tandem with other healthcare professionals and allows the team to tailor services to the specific needs of customers and their residents.