Honors Theses

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Pharmacy Administration

First Advisor

Erin Holmes

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Introduction: The profession of pharmacy is now largely focused on patient-centered care, rather than the drug-centered focus of the past. Schools of pharmacy have a vested interest in recruiting student pharmacists who are patient-focused. The purpose of this study is to assess University of Mississippi prepharmacy and Early Entry students' perceptions of the professional role of pharmacists, and to determine if these perceptions are related to student characteristics. Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study utilized an online, self-administered survey, administered to prepharmacy and Early Entry students enrolled at the University of Mississippi. The survey included constructs of the theory of planned behavior as a way to measure students' perceptions of the professional role of pharmacists. Additionally, the survey assessed students' professional commitment, as well as several demographic characteristics of respondents. Results: 104 completed surveys were received for a 23% response rate. Respondents were generally were female, between the ages of 18 and 20, and Caucasian. Most respondents reported having a GPA of 2.75 or greater, meeting the minimum GPA required for regular admission into the UM School of Pharmacy. Comparisons of students' perceptions of the professional role of pharmacists based on GPA, number of semesters completed, Early Entry/prepharmacy status, pharmacists in the family, and work experience, resulted in no significant differences, with the exception of work experience when measuring perception on the basis of the perceived behavioral control component of the theory of planned behavior. Additionally, differences in professional commitment were not found based on the above-listed categories. Conclusion: Responding students generally demonstrated positive perceptions of the professional role of a pharmacist and also demonstrated professional commitment. General, insignificant trends suggested that student who completed fewer semesters, were prepharmacy students, had more work experience, or had a pharmacist in the family had more positive perceptions of the professional role of the pharmacists and higher professional commitment scores.

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