Writing For Irish Pharmacist, The IIOP Outlines How It Can Be Of Help To Our Pharmacy Community.
The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary. By now, most pharmacists have engaged with the IIOP as part of the statutory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) processes of ePortfolio Review and Practice Review. Yet, some are still unaware of the variety of resources and opportunities that are available through the IIOP to support pharmacists on their continuing professional development journeys. Here, we provide some information on a selection of IIOP initiatives.
There are currently 27 online training programmes available to access any time on the IIOP website. These include statutory programmes related to the delivery of specific pharmacy-based services, as well as programmes on a range of clinical and non-clinical topics. To see the full list, go to the website iiop.ie.
Group-based training programmes
To encourage peer connection, the IIOP offers face-to-face programmes that run several times a year, where pharmacists can connect with and learn from each other. Examples of these programmes include Mentorship Skills, Managing Conflict, and Effective Representation.
The IIOP Covid-19 Information Hub (Covid Hub) is an open-access resource, accessible from the IIOP website homepage. It serves as a source of up-to-date and comprehensive information on Covid-19 and associated issues. To support pharmacists in their everyday practice, this intuitive resource covers topic areas relating to all aspects of Covid-19 and includes links to relevant sites, such as the HSE and HPSC. There are also sections dedicated to ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ resources, as well as to ‘Return to Practice’ resources.
The Covid Hub can be found on the IIOP home page; you do not have to be logged in to your profile to access this information: https://iiop.ie/content/covid-hub.
‘In Conversation with…’ is a live webinar series, delivered fortnightly, in the evenings. The series aims to support pharmacists in dealing with a range of professional issues and includes clinical learning topics, as well as mental health and wellbeing themes.
Webinars are recorded and there are currently over 40 webinars available to view on the IIOP website.
Pharmacists who started attending the webinars during the pandemic gave the following feedback about the sessions: ‘Sense of community’, ‘practical, relevant’, ‘feeling connected’.
THE RESILIENT PHARMACIST PODCAST
Podcasts provide an alternative to the traditional training programme or resources. The recent 10-episode series, The Resilient Pharmacist, provides insights into the personal wellbeing of the members of our profession through a time of uncertainty and change.
This 10-episode podcast was the result of a collaboration between a diverse group of pharmacists. Topics discussed on the podcast include perfectionism, frightening experiences, burnout, and mentoring. The podcast is available to listen to on all platforms, and on the IIOP website: https://iiop.ie/content/resilient-pharmacist-podcast.
“I see this series as a valuable initiative that starts the conversation by putting mental health and wellbeing on the table for discussion… Being well and content in one’s own world and environment is an important first step in service delivery and ultimately, patient care.” Prof Abbie Lane, Consultant Psychiatrist and podcast advisor
The quarterly newsletter features updates on the work of the IIOP, new courses, CPD sample cycles, and much more. Keep up-to-date with all our news by subscribing to the IIOP newsletter. You can do so by sending an email to the team at info@iiop. ie. All of our past newsletters are available to read on the website at https://iiop.ie/ iiop-newsletter.
Courses and webinars can be accessed at any time, meaning they can be completed at times that are convenient to you. To find out more about any of the training programmes, or to watch the webinars, simply click the ‘Courses and Events’ tab on the IIOP website.
Peer Support Network
The Peer Support Pharmacist (PSP) Network is a group of pharmacists who provide support to colleagues as they engage in CPD. It is highly effective in facilitating the exchange of information between the Institute and members of the profession. The network has grown to 71 members from all areas of the profession. We are currently reviewing the role of peer support in the IIOP, and all pharmacists are invited to contribute to, and shape, the future work of this network (see below for details).
‘Participating… introduced me to people I may otherwise have never come across!’
IIOP Peer Support Pharmacist mentoring
The IIOP’s Mentoring Programme provides pharmacists with access to high-quality mentoring opportunities, as either mentors or mentees. Applications are open to all pharmacists from all sectors and all career stages via the IIOP mentoring application process on the IIOP website.
The IIOP Mentoring Programme has been recognised by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) as the Winner of the EMCC Global Mentoring Award 2021.
More information can be found at https://iiop.ie/content/mentoring-pharmacists-pharmacists.
Working groups and ambassadors
The IIOP periodically establishes working groups and ambassadors from the wider pharmacy profession (primary and secondary care) to provide guidance to the IIOP on how best to support the profession. For example, in the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Mental Health Ambassador Network provides valuable guidance to the IIOP in maintaining positive mental health for the profession, which is available in the IIOP’s Covid Hub.
National committees and working groups
The IIOP is actively involved in the recruitment and appointment of pharmacists to committees and working groups within the HSE. When professional or clinical pharmacy representation is required on national working groups, the IIOP seeks expressions of interest from members of the pharmacist register and facilitates the recruitment and appointment processes. This plays an important role in facilitating pharmacist contribution where required by the health system.
Effective Representation Programme and Network
The Effective Representation Programme is an online training programme which provides pharmacists with skills required for working on committees and working groups. The network was formed by a group of interested pharmacists to establish ongoing peer-support among colleagues working on committees.
Specialist fora for pharmacy groups are available as a go-to source of information and resource sharing in areas such as cancer control, palliative care, and antimicrobial stewardship.
IIOP and HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control (AMRIC) team are currently collaborating to develop a Pharmacist Antimicrobial Stewardship Network (PAMS-net) discussion forum. This Network will be open to pharmacists from all professional backgrounds, those who are considered experienced antimicrobial pharmacists, and those who wish to further their knowledge.
For updates on this project, keep an eye on the IIOP webpage and Twitter, @IIOPharmacy.
These initiatives would not be possible without the generous commitment and support of the IIOP’s pharmacy network, which has seen over 400 pharmacists involved to date.
“Getting involved in networks helps combat professional isolation whilst providing an opportunity for professional contribution and development. Lots of great friendships and professional collaborations have been forged through the various IIOP peer support initiatives.” Dr Catriona Bradley, Exec Director, IIOP
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
If you would like to find out more, or get involved, visit the IIOP website, Twitter and Instagram, email firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to the IIOP’s newsletter, or join us for the upcoming IIOP Pharmacist Peer Support Event.
IIOP PHARMACIST PEER SUPPORT EVENT
On 14 October 2022, the IIOP will be hosting its annual Peer Support Event. Usually reserved for pharmacists who are already actively involved in the work of the IIOP, this year the invitation is extended to the wider profession. All pharmacists are invited to contribute to the discussion of how the IIOP Pharmacist Peer Support Network should evolve over the coming years.
- Learn about the wide range of peer support projects, networks and opportunities in the IIOP.
- Meet and network with like-minded pharmacist colleagues.
- Shape the future of the peer support for pharmacists in Ireland.
Places are limited, so you must register your interest to attend. Keep an eye on social media and the IIOP newsletter for updates on the event and registration details.