SHPA members are progressive advocates for clinical excellence, passionate about patient care and committed to evidence-based practice.
Here, we spend a minute with some of them, to learn about their lives across Australia and how their work in a variety of healthcare settings improves patient outcomes.
A minute with...Emma Bartlett
19 April 2017
For Emma Bartlett, variety is the crucial ingredient in her pharmacy career.
‘Integrating research and managing different roles in my everyday work really appeals to me,’ she says.
‘Hospital pharmacy – particularly in regional and remote area – is the perfect environment for staying on top of the latest developments in medicines management.’
In her fourth year of university, Emma was placed in Port Augusta, at the head of South Australia’s Spencer Gulf, which she says opened many doors for broadening her expertise and experience.
‘As a regional city servicing a huge area of remote communities, being in P.A. has allowed me to work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service on outreach to Outback towns.
‘This involves monthly trips to supply medications, educate local nursing staff, engage with fly in / fly out clinicians to review inpatients and discuss new therapeutic guidelines.’
Emma remains in Port Augusta today and has begun pharmacy research aimed at improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
‘One opportunity I truly enjoyed was working closely with Pika Wiya Health Service to collect information for my internship project “Learning From Aboriginal Experiences Of Infection Management In a Regional Hospital.”
‘An area of focus for the service is improving the supply of and compliance with medicines and, in my intern year, I conducted a project looking at patients that self-discharge to follow and understand what factors affect their medicines use at home.’
When she’s not working Emma, who was born and raised in Keith in South Australia’s south east, is usually in the great outdoors, making the most of desert state’s dramatic landscape.
‘All around Port Augusta there is spectacular scenery – my pick of the bunch is Devil’s Peak near Quorn, where a reasonably difficult hike is rewarded with incredible views.’
Ashleigh Boatman says it was seeing her education come alive that attracted her to hospital pharmacy.
‘At uni I loved learning all about bloods and disease processes and, in the hospital pharmacy setting, I could put this knowledge into practice much more easily.’
Hailing from Ararat in Victoria, today Ashleigh is the only oncology pharmacist on the wards at Dubbo Base Hospital, an environment that sees her closely integrated into multi-disciplinary teams at an exciting time for the region.
‘People travel to us from as far as Bourke and Cobar Lightning Ridge near the Queensland border, sometimes driving over four hours each way for one appointment, so we have great determination to improve access in the region, starting with a pilot RVAC (remote video assisted chemotherapy) clinic in Coonabarabran in April.
‘Serving such a large catchment area, we’re working to expand staff and clinical capacity with a 5-10 year goal that all patients can still receive pharmacy services outside Dubbo.’
After prepping for patient discharges and managing complex complementary cancer treatments, Ashleigh says she enjoys the lifestyle on the Western Plains.
‘Dubbo is a perfect fit – it’s large enough that it has everything I need, but small enough so there’s no congestion… I can always get a park!
‘It’s also incredibly easygoing. Lots of people are in the same situation as me, so it is very easy to meet people and make friends.’
Outside the working world, Ashleigh describes her ideal afternoon as in a sunny park reading a book under a tree, ‘although maybe not right now, because all I’m reading at the moment are my pharmacy journals!’