My name is Emma and I’m currently in my first year of a Health Education England funded PhD within the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University of Manchester. My A-Levels were in Maths, Biology and Chemistry and in 2011 I started a Master’s degree in pharmacy, again at the University of Manchester.
After I graduated from university in 2015 I completed a one year professional training programme at Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust. At the end of this year I sat the General Pharmaceutical Council Pre-Registration exam and qualified as a pharmacist in summer 2016. For the next year I worked for Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust as a junior clinical pharmacist and although I did enjoy this job, it was at the start of 2017 I applied for my PhD.
In July 2017 I started my PhD at the University of Manchester. My research is focussed on developing a compulsory course for undergraduate pharmacy students to deliver health promotion workshops to high schools students using the teaching style of peer education.
The principal of peer education is simply that people are likely to learn more from individuals of a similar social status to themselves than from more traditional authority figures. This social status is usually determined by age but it can also be based on other factors such as ethnicity, gender or religion. Peer education can be used in many situations to teach various different topics, including health promotion.
Health promotion involves giving people information to take control and improve their own health. It is important as it can help change personal behaviours that can lead to disease and morbidity. Some of these health behaviours can start early on in life so targeting health promotion within schools is essential.
My research is therefore based around 3rd year pharmacy students delivering health promotion workshops to Year 9 and 10 pupils within schools around Greater Manchester. The workshop topics include mental health, sexual health and alcohol awareness. The pharmacy students must each deliver a workshop each in small groups as part of their degree course. The analysis of the workshops will include if the high school students improved their knowledge about the topic and also how the experience as a whole affected the pharmacy students.
To find out what we’re up to in Division of Pharmacy and Optometry follow us on twitter: @UoM_PharmOptPGR