Written By

Janine Lucas


College of Medicine and Dentistry

Publish Date

10 June 2022

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'Nothing short of amazing'

Breannan Busetti looks back on her north west Queensland rural placements and the opportunities that came her way as president of James Cook University Pharmacy Students’ Association (JCUPSA) as experiences of a lifetime.

Before starting her internship at a Townsville community pharmacy, the 2021 graduate capped off her four years at JCU by helping to pull together the 2022 National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) Congress with her JCUPSA colleagues in late January. The week-long virtual event left them inspired about the future of their profession.

Breannan says getting involved in JCUPSA right from first year made her Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) all the more valuable.

Uni graduate wearing cap and gown
Young woman catching a fish in a display
JCU Pharmacy graduate Breannan Busetti says rural placements in Karumba and other towns during her studies opened her eyes to how much city dwellers take for granted in health service provision.

Pharmacy at JCU

All in all, my JCU pharmacy experience was nothing short of amazing. I have been provided with opportunities beyond my imagination and am very grateful for all the relationships I have formed with my peers and lecturers. I chose to study pharmacy at JCU because I was passionate about health care and wanted to give back to and help the wider community. I am confident with the skills I have developed over the past four years that I will be able to do exactly that.

Rural placements

Completing placements in rural communities made me realise how good we have it in cities. We take what we have for granted: the health services, access to specialists or a regular GP, emergency services, and all of this essentially seven days a week. While working in rural towns like Karumba, I noticed how it was almost a luxury to see the doctor. Patients had to be organised and plan based on when the doctor or the specialist were going to be in town. In some cases, access to these health professionals was feasible only a handful of times in a month.

I would highly recommend rural placement. It is incredible seeing how a small town can function without the services we speak so highly of and yet take for granted. I left both placements with nothing but good things to say about them. It was an experience of a lifetime and has definitely sparked an interest in rural health.

What I love about pharmacy

I love that I am able to give back to and help the wider community. I have a strong passion for upholding best practice, and this extends beyond the borders of the community pharmacy. I strongly believe that no matter what role we play in healthcare, we are continuously learning and building on our foundation knowledge. Being able to organise and facilitate the NAPSA Congress, a premier education event in the pharmacy calendar for students, was a rewarding experience that fulfilled my needs and desires as a health professional.

Young woman at laptop computer
Young woman sitting on concrete block with grafffiti
Breannan says getting involved in student associations enriches the uni experience: "Not only is a great chance to meet your fellow peers, but it is also a great opportunity to network and mingle with like-minded students both in the University and on a national scale."

NAPSA Congress

The annual NAPSA Congress is the premier education and networking event for pharmacy students across Australia and New Zealand. Each year, a different branch hosts the conference, attracting up to 400 student delegates.  The 2022 Virtual NAPSA Congress was without a doubt a huge success. The Congress Organising Committee’s goal was to provide delegates with an all-inclusive and well-rounded experience that would further both their personal and professional development, as well as leave them inspired about the future of their pharmacy profession. We wanted students to take away a sense of hope and indeed inspiration about the future of their pharmacy profession. I’m confident that we achieved just that.

Get involved in student associations

I truly do believe that being involved in student associations makes the university experience. Not only is a great chance to meet your fellow peers, but it is also a great opportunity to network and mingle with like-minded students both in the University and on a national scale.

Being a part of JCUPSA has allowed me to form close relationships with some of the most highly regarded individuals in the pharmacy profession. This benefited not only my education, but also my future as a practising health professional.

It has also allowed me to organise and run nationally recognised events, for which I am very grateful. JCUPSA has opened up so many opportunities, both big and small, and I definitely can’t take them for granted. I would strongly recommend students join their student associations, or at the very least take on the opportunities presented to them by their student association.

Pharmacy is an in-demand career that can take you anywhere. Read more about Melissa Gibson’s ‘Gold Lotto’ job and follow the adventures of 2021 graduate from Western Australia Patrick Wright and Torres Strait pharmacist Caitlin Davies.

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