BACKGROUND: The work-based learning environment encompasses a dynamic space where the implementation of
theoretical knowledge and skills may prove to be at odds with routine service delivery practices, known as the hidden
OBJECTIVE: To describe incidents reflective of the hidden curriculum of fourth year pharmacy students from work-based
learning experiences at public healthcare facilities.
METHOD: A qualitative, descriptive study was conducted. Data from written student reflection reports were thematically
RESULTS: From 35 reports, three primary themes including time, binaries, and students’ personal histories, influenced
interactions in the workplace. These themes illustrated how the students’ professional and personal traits interlocked
with historical, structural and cultural influences in the workplace as well as larger society.
CONCLUSION: Uncovering of the hidden curriculum revealed that the students’ ability to navigate workload pressure,
polarisation between groups and their own biases are crucial to firstly survive, and secondly to learn in the workplace.