Objective. To implement a service learning program in nutrition and assess its impact on pharmacy students' communication skills and professionalism and elementary school children's knowledge of nutrition concepts.
Design. First-year pharmacy students completed 4 nutrition education sessions led by a registered dietitian and then presented the material to pre-selected classes of at-risk elementary school children in kindergarten through third grade.
Assessment. Ninety-six pharmacy students completed the pre- and post-experience survey and more than 90% rated achievement of course objectives as strongly agree or agree. Four hundred sixty-eight elementary students completed a pre- and posttest on nutrition knowledge. Significant improvement was found in all grade levels on the knowledge test.
Conclusion. This service learning experience was beneficial for the elementary school children and pharmacy students, enhancing the knowledge of both groups and establishing a positive relationship between the pharmacy school and the community.
nutrition; service learning; community; pediatric
To develop, implement, and evaluate the use of virtual patients as a teaching tool for third-professional year PharmD students within an advanced elective self-care course.
Practicing community pharmacists, faculty members, and pharmacy residents with alias e-mail accounts served as virtual patients and corresponded on a weekly basis via e-mail with pharmacy students regarding an assortment of fictional health concerns. Self-care inquiries were e-mailed to the students who replied and then forwarded their response to the course coordinator for evaluation and class discussion. At the end of the course, students were asked to assess the value of the learning activity.
Students demonstrated significant improvement in knowledge, problem-solving, communication, and professional skills upon course completion. Student's assessments of the virtual patient activity have suggested positive feedback on developing self-care skills, patient interactions, and group dynamics.
This teaching tool was designed to enhance student's knowledge base, assessment, and counseling skills when interacting with patients in various situations. Instructor evaluation of responses, student feedback, and self-evaluation indicated the activity improved overall knowledge and communication skills.
self-care; nonprescription drugs; virtual patients; assessment
Undergraduate college “science partners” provided content knowledge and a supportive atmosphere for K–5 teachers in a university–school professional development partnership program in science instruction. The Elementary Science Education Partners program, a Local Systemic Change initiative supported by the National Science Foundation, was composed of four major elements: 1) a cadre of mentor teachers trained to provide district-wide teacher professional development; 2) a recruitment and training effort to place college students in classrooms as science partners in semester-long partnerships with teachers; 3) a teacher empowerment effort termed “participatory reform”; and 4) an inquiry-based curriculum with a kit distribution and refurbishment center. The main goals of the program were to provide college science students with an intensive teaching experience and to enhance teachers' skills in inquiry-based science instruction. Here, we describe some of the program's successes and challenges, focusing primarily on the impact on the classroom teachers and their science partners. Qualitative analyses of data collected from participants indicate that 1) teachers expressed greater self-confidence about teaching science than before the program and they spent more class time on the subject; and 2) the college students modified deficit-model negative assumptions about the children's science learning abilities to express more mature, positive views.
Interactive pharmacy case studies are an essential component of the pharmacy curriculum. We recently developed an elective course at the Rangel College of Pharmacy in pharmacy case studies for second- and third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students using Second Life® (SL), an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment that simulates the real world. This course explored the use of SL for education and training in pharmacy, emphasizing a case-based approach. Virtual worlds such as SL promote inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding, and can potentially develop problem-solving skills in pharmacy students. Students were presented ten case scenarios that primarily focused on drug safety and effective communication with patients. Avatars, representing instructors and students, reviewed case scenarios during sessions in a virtual classroom. Individually and in teams, students participated in active-learning activities modeling both the pharmacist’s and patient’s roles. Student performance and learning were assessed based on SL class participation, activities, assignments, and two formal, essay-type online exams in Blackboard 9. Student course-evaluation results indicated favorable perceptions of content and delivery. Student comments included an enhanced appreciation of practical issues in pharmacy practice, flexibility of attendance, and an increased ability to focus on course content. Excellent student participation and performance in weekly active-learning activities translated into positive performance on subsequent formal assessments. Students were actively engaged and exposed to topics pertinent to pharmacy practice that were not covered in the required pharmacy curriculum. The multiple active-learning assignments were successful in increasing students’ knowledge, and provided additional practice in building the communication skills beneficial for students preparing for experiential clinical rotations.
Second Life; virtual worlds; pharmacy case studies; computer simulation; health education; pharmacy education
There is growing interest in coaching as a means of promoting professional development and the use of evidence-based practices in schools. This paper describes the PBISplus coaching model used to provide technical assistance for classroom- and school-wide behavior management to elementary schools over the course of three years. This tier-two coaching model was implemented within the context of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and tested in a 42-school randomized controlled trial. We summarize some of the lessons learned by coaches regarding their efforts to gain access to the administrators, teachers, and student support staff in order to effect change and improve student outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of ways to successfully collaborate with teachers to promote effective classroom- and school-wide behavior management.
coaching; classroom management; Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
To develop and implement an elective pharmacy course that included a guided abstinence experience to illustrate addiction recovery principles.
A 1-credit elective course to illustrate addiction recovery principles was developed and implemented. The course required students to give up a habit for 6 weeks that was causing them problems, meet weekly to discuss addiction recovery processes, and relate their experiences in a journal. Course grades were determined by class participation, submitted worksheets, and submission of the journal and a paper concerning their role as a pharmacist in dealing with those with addictions and in recovery. Pre- and posttests consisting of addiction case scenarios were used to assess students' application of course material.
Graded course elements, pretesting and posttesting, and student course evaluations indicated that course objectives were met. Over the past 15 years, student enrollment has grown from approximately 10% of pharmacy classes to approximately 50% (average 31 students).
A guided abstinence experience was an effective tool for teaching pharmacy students the concepts of addiction and recovery.
experiential learning; substance-related disorders; pharmacy education; students; addiction
Objectives: Project objectives were to: (1) design and produce an easy-to-use, replicable comprehensive injury prevention curriculum for elementary schools; (2) pilot the program to determine instructors' ease in teaching the material and its usefulness in enhancing student knowledge and behavior change; (3) present material in subject-integrated, grade-specific lessons that would meet state and national student learning objectives; and (4) submit and obtain adoption of the curriculum by the State Department of Education.
Methods: A pilot program was developed, implemented, and evaluated in six intervention and six control schools. The curriculum was revised and implemented in five other schools and finalized according to evaluation results and teachers' and parents' suggestions. Community resources such as police, fire, and county health departments participated in program implementation.
Results: The program showed a significant increase from 21% to 36% in seatbelt use during the school year in program schools compared with a 1% decrease in control schools. Bicycle helmet use increased from 0% to 10% in the program schools. Pre-test and post-test results showed significant differences in student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors within the program schools, and in comparing the program and control schools. On a Likert scale of 1 (poor) to 7 (excellent), teachers rated lesson content, exercises, and the usefulness of materials and resources as 5.8, 5.5, and 5.4, respectively. Evaluations for the revised curricula ranged from 5.7 to 6.2.
Conclusions: The favorable evaluation results resulted in the adoption of the curriculum as a state textbook, and widespread teaching of the curriculum. The product is appropriate and efficacious in these elementary schools and their communities.
Objective. To develop and implement an elective course on vitamins and minerals and their usefulness as dietary supplements.
Design. A 2-credit-hour elective course designed to provide students with the most up-to-date basic and clinical science information on vitamins and minerals was developed and implemented in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum. In addition to classroom lectures, an active-learning component was incorporated in the course in the form of group discussion.
Assessment. Student learning was demonstrated by examination scores. Performance on pre- and post-course surveys administered in 2011 demonstrated a significant increase in students’ knowledge of the basic and clinical science aspects of vitamins and minerals, with average scores increasing from 61% to 86%. At the end of the semester, students completed a standard course evaluation.
Conclusion. An elective course on vitamin and mineral supplements was well received by pharmacy students and helped them to acquire knowledge and competence in patient counseling regarding safe, appropriate, effective, and economical use of these products.
vitamins; minerals; dietary supplements; pharmacy curriculum; elective course
To assess the impact of an elective diabetes course on student pharmacists' skills and attitudes about diabetes management.
A 1-credit elective course on diabetes was developed that included a 1-week simulation experience during which students completed daily insulin injections, glucose checks, carbohydrate counts, and kept a daily log.
A preintervention and postintervention survey was administered to assess students' attitudes toward and confidence in performing and teaching patients various diabetes self-management skills. Students' confidence in performing and teaching diabetes self-management skills significantly improved. Students' reflective writing assignment, diabetes logbook, weekly quizzes, and group presentation were also evaluated.
A diabetes elective, which included a 1-week simulation of living as a diabetic patient, was an effective teaching method to increase students' confidence in performing and teaching diabetes self-management skills.
diabetes; simulation; active learning; elective; survey
To evaluate the impact of a book club experience on pharmacy students' learning about chronic illness.
Students read autobiographies/biographies regarding the patient experience of chronic illness. Similar to a traditional book club, small group discussions were held based on questions submitted by students. Other activities included written reflections, a final paper, and an oral presentation.
A retrospective pretest and posttest were administered at the end of the course. Students indicated improvement in the key aspects of the course with significant differences (p < 0.01) between retrospective pretest and posttest scores for all course objectives assessed. Students also indicated that the course contributed to their development as pharmacists, motivated them to learn about new topics, and helped them reconsider their attitudes.
A book club elective course was successful in helping students understand the patient experience.
chronic illness; autobiographies; small group discussion; empathy; compassion; patient care; elective course
Computer science has become ubiquitous in many areas of biological research, yet most high school and even college students are unaware of this. As a result, many college biology majors graduate without adequate computational skills for contemporary fields of biology. The absence of a computational element in secondary school biology classrooms is of growing concern to the computational biology community and biology teachers who would like to acquaint their students with updated approaches in the discipline. We present a first attempt to correct this absence by introducing a computational biology element to teach genetic evolution into advanced biology classes in two local high schools. Our primary goal was to show students how computation is used in biology and why a basic understanding of computation is necessary for research in many fields of biology. This curriculum is intended to be taught by a computational biologist who has worked with a high school advanced biology teacher to adapt the unit for his/her classroom, but a motivated high school teacher comfortable with mathematics and computing may be able to teach this alone. In this paper, we present our curriculum, which takes into consideration the constraints of the required curriculum, and discuss our experiences teaching it. We describe the successes and challenges we encountered while bringing this unit to high school students, discuss how we addressed these challenges, and make suggestions for future versions of this curriculum.We believe that our curriculum can be a valuable seed for further development of computational activities aimed at high school biology students. Further, our experiences may be of value to others teaching computational biology at this level. Our curriculum can be obtained at http://ecsite.cs.colorado.edu/?page_id=149#biology or by contacting the authors.
We have designed and implemented a curriculum to teach basic computational biology to advanced high school students. The curriculum includes an introduction to the concept of algorithms, an overview of the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) algorithm used to compare DNA sequences, and methods for building phylogenetic trees. We taught this curriculum in advanced biology classes at two local high schools. As a result of this, we were able to give many students an appreciation of the role computers play in biology and an idea of why computational methods are needed in biological research. We found that while the high school students lacked the necessary background in math and computer science to be able to write their own algorithms, they were able to use existing algorithms, analyze them, and compare the results. We also encountered a number of challenges that could arise in other attempts to teach computational biology to students at this level, whether using our curriculum or another. We discuss each of these challenges and possible ways that they can be overcome.
For more than 20 years, medical literature has increasingly documented the need for students to learn, practice and demonstrate competence in basic clinical knowledge and skills. In 2001, the Louisiana State University Health Science Centers (LSUHSC) School of Medicine – New Orleans replaced its traditional Introduction in to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course with the Science and Practice of Medicine (SPM) course. The main component within the SPM course is the Clinical Skills Lab (CSL). The CSL teaches 30 plus skills to all pre-clinical medical students (Years 1 and 2).
Since 2002, an annual longitudinal evaluation questionnaire was distributed to all medical students targeting the skills taught in the CSL. Students were asked to rate their self- confidence (Dreyfus and Likert-type) and estimate the number of times each clinical skill was performed (clinically/non-clinically). Of the 30 plus skills taught, 8 were selected for further evaluation.
An analysis was performed on the eight skills selected to determine the effectiveness of the CSL. All students that participated in the CSL reported a significant improvement in self-confidence and in number performed in the clinically/non-clinically setting when compared to students that did not experience the CSL. For example, without CSL training, the percentage of students reported at the end of their second year self-perceived expertise as “novice” ranged from 21.4% (CPR) to 84.7% (GU catheterization). Students who completed the two-years CSL, only 7.8% rated their self-perceived expertise at the end of the second year as “novice” and 18.8% for GU catheterization.
The CSL design is not to replace real clinical patient experiences. It's to provide early exposure, medial knowledge, professionalism and opportunity to practice skills in a patient free environment.
Practice; Simulation; Students; Knowledge; Exposure; Environment; Safety; Experience; Application; Opportunity
Develop and implement a pharmacy course explaining basic lifestyle modification components and assess changes in student knowledge, skills, beliefs, and confidence after completing the course.
A 2-credit hour elective course was offered to pharmacy students in which basic lifestyle modification components were applied to case-based patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and metabolic syndrome in the pharmacy practice setting through comprehensive wellness programs. Knowledge, skills, beliefs, and confidence assessments were embedded into the course.
There were significant improvements in students' skills and confidence, and in most knowledge areas, but not in their beliefs regarding health behaviors.
Implementing an elective course on lifestyle modifications is an effective means of teaching students about wellness and disease prevention.
lifestyle; wellness; prevention; ability-based outcomes; pharmacotherapy
Cooperative learning (CL) and role play are both efficient educational tools for enhancing Chinese student active learning and communication skills.
This study was designed to obtain student feedback on the format of CL together with role play in the study of pharmacology in Chinese pharmaceutical undergraduates.
Materials and Methods:
CL was used in the self-study of new drugs used clinically but neglected in textbook and class teaching, so that groups of students were assigned to become “specialists” in one area of new drugs. Then, these “specialists” taught their new-found knowledge to other groups in role play approach involving an interaction between the pharmacist and a patient. Student perceptions of CL together with role play were examined using an eight-item survey instrument.
Students were satisfied with CL together with role play. Majority of the students believed this teaching method enhanced their learning experience, made them gain more pharmacological expertise, increased the awareness of their career in future and self-educational abilities, and fostered their cooperation spirit and confidence. The materials on CL and role play were also believed pertinent. Only 63.4-76.5% and 63.1-37.3% of the students thought “CL and role-play were very funny” and “I felt very relaxed during CL together with role-play”, respectively.
CL together with role play is an efficient educational tool for enhancing student active-learning and communication skills. But Chinese students will take some time to adapt to this new teaching method.
Cooperative learning; pharmacology; role-play; teaching
Objectives. To determine the impact of health professions students’ participation in interprofessional activities on their knowledge of the roles of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Methods. Students at the Medical University of South Carolina were surveyed via a self-administered online survey tool to determine their participation in interprofessional activities as well as their knowledge of the role of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Results. Over 600 students completed the survey instrument. Nonpharmacy students who attended the university-sponsored Interprofessional Day were more knowledgeable of pharmacist-provided services. Previous interaction with a pharmacist increased nonpharmacy students’ awareness of the services that pharmacists provide.
Conclusion. Participation in interprofessional activities increased health professions students’ awareness of the role of pharmacists. Continued education among healthcare professions about the role of and services provided by pharmacists is needed to ensure that pharmacists have the greatest possible impact on patient care.
community pharmacy; health professions; interprofessional education
Objective. To understand technicians’ attitudes toward teaching student pharmacists and students’ attitudes toward learning from technicians.
Methods. Survey data concerning technicians’ perceived importance of pharmacy skills and their confidence in teaching those skills to student pharmacists were collected, as was survey data concerning students’ comfort level with learning skills from technicians. Skills included in each survey aligned with common student pharmacist competencies and the pharmacy technician certification examination.
Results. Fifty-eight (92.1%) responses were received from technicians and 141(97.9%) student survey instruments were returned. The skills that pharmacy technicians perceived to be most important and felt most comfortable teaching included filling a prescription and communicating effectively with patients. With the exception of communication, these skills also aligned with what the students were most comfortable learning from technicians.
Conclusions. Student pharmacists have learning goals that align with the daily tasks of pharmacy technicians. The survey results highlight areas in which technicians could be used to educate student pharmacists.
introductory pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy technicians; survey
Effective interpersonal communication skills are needed for pharmacists to deliver patient-centered care. To achieve this outcome with pharmacists, communication skills are emphasized in pharmacy school in required coursework, such as a clinical communication course. One important concept to include in communication coursework is content on perceptions because perceptions influence communication interactions. Specific emphasis should include a focus on self-perceptions and self-concept, because related empirical literature demonstrates that accurate academic self-concepts predict academic success. These results were extrapolated to a pharmacy clinical communications course where a lecture and laboratory series was designed to emphasize self-concept and facilitate communication skills improvement. The instructional design of this series promoted the advancement of students’ communication skills by using communication inventories, self-reflection activities, peer and class discussion, and lecture content. Class discussions, self-reflections, and baseline, and follow-up counseling activities throughout the semester provided evidence of improvements.
communication; self-concept; self-esteem; curriculum
Objective. To implement and assess an elective course that engages pharmacy students’ interest in and directs them toward a career in academia.
Design. A blended-design elective that included online and face-to-face components was offered to first through third-year pharmacy students
Assessment. Students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward academic pharmacy were measured by pre- and post-course assessments, online quizzes, personal journal entries, course assignments, and exit interviews. The elective course promoting academic pharmacy as a profession was successful and provided students with an awareness about another career avenue to consider upon graduation. The students demonstrated mastery of the course content.
Conclusions. Students agreed that the elective course on pharmacy teaching and learning was valuable and that they would recommend it to their peers. Forty percent responded that after completing the course, they were considering academic pharmacy as a career.
academic pharmacy; teaching; student awareness; faculty; career
Objective. To create an interprofessional psychiatry advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) and assess the initial outcomes.
Design. An elective psychiatry APPE was developed in a setting of interdisciplinary practice. Preceptor responsibilities were shared between a psychiatric pharmacist and an attending psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner. Students were also given the opportunity to shadow and work with other health care professionals such as nurses, social workers, therapists, family nurse practitioners, and utilization review staff members.
Assessment. Midpoint and final evaluations demonstrated student advancement throughout the experience as well as the development of communication skills with patients and an increased ability to work collaboratively with other health care providers. Students rated this practice experience highly and their comments reflected achievement of the established learning objectives.
Conclusion. An interdisciplinary elective practice experience in psychiatry at a local teaching hospital was effective in teaching psychiatric care and interprofessional interaction. This teaching model can be adapted for use in other practice settings or specialty areas.
interprofessional; experiential; psychiatry; advanced pharmacy practice experience
To develop, implement, and assess an Internet-based vidcasting project to promote the pharmacist's role in public health.
This was a collaborative effort for 2 different courses taught at 2 different schools of pharmacy. Faculty members created a special instructional design for students to follow in planning, producing, and publishing video public service announcements on the Internet.
Formative and summative assessments, including course examinations, a grading rubric, student survey, and focus group, were implemented to evaluate student learning and public reaction. Students believed Internet video public service announcements served as a useful reference for patients and professionals, aided in promoting disease prevention and wellness initiatives, positively impacted patient-provider relationships, and increased awareness regarding significance and financial impact of disease burden.
Producing a public health information video and vidcasting it on the Internet increased pharmacy students' self-esteem, respect for peers, creative and critical-thinking abilities, and understanding of the need for and importance of pharmacists providing accurate public health information.
Internet; video; public health; technology; self-care; nonprescription medication
Objective. To create, implement, and evaluate an elective team-based learning (TBL) course on nutrition and lifestyle modification for pharmacy students.
Design. An elective course with 15 contact hours was developed for second-year pharmacy students based on the principles of TBL. Student knowledge gained and satisfaction with the course were measured.
Assessment. Sixty-two students completed the course. Knowledge about nutrition and lifestyle modification was significantly improved by completing the course (59% and 91%, respectively, p=<0.001). The satisfaction survey instrument had a response rate of 97%, and the majority of students (>85%) responded favorably to the TBL components.
Conclusion. An elective course using TBL effectively delivered course content while teaching students communication and teamwork skills. The course was well received by students.
team-based learning; self-directed learning; active learning; nutrition; lifestyle modification
Objective. To integrate pharmacy education into a diabetes and hypertension screening program to improve pharmacy student disease knowledge and screening skills and provide a valuable service to the community.
Methods. One hundred eighty third-year PharmD students were trained and subsequently screened people aged ≥35 years in 2 Thai communities. Those with high risk factors were encouraged to see a pharmacist or nurse for further evaluation and referral to a physician for diagnosis.
Results. After training, the third-year students showed significantly higher knowledge scores on diabetes and hypertension than a control group of second-year students (p<0.05). More than 80% of the third-year students were rated by pharmacist observers as having good community screening skills. More than 95% of community participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the screening session. The active screening program improved the screening coverage in the targeted communities from 41 people/month under the passive screening program to 127 people/month and improved the coverage rate over a 6-month period from 24% to 73%.
Conclusion. This active screening project by pharmacy students enhanced the health knowledge and awareness of members of the targeted communities and increased pharmacy students’ knowledge of and ability to screen for hypertension and diabetes.
pharmacy education; diabetes; hypertension; screening; service learning
To describe the extent of psychiatric pharmacy instruction in US pharmacy curricula, including course and faculty characteristics and mental health topics taught in clinical therapeutics-based courses.
An 11-item survey instrument (54% response) was developed and mailed to 91 colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Over 75% of colleges and schools employed a psychiatric pharmacist; however, less than 50% of faculty teaching psychiatric pharmacy content were psychiatric pharmacy specialists as defined in the study. All colleges and schools included psychiatric topics as part of a therapeutics-based course with an average of 9.5% of course content devoted to these topics. About 25% of colleges and schools offered elective didactic courses in psychiatric pharmacy. Only 2 schools required a psychiatric pharmacy advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), but about 92% offered elective APPEs. The mean number of hours spent on lecture- and case-based instruction across all colleges and schools was highest for depression and lowest for personality disorders.
There is a need for colleges and schools of pharmacy to better identify and standardize the minimal acceptable level of didactic instruction in psychiatric pharmacy as well as the minimal level of specialty qualifications for faculty members who teach this subject.
psychiatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; curriculum; mental health
The role of the pharmacist as a “communicator” of information and advice between patients, other healthcare practitioners, and the community is recognized as a vital component of the responsibilities of a practicing pharmacist. Pharmacy education is changing to reflect this, although the difficulty is in designing a curriculum that is capable of equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills, using activities that are effective in promoting communication competency. The objective of this review was to identify published, peer-reviewed articles concerning communication training in pharmacy education programs, and describe which communication skills the structured learning activities aimed to improve and how these learning activities were assessed. A systematic literature search was conducted and the articles found were analyzed and divided into categories based on specific communication skills taught and type of learning activity used. Oral interpersonal communication skills targeted at patients were the most common skill-type described, followed by clinical writing skills. Common teaching methods included simulated and standardized patient interactions and pharmacy practice experience courses. Most educational interventions were assessed by subjective measures. Many interventions were described as fragments, in isolation of other learning activities that took place in a course, which impedes complete analysis of study results. To succeed in communication training, integration between different learning activities and progression within pharmacy educations are important.
communication; educational methods; learning outcomes; pharmacy education
To establish an elective course designed to improve oral communication skills of students whose first or best language or dialect is not North American English.
A course that combined English as a Second Language pedagogy with pharmacy applications and content was created. Class exercises on language skills in pharmacy-specific content areas were conducted. Course evaluations were administered at the end of each course offering.
The majority of students in the 11 sections who completed Oral Communication in Health Care improved their oral skills sufficiently to pass the exit examination and clinical courses requiring oral proficiency. Course evaluation forms show that students found this course useful, including the 15 students who took the course in fall 2005, described here.
An oral communication course targeted to students enrolled in a doctor of pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences degree program whose first or best language was not English resulted in improved mastery of course outcomes and thus improved oral communication skills. As with any language acquisition process, continued practice is required to maintain proficiency.