This paper describes the use of service scripts to teach pharmacy students how to manage specific practice situations by learning and following scripted behaviors.
Based upon role theory, service scripts require specific behaviors for a broad range of practice problems and communicate consistent messages about the responsibilities of all people involved. Service scripts are developed by (1) identifying scenarios for the script, (2) eliciting the script's structure and content, and (3) documenting the reasoning behind the steps in the script.
Students in a nontraditional doctor of pharmacy program developed scripts for their practice settings. They concluded that scripts were useful for quickly learning new, routine tasks, but expressed concern that scripts could be misused by pharmacists and managers. The process of script development itself was useful in gaining feedback about common practice problems.
By mastering managerial, clinical, and communication scripts, students can develop capabilities to provide professional services.