Pharmacy2013, 1(2), 269-281; doi:10.3390/pharmacy1020269 (doi registration under processing) - published online 11 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The integumentary system (skin) is the first line of defence in the body and part of the innate immune system. Within first year modules on Pharmaceutical Biology and Integrative Physiology in the Masters of Pharmacy degree at Robert Gordon University (RGU) several software tools were used to support both lecture and coursework material for the immune and integumentary systems. However, students had difficulty visualizing the various layers of the skin and how they become affected by different skin lesions. As a response to these identified learning difficulties, a just-in-time teaching 3-Dimensional elearning object was developed using free-to-use 3D CAD packages alongside common elearning software. The outcome was a virtualised human arm equipped to illustrate and label primary or secondary skin lesions whilst allowing spatial manipulation of the arm. This allowed students to manipulate and identify the specific skin layers involved. Evaluation of student engagement and learning was favourable, with students reflecting that they had a better understanding of the topic. Initial findings from this study highlight the benefits of quick, low-cost 3D production processes as just-in-time teaching elearning tools that have a positive impact on students’ performance.
Abstract: This study explored how a sample of Australian pharmacists would convey information about the side effects of a medicine, if they were to counsel a patient. A qualitative method was selected and written responses to a case-based scenario were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. The grounded theory approach elicited a fluid and dynamic model for side effect counselling. The study identified strategies for counselling, such as encouraging adherence through emphasising the benefits of the medication, referral to the prescriber, and providing empathy and reassurance to ease anxiety and address concerns. Pharmacists acknowledged the potential for risk, although only a minority used numerical descriptors. The final themes or outcomes were that pharmacists aim to allay fears, minimise harm and promote medication use when counselling about side effects. Professional empathy, the acknowledgment of patient concerns, and the importance of providing tailored information to promote medication adherence, emerged as features of the quality use of medicines. This study contributes to existing literature by identifying the role of allaying patients’ fears when conveying side effect information. It also describes a process to convey tailored information. Implications for practice include the importance of effective use of communication strategies to encourage adherence, as the appropriate use of medication can lead to positive health outcomes.
Abstract: The aim of the study was to assess Polish community pharmacists’ knowledge about the health consequences of smoking and the abilities they need in professional advice-giving during the smoking cessation process. Therefore, we use a self-answered questionnaire to assess pharmacists’ knowledge about the health consequences of smoking and his/her abilities in NRT advice-giving. In total, the pharmacists could earn 20 points, 14 in the knowledge section and 6 in the abilities section. One hundred and nine pharmacists from community pharmacies were included, 87 of whom were women (79%). The average age of respondents was 38 years (24–72). The mean knowledge rating of pharmacists regarding the health risk factors connected with smoking was 7.7 points (SD = 2.2), the maximum was 14. None of the respondents obtained the maximum possible score in the test. Only 2.7% of pharmacists correctly identified all four factors important in selecting the form of NRT. Analysis showed that pharmacists’ knowledge about tobacco dependence and tobacco-related diseases is insufficient for an effective tobacco control interventions. It seems necessary to undertake systematic training to improve their knowledge about nicotine addiction and abilities in NRT and smoking cessation advice-giving.
Abstract: Several jurisdictions throughout the world, such as the UK and Canada, now have independent prescribing by pharmacists. In some areas of Canada, initial access prescribing can be done by pharmacists. In contrast, Australian pharmacists have no ability to prescribe either in a supplementary or independent model. Considerable research has been completed regarding attitudes towards pharmacist prescribing from the perspective of health care professionals, however currently no literature exists regarding pharmacy student views on prescribing. The primary objective of this study is to examine pharmacy student’s opinions and attitudes towards pharmacist prescribing in two different settings. Focus groups were conducted with selected students from two universities (one in Canada and one in Australia). Content analysis was conducted. Four main themes were identified: benefits, fears, needs and pharmacist roles. Students from the Australian University were more accepting of the role of supplementary prescribing. In contrast, the Canadian students felt that independent prescribing was moving the profession in the right direction. There were a number of similarities with the two groups with regards to benefits and fears. Although the two cohorts differed in terms of their beliefs on many aspects of prescribing, there were similarities in terms of fears of physician backlash and blurring of professional roles.
Abstract: This concept paper discusses the untapped promise of often overlooked humanistic skills to advance the practice of pharmacy. It highlights the seminal work that is, increasingly, integrated into medical and nursing education. The work of these educators and the growing empirical evidence that validates the importance of humanistic skills is raising questions for the future of pharmacy education and practice. To potentiate humanistic professional competencies, e.g., compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence, how do we develop a more holistic model that integrates reflective and affective skills? There are many historical and current transitions in the profession and practice of pharmacy. If our education model is refocused with an emphasis on pharmacy’s therapeutic roots, the field has the opportunity to play a vital role in improving health outcomes and patient-centered care. Beyond the metrics of treatment effects, achieving greater patient-centeredness will require transformations that improve care processes and invest in patients’ experiences of the treatment and care they receive. Is layering on additional science sufficient to yield better health outcomes if we neglect the power of empathic interactions in the healing process?
Abstract: This article presents an innovative approach to interprofessional education that places learning in the context of a specific clinical area that is relevant to pharmacy students as well as students from a number of other health professions; in this case pain management. Interprofessional pain education that teaches a team approach to pharmacy students is essential for improving pain management practices. The interprofessional education model presented, based on a pilot of a series of interprofessional pain management modules, is designed to be flexible, using a modular format that incorporates both online and face-to-face learning. The model was developed as a means of overcoming some of the challenges, such as scheduling, which make the integration of interprofessional education into curricula difficult. This technology enabled education model has been piloted and implemented with groups of pharmacy students who were placed into teams with students from other disciplines such as medicine, nursing, and social work. This article presents the educational strategy and its development; describes the interprofessional pain management modules; discusses findings from three pilot evaluations of the modules; shares lessons learned; and highlights the strengths of the approach.