The objective of this project was to carry out a pilot-study to measure the impact of an enhanced pharmaceutical care clerkship program compared with the traditional patient care clerkship program on students’ learning opportunities and patient outcomes.
A descriptive, prospective control design was used to evaluate the benefits of the enhanced pharmaceutical care clerkship program. Using purposeful selection, Eleven pharmacists from seven community pharmacies and thirteen students participated in the intervention arm, and twenty-eight students and fourteen clerkship sites participating in the traditional clerkship program were recruited as the control arm.
The intervention program consisted of three phases:
(1) a one-day workshop to discuss the proposed practice model and course syllabus;
(2) a five-day onsite orientation period to allow the pharmacists to assess their students’ competencies with various distribution and pharmaceutical care activities; and,
(3) an eight-week pharmaceutical care experiential rotation. The control sites received no intervention and they receive two students consecutively for a period of four weeks.
Patient care and various educational outcomes were compared between the two groups.
Students in the intervention arm had a greater opportunity to participate in a variety of patient care activities and identified more drug-related problems. Examples of patient care activities included interviewing and assessing patients, developing and implementing pharmacy care plans, providing follow-up to assess drug therapy outcomes and delivering wellness clinics. Both, preceptors and students, expressed satisfaction with this model and suggested that this experience enhance patient care.
The pilot study demonstrated that enhancing the patient care clerkship program in a fashion that benefits both preceptors and students has a greater probability to bring satisfaction to students and preceptors, and in attaining the desirable educational outcomes. Lessens learned from this experience will be used to enhance the entire senior year patient care program.
The authors would like to acknowledge Shoppers Drug Mart, and The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at U.B.C. for their support of this project.