In 2016 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. As the profession evolves to allow a broader scope of practice, we need to ensure that our students have the clinical knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to be successful clinicians and practice to their full scope.
The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC) is developing a framework to permit the independent prescribing of Schedule I drugs by qualified pharmacists. Certified pharmacist prescribing involves initiating, monitoring, and modifying drug therapy. Pharmacists and pharmacy students will require training in clinical skills such as patient assessment that may include a physical examination. Currently, there are a limited number of pharmacies (and hence clerkship sites) that routinely conduct physical assessment. Due to these limitations, one alternative is to teach students in a classroom setting that simulates an institutional environment where authentic equipment and simulation technology is used. Since 2012, the Faculty has been using human patient simulation technology to help teach students how to measure vital signs and conduct a pulmonary examination. With the iPPC project, we hope to train our pharmacy students in a wider range of physical assessment skills. In addition, this would require renovating a space in the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building to mirror an institutional practice environment. Such an environment would include hospital beds, human patient simulators, physical assessment equipment, and patient monitors.
The iPPC project will provide three key sustainable benefits to students and the profession:
1) Preparedness for clerkship: students have 46 weeks of clerkships. With increased practice using simulation technology, our pharmacy students will be more confident and competent using physical assessment to assess their patients during clerkships.
2) Advancement of the profession: upon graduating, our students will act as agents of change. They will become practicing pharmacists who routinely incorporate physical assessment skills as a part of their daily practice.
3) Increase clerkship sites: as physical assessment by pharmacists becomes more common, graduating pharmacists who can perform physical assessment will help increase the number of clerkship sites able to offer this training to our students.
For timeline information or to support the iPPC, Charlotte Lawson or Mandy Khara, Project Contacts, are glad to provide the details.