Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience to Improve Pertussis Immunization Rates in Mothers of Newborns

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience to Improve Pertussis Immunization Rates in Mothers of Newborns

Article excerpt


In 2007, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education increased the requirements for introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE) for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs. (1) The 2011 updated version of the accreditation standards provided increased direction regarding the structure of IPPEs. The minimum number of required IPPE hours was specified as not less than 300. Further, the majority of students' time (minimum of 150 hours) had to be balanced between community pharmacy and institutional health-system settings. As colleges and schools of pharmacy have implemented these standards, concerns related to capacity and learning objectives have been noted. (2-4)

As colleges and schools of pharmacy continue to refine their IPPE programs within the limited capacity of their partnering organizations, benefit of the IPPE to the partnering organization must be evaluated along with educational outcomes. (5,6) This paper describes the implementation of an IPPE in an institutional setting and evaluates its impact on the goals of the partnering healthcare organization as well as the educational goals for student learning.

In September 2009, an IPPE for second-year pharmacy students enrolled in a 4-year PharmD program was established wherein students provided discharge counseling regarding Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for postpartum pertussis immunization. At the time, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that pregnant women who had not been previously immunized with the tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine receive it in the immediate postpartum period before hospital discharge. The recommendation also stated that Tdap immunization could be received at an interval as short as 2 years after the most recent tetanus and diphtheria (Td) immunization. (7) (These recommendations have since changed, as noted in the Discussion).

This IPPE was designed in response to an area hospital's infection control committee's discussion on potential strategies to employ in response to increased rates of pertussis infection in the community. A college of pharmacy faculty member serving on this committee suggested the possibility of using IPPE students to provide discharge counseling on pertussis immunization to newborns' mothers and other close contacts on the hospital's postpartum unit. The committee endorsed this strategy and developed recommendations for student training. The committee recognized that although nursing staff members already included pertussis immunization information as part of the unit's standardized discharge counseling protocol, the breadth of topics included in the nurses' discharge counseling protocol and the limited time nurses had to deliver this information did not allow for emphasis of this particular immunization. This study was designed to analyze the effectiveness of this IPPE through 3 primary objectives: (1) evaluate achievement of student learning objectives for the IPPE; (2) document student-perceived immunization decisions of mothers who received consultations from students; and (3) measure changes in pertussis immunization rates on this hospital unit.


Students assigned to the IPPE were trained at the beginning of each semester to perform this targeted intervention. The 3-hour instructional portion of the training included a live presentation on CDC recommendations related to Tdap immunization presented by an infectious disease specialist who served on the hospital's infection control committee. Instructions on hospital procedures and documentation processes were provided by the unit's nurse manager. Following this training component, students completed 4 to 6 hours of training with a peer mentor who had successfully completed this IPPE. Schedules were overlapped so that the student completing the IPPE could mentor the incoming student for at least 2 days. …

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