Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Web-Based Multimedia Vignettes in Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Web-Based Multimedia Vignettes in Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Article excerpt


High volumes of ear and eye drops and dry powder and metered-dose inhalers are prescribed and dispensed annually. (1) Because of the sheer number of prescriptions written annually for these medications and the concomitant importance of their proper administration, the verifiable and consistent training of pharmacy students in administration and patient counseling techniques for these medications is essential. Studies of eye and ear drop administration (2,3) and inhaler and dry powder administration techniques (4) suggest that using Web-based educational modules to support the training of pharmacy students completing APPEs in diverse locations may be effective.

This study was an opportunity to identify ways in which technology could be used to improve the quality and consistency of experiential training in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Highly accessible interactive Web-based multimedia training vignettes presented by experts have the potential to improve student training and subsequent patient care. Within health education, a meta-analysis of Internet-based learning compared with no intervention demonstrated the usefulness of this technology. (5) Computer-aided learning (CAL) has been used for teaching aseptic technique, (6) case history taking (7), communications, (8) mentorship of preceptors, (9) biotechnology, (10) pharmaceutics, (11) pharmacy administration, (12) critical-thinking skills, (13) literature evaluation, (14) continuing education, (15) teaching the top 200 prescribed drugs, (16) pharmacokinetics, (17) and pharmacology. (18) CAL is also effectively used in pharmacy practice for both economic and availability purposes. (19) Given the success of other applications of this technology, the authors anticipated that a similar delivery system would be helpful in addressing needs related to the training of fourth-year-pharmacy students in community APPEs. These students are located across the state at several volunteer training sites. Further, the instruction that these students receive from preceptors depends on a number of factors that vary from store to store and change from day to day, including the assertiveness of the students, the amount and quality of interactions between the student and preceptor, the preceptor's/ pharmacist's knowledge (20) and teaching skills, and the availability of quality training time secondary to managing a heavy prescription volume. Using computer-based multimedia instructional vignettes featuring experts in the field to teach methods and techniques for complex medication administration in a consistent manner to students in experiential settings holds promise. Other colleges maybe interested in the success of our experience to assess, convey, use, or collaborate on similar Web-based training initiatives.

The objectives of this study were: (1) to evaluate the adequacy of the first 3 years of the pharmacy curriculum in teaching pharmacy students about complex administration techniques for inhalers and eye and ear drops; (2) to evaluate the effectiveness of a series of Web-based learning vignettes to augment students' advanced community practice experiences, resulting in improved learning outcomes (test scores); and (3) to gather preliminary evidence on the potential for implementing similar Web-based, multimedia tools as part of the APPE curriculum.


Development and Production of Vignettes

After identifying likely opportunities for successful computer-aided instruction (medication administration techniques), we determined the type and format of computer-delivered training needed. The study team agreed that any tools developed would have to address several critical issues. The broad geographic dispersion of the students (statewide) would require near-universal accessibility by Web-enabled computers. Integration of audio, video, and text instruction to accommodate and reinforce a range of learning styles was also important. …

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