Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Integration of Pharmacy Students within a Level II Trauma Center

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Integration of Pharmacy Students within a Level II Trauma Center

Article excerpt


Following completion of the classroom-based portion of the PharmD curriculum, students begin their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Within these APPEs, students are required to participate in interprofessional care. Barriers have been identified within the pharmacy profession, including lack of existing models from which to learn interprofessional care. (1) Opportunities for students to learn and provide pharmacy services within interprofessional settings and for preceptors to assess student performance in these settings are important aspects of most APPEs.

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Accreditation Standards and Guidelines (2) indicate that there are specific competencies that must be achieved by graduates through the PharmD curriculum that include providing patient care in cooperation with members of an interprofessional health care team. These required competencies coincide with the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) Outcomes, (3) addressing the need to provide patient-centered care by means of a team approach to patient care.

Through a combination of clinical training and interprofessional care training, clinicians have demonstrated a positive change in pharmacy students' attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors. (4) Interprofessional models, (5) in addition to successful implementation of interprofessional education, have been described. (6,7) Interprofessional education resulting in the interdisciplinary delivery of patient-centered care have demonstrated safer, high-quality patient care. (6)

The ACPE also requires that the objectives for each APPE be defined, including the student's responsibilities, followed by documentation and assessment of the accomplished objectives. (2) The successful evaluation of clinical skills in pharmaceutical education, through use of ability-based outcomes, has been demonstrated. (8)

It is a fundamental component of professional development to be well versed in the area of assessment. (9) In addition, a key element to enhance the overall profession of pharmacy is through incorporating interprofessional learning opportunities throughout the curriculum. (10) This article discusses the integration of fourth-year PharmD students within a trauma and acute care surgery team at a level II trauma center. It addresses the preliminary implementation of measuring the students' ability to participate in interprofessional patient care through assessment of ability-based outcomes.


As a means of meeting ACPE assessment requirements, curricular maps linking course content to ability-based outcomes have been a work-in-progress at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy. Pharmacy faculty members mapped ACPE Appendix B and CAPE outcomes to individual pharmacy courses. The school's 14 ability-based outcomes were subsequently linked to these maps. Internal medicine faculty members identified ACPE Appendix B items that linked to specific ability-based outcomes within the internal medicine APPE, where assessment of the APPE has been ongoing. Internal medicine faculty agreed that pharmacy students needed to achieve a score equal to or greater than 3 on a 5-point scale to demonstrate competency with regard to each ability-based outcome assessed. Three to 5 ability-based outcomes were assessed at each internal medicine site. At the level II trauma center site, specific ability-based outcomes assessed included 2 components of effective communication, drug therapy assessment and decision making, critical thinking and problem solving, and drug information. Selected ability-based outcomes and all site-specific learning objectives were listed within the course syllabus. Not all learning objectives for the level II trauma center site were assessed through the selected 5 ability-based outcomes (complete list in Table 1).

While attending the trauma and acute care surgery team rounds, the students participated in patient bedside rounding services with a school of pharmacy faculty preceptor, trauma attending physicians, physician assistants, trauma case managers, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, clinical dieticians, physical therapists, and staff members in charge of discharge planning. …

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