Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Vital Sign Monitoring Using Human Patient Simulators at Pharmacy Schools in Japan

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Vital Sign Monitoring Using Human Patient Simulators at Pharmacy Schools in Japan

Article excerpt


In Japan, pharmacy education was redirected to focus on clinical instruction upon the transition to a 6-year pharmacy school curriculum in April 2006. (1) Previously, education had focused on the acquisition of basic pharmaceutical knowledge (mainly chemistry and biology) and clinical pharmaceutical education was not a major aim. However, when pharmacists began drug management guidance at medical facilities, they began to come in frequent contact with patients, physicians, and nurses. Drug management guidance involves instructing patients at their bedside in the use of drugs. It also encompasses the provision and recording of medication information in response to requests from physicians. A drug management guidance fee for services that meet specified conditions based on the patient's insurance score may be charged to Japan's Social Insurance Agency of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

In Japan, academic institutions certify pharmacists who have finished specified training, given presentations, published reports, passed examinations as specialists of drugs, and displayed broad knowledge and sufficient technical skills. Those with sufficient knowledge and technical skills also are certified to be instructors of pharmacy student training. Beginning in 2006, academic associations also certify pharmacists with specialized knowledge and skills in each practical field, similar to the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties in the United States. Because of the changes brought about by these new systems, pharmacists must acquire more extensive clinical skills than learned in pharmacy school.

Previously, pharmacists in Japan did not examine patients directly. However, it is now acknowledged that pharmacists should monitor patient vital signs to evaluate drug treatment effects and adverse events. Monitoring patients' vital signs is a fundamental activity for medical personnel. The "Vision of Medical Security for Confidence and Hope," developed by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, addresses the shortage of physicians in Japan, (2) and an interim report identified skill mix (shared tasks that can be performed by nonphysicians acting as co-medicals) as one approach to alleviating the shortage. (3) To provide efficient and safe medical care, pharmacists should be able to perform these patient services when providing pharmaceutical care.

To better equip pharmacy students with the skills they will need in practice in pharmacists' new role as co-medicals (medical personnel), Kyushu University of Health and Welfare's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences developed a program to train students to monitor patient vital signs to observe the effects of drugs and identify adverse events. (4) The clinical pharmaceutical training program uses human patient simulators and includes instruction in bedside monitoring of drug administration, vital-sign monitoring, blood drawing, and training in emergency medical procedures. Because pharmacists are frequently present at emergency care sites, they should acquire the same basic emergency care techniques as medical personnel. Clinical training in resuscitation includes selecting the correct drugs and determining their dose and timing of administration, while monitoring the patient's blood pressure, pulse, and arterial blood oxygen saturation (Sp[O.sub.2]). We report an experience-based program in pharmacy schools that uses simulators to teach vital-sign monitoring. Training in vital sign monitoring was required of all third-year pharmacy students as part of the Bedside Training Practice.


Monitoring the Route of Drug Administration

In the initial bedside training, rectal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular drug administration was monitored, and simulated blood was drawn. To monitor the students skills/techniques and administering drugs, we used a commercial universal training model, Sakura (Kyoto Kagaku Co., Ltd. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.