Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Video Teleconferencing in the Compounding Laboratory Component of a Dual-Campus Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Video Teleconferencing in the Compounding Laboratory Component of a Dual-Campus Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Article excerpt


The University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill/Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Doctor of Pharmacy Partnership Program enrolled its first cohort of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students in the fall 2005 semester in a joint curricular venture. This partnership uses synchronous video teleconferencing technology to deliver instruction simultaneously to pharmacy students at the Chapel Hill and Elizabeth City campuses. (1) The Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory and its integrated compounding component were elements of the PharmD curriculum that required careful consideration and planning. The compounding component of the Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory sequence was modified to use the same video teleconferencing as the rest of the program to facilitate simultaneous instruction on both campuses.

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy incorporates pharmaceutical compounding instruction through out its 5-semester Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory course sequence. Various methodologies are used by other colleges and schools of pharmacy and science programs to offer a laboratory component as part of their distant education programs to satellite locations. An Internet search that included PubMed revealed some programs that use a condensed summer laboratory curriculum, such as that located on the main campus of Creighton University in Omaha, NE; another at Oregon State University in Eugene teaches all chemistry and laboratory sections online; and others have developed a virtual laboratory environment for all distant students. (2,3) Although experts in the field agree that most aspects of compounding instruction require hands-on, face-to-face instruction, (4) a review of the available literature revealed few models.

Moore and colleagues described teaching a pharmacokinetics course to distance students of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy's external PharmD program, which was initiated in 1996 for practicing pharmacists with a bachelor of science in pharmacy degree. (5) The program was delivered using videotapes of recorded lectures, instructor site visits, and interactive videoconferences, but did not include a compounding laboratory. Georgiou and colleagues and Boje and colleagues described virtual laboratories for chemistry and pharmaceutical biotechnology. Both used software to immerse students in a virtual world where they could interact with their environment, conducting chemical procedures and product research for a company responsible for the drug discovery and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval processes. (6,7) Although innovative, these methods may not be adequate for developing pharmacists' compounding skills. At Nova Southeastern University, one of the required courses in the PharmD curriculum is unique in that half of the course lecture content originates from the main campus and the other half from their West Palm Beach, FL, satellite campus, ensuring all students have a similar classroom experience. (8)

A compounding laboratory was built on the West Palm Beach, FL, campus that featured onsite instructors, narrated audiovisual demonstrations of compounding techniques, and online forms for student to submit compounding records. (9) The University of Maryland uses asynchronous and synchronous technology to deliver instruction to their satellite campus. (10) Although many of the approaches used at other colleges and schools resemble the UNC program model, none documents using the same video technology for the compounding portion of their curriculum.

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has pioneered the delivery of compounding laboratory instruction between its main and satellite campuses by maintaining a live, 2-way video teleconferencing connection during compounding exercises. This approach enables a connection between the lead instructor of the compounding exercise and the students, despite a 200-mile distance between them. As with other satellite programs, the UNC Chapel Hill/ECSU Doctor of Pharmacy Partnership Program has faculty members present on the satellite campus to instruct and facilitate as needed, working in collaboration with the lead instructors or course liaisons on the main campus. …

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