Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Use of Entertainment Elements in an Online Video Mini-Series to Train Pharmacy Preceptors

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Use of Entertainment Elements in an Online Video Mini-Series to Train Pharmacy Preceptors

Article excerpt

Objective. To create an entertaining approach to training pharmacy preceptors.

Design. A training program was developed to provide an innovative, entertaining, and flexible continuing education program for pharmacy preceptors. Three instructional design principles--providing an authentic context, offering a diversity of content, and engaging and maintaining attention--were foundational to this concept. The mini-series consisted of 12 online video episodes. Participants completed three reflective questions and one evaluation after watching each episode. Three months following completion of the training, a survey was distributed to analyze the long-term impact of the mini-series on precepting skills.

Assessment. Two hundred two participants completed all 12 episodes. After completing the training series, the participants' confidence level in their knowledge pertaining to the objectives was significantly greater than before they started. Among the 32% of participants who responded to the three-month follow-up survey, the mean score for precepting confidence was 6.8 on a scale of 1 to 10 on which 1=no increase to 10=big increase. Also, 99% of participants indicated they would complete a similar training program and recommend to others.

Conclusions. Feedback from the mini-series provides evidence of the effectiveness of its delivery format and use as a preceptor learning tool.

Keywords: preceptor, online, experiential, pharmacy, education


Experiential education continues to be a major component of the curricula of pharmacy colleges and schools. Introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences are delivered by a combination of adjunct and full-time faculty preceptors. A critical component of experiential education is the training of preceptors responsible for educating students on clinical experiences. In February 2015, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) released their new 2016 standards. (1) Standard 20 focuses on preceptors and their training. Even prior to release of these standards, the need to enhance the quantity and quality of existing preceptor training programs had been noted in a number of recent institutional and nationwide surveys. (2-6) In addition, Danielson and colleagues conducted a survey of experiential education administrators and found that preceptor training was ranked as the fourth most concerning issue among the 78 participating institutions (66% of colleges and schools of pharmacy). (7)

Surveys have provided further insight into the specific needs and preferences of preceptors. A survey of more than 4,800 preceptors conducted by Skrabal and colleagues reported the following: web-based online programs were the preferred method of training (44%); continuing education credit was considered an important incentive for completing training (92% agreed or strongly agreed); 30 minutes was considered the ideal length of training (51%); and time was the largest barrier to participating in training (55%). Additionally, the respondents indicated that a mean of three hours of training should be completed each year by preceptors. (6)

A diversity of preceptor training programs currently exist around the country. Programs developed by individual institutions, collaborative efforts of consortium-based institutions, professional pharmacy organizations, and commercial entities are all available. Several mediums have also been used including live workshops, online modules, podcasts, vodcasts, webinars, and written programming. These programs vary in length and many offer continuing education credit to their participants. A recent review of pharmacy experiential education websites reported that of the colleges and schools that discussed preceptor training on their websites, 87% referenced the Pharmacist's Letter. (8) This is of interest since this resource may be provided free to participants and offers a diversity of training. …

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