Magazine article Drug Topics

Students Learning to Build Pharmacy Care Centers

Magazine article Drug Topics

Students Learning to Build Pharmacy Care Centers

Article excerpt

Why do carpenters earn $40 an hour? That's just one question students confront as they design a virtual patient care center during a community pharmacy management course at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Carpenters are expensive because they are self-employed, buy their own tools, and pay for their own benefits, as students soon discover when they tally the cost of remodeling a pharmacy to accommodate a private counseling area. The course is taught by Scott Drab, RPh., a Certified Diabetes Educator and faculty member who is also director of experiential learning at the pharmacy school.

Working as teams, students plan a pharmacy care center right down to the nitty-gritty details of square footage and employee benefits. Funded by a hypothetical budget of $15,000, they nest address the practical business aspects along with the clinical challenges of planning the care of patients in a specific disease state. Last semester's target condition was asthma.

Over the course of the semester, the student groups work outside class to track down answers, such as the cost of 30 seconds of air time on the local TV station or where to get free patient education materials. They also have to decide where they can get the most bang for their marketing buck, how many employees the center needs, how to schedule them, and how much their salaries and benefits will cost. And, if they bust their budget, they have to learn how to get a loan.

"The students are looking at reallife situations," said Drab. …

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