Students Find the Time to Provide Community Care
Muirhead, Greg, Drug Topics
It may not be easy for pharmacy students to peel their gaze away from a fascinating textbook on biochemistry to go out and do their community some good. But many students find the time.
Several pharmacy schools contacted by Drug Topics listed a wide variety of community activities with which their students are involved. The activities range from visiting nursing homes and discussing proper drug use to making presentations about poison prevention to elementary school students. Many of the activities are initiated and organized by the students themselves.
Where students find the time for these activities is anyone's guess. As George Cocolas, associate dean, School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted, "Students do have their limitations because they are in school, but I would guess they spend 50-100 hours each semester" on community activities.
Among the students' many community activities are these:
* Brown bag programs: In this activity, a group of pharmacy students visits a nursing home and invites senior citizens to bring their containers of medications in a brown bag and present them for review. The review can include discussions on compliance, side effects, and drug interactions.
Last academic year, pharmacy students at the University of Arizona, Tucson, conducted brown-bag outings at least twice, said Sandy Rogers, coordinator of student services at the pharmacy school.
Meanwhile, in a similar activity, pharmacy students at the University of Minnesota provide an educational program for senior citizens at nursing homes on the proper use of medications, the school said. A slide presentation is followed by one-on-one discussions with senior citizens regarding questions about their medications.
* Drug abuse prevention: Pharmacy students at UNC, Chapel Hill, have created a "Say 'No' to Drugs" video to present at elementary schools. According to UNC-CH's Cocolas, the school's pharmacy students put together a videotaped puppet show featuring a five-minute rap song with an anti-drug abuse message. The plot portrays a young man who decides not to go to a party at which he knows drugs will be distributed. …