Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Developing Collaborative Experiential Rotation Activities
Authors: Lisa Cillessen, PharmD, BCACP; Elizabeth F. Englin, PharmD, BCPS; April Porter, PharmD, BCACP;
Heather Taylor, PharmD, BCPS
UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU
Collaborative learning activities involving multiple preceptors and students, within and between institutions, provide benefits to all involved. Due to increased precepting and clinical service demands, preceptors have difficulty incorporating learning activities into introductory/advanced pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE/APPEs). A unique way to overcome these demands, while enhancing student learning, is to develop collaborative learning activities with fellow pharmacy preceptors. The number of student pharmacists completing IPPE/APPEs has grown, due to development of new pharmacy degree programs and the addition of branch sites to established programs. This increase poses challenges for preceptors to meet the experiential education needs while balancing their clinical service and other work responsibilities. Developing collaborative learning activities within and between healthcare institutions can help mitigate precepting burdens. Multiple preceptors practicing within an institution facilitates one mode of collaboration. However, preceptors may practice within settings where they are the sole pharmacy preceptor. In these instances, they can collaborate with colleagues at other institutions. In addition to the preceptor benefits, collaborative learning activities enhance the students’ learning opportunities by increasing exposure to clinical insights and receiving additional feedback through involvement of multiple preceptors and peer learning.
Institutions regularly have multiple students completing IPPE and/or APPE rotations at one time, often from different colleges of pharmacy. While balancing multiple students can be challenging, it also serves as an opportunity to develop collaborative learning activities to meet both student and preceptor needs. One such collaborative activity is site and computer orientation which can provide facility tours, badge access, introduction to electronic medical record, and location of resources. Group orientation can be led by a resident or preceptor, with the responsibility shifting based upon scheduling. Collaborative orientation ensures students are given a standardized overview, allowing preceptors to focus on rotation specific needs. Another collaborative learning activity within institutions is the coordination of topic discussions, journal clubs, and informal and formal presentations. Scheduling these activities to maximize student and preceptor participation allows students exposure to a variety of disease states and experiences. Another collaborative learning activity within institutions is student shadowing of other clinical pharmacists or healthcare professionals. This broadens the students’ exposure to areas of clinical pharmacy and may enhance inter-professional education. Students also get a comprehensive view of patient care services which allows for a greater understanding for cohesive care.
At some institutions, there may be one or a few pharmacy preceptors, making it challenging to provide collaborative learning experiences within the institution. Preceptors can create opportunities to provide collaborative learning activities by identifying nearby pharmacists in similar practice settings to partner with. Collaborative activities can include, but are not limited to, orientation to the type of pharmacy, topic discussions, journal clubs, and informal and formal presentations. Collaborating between institutions allows students to gain different perspectives from other preceptors and students and compare procedures from different institutions to enhance learning.
Benefits and Challenges of Collaborative Learning Activities
Collaborative learning activities can truly be endless when time for patient care is increased and learning experiences are enhanced. By providing you examples of current collaborations and activities, we hope to have sparked your creativity and inspiration for precepting students and working as a team within and outside of your current institution. The need for pharmacy preceptors will continue to increase as our demand for pharmacy-led services continues to expand. Will you help us make a meaningful impact on the training of student pharmacists?