Guest Post: Pharmacist Facilitators contribute to patient safety at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
I read Bob Nakagawa’s recent post commenting on change in our profession and how our job description has changed over the years. As one of the pharmacy graduates from the class of ‘86, I also remember making powders in the dispensing lab. There were certainly fewer students, teachers, and drugs back then. Fast forward to 2018 with class enrolment of over 200 students per year. In the entry to practice PharmD program at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC, the Pharmacy Practice Centre is a very busy place.
The Faculty recognizes the practicality and impact of having licenced pharmacists from a variety of backgrounds facilitate the daily instruction of student pharmacists. These Pharmacist Facilitators, PFs for short, are essential to the foundational and hands-on learning environment in our Integration Activities curriculum which runs through all years of the PharmD program. Practicing pharmacists are living the change we are experiencing in our profession and are valued professional mentors for our future pharmacists.
At UBC, it’s our intent to educate our students using the best possible resources with an emphasis on patient safety. Patient safety is integrated through the curriculum whether it be evidence based learning, patient-centered care, or thorough communication and patient interview skills. This requires harnessing the expertise of licenced pharmacists in all areas of the profession.
Who are the PFs? They are licensed, practicing pharmacists who work part-time at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. These paid positions run from September to April and involve working with the regular teaching faculty to supervise, engage, assess, guide and provide feedback through simulated pharmacy practice activities. As a part-time PF you may choose to work one 4-hour shift a week (or more because you’ll have fun!) Or you might decide to be added to our list of on call facilitators.
What do you know now, compared to when you first graduated? And where did this learning come from? If you’re like me you’ve learned something new every day you’ve worked. You’ve added layer upon layer to your formal education. Learning from experience takes time and there will be many opportunities as a PF to pass on this knowledge to your students. But wait, it gets better! This is not a one sided learning opportunity from pharmacist to student. Through preparation for teaching and reviewing provided resources, I can safely say that you will learn something new every single day and you’ll contribute to your non-accredited PDAP. Reinforcing your own thought process and expanding your knowledge by keeping up to date through your interaction with student pharmacists will contribute to your own patients’ safety.
Our scope of practice will continue to change as our students embrace the opportunities that come with change. Join us and be part of that.
For more information or to apply for a Pharmacist Facilitator position, please click here.
Michelle Fischer is a Pharmacist and full-time Lecturer at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Starting as a part-time PF in 2007, Michelle currently finished the academic year as the course coordinator of a 4th year B.Sc. (Pharm) class and is pleased to welcome the class of 2018 to the profession.