Pharmacy Student Perceptions of Volunteering at a Medication Assessment Clinic Located Within a Pharmacy School
Lysak, Katherine J
Context In 2011 the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition (University of Saskatchewan) opened a patient care clinic on campus known as the Medication Assessment Centre (MAC). The primary purpose of the MAC is to offer a faculty supervised experiential training opportunity for pharmacy students in all years of study. The early experiential education model that the MAC utilizes had not been previously evaluated in the literature. Objective The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of MAC student volunteers. Design The perspectives of students who had volunteered at the MAC at least once between January and November 2015 were gathered through focus groups. Students were assigned to one of five focus groups based on their volunteer title and number of MAC volunteer experiences. A semi-structured focus group guide was developed and used to gather the students’ perceptions on their experiences and learning as a result of volunteering at the MAC. The focus groups were recorded and transcribed. The transcripts were analyzed by three researchers using thematic analysis. The final themes were approved by the student participants and then reviewed by an additional researcher. Results A total of 29 students participated in this study. Students perceived that the MAC had a positive effect on their learning and competence in the following areas: (1) clinical skills (patient interviewing and communication), (2) confidence, (3) clinical and therapeutic knowledge, and (4) professional socialization. Students felt the post discussion, patient care environment and actively participating were most beneficial to their learning. The aspects of the MAC that students liked most were: (1) structure of the learning experience, (2) perceived benefit to the patient, and (3) patient care environment. Students identified several challenges to participating: (1) sign up process, (2) quality of the technology, (3) remote observation, (4) limited student knowledge, (5) clarity of student role, and (6) student initial confidence. Conclusions MAC student volunteers felt that the MAC is a valuable learning experience that had a positive effect on their learning and competence. Further research should focus on confirming these findings in a larger sample and using additional methodologies such as quantitative assessments of student learning and competency.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPharmacy and Nutrition
SupervisorJorgenson, Derek J
CommitteeBerenbaum, Shawna L; Shevchuk, Yvonne M; Taylor, Jeff G; Malin, Greg
Copyright DateJune 2017