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Am J Pharm Educ. 2018 Dec;82(10):6445. doi: 10.5688/ajpe6445.

Ability of Pharmacy Students, Pharmacists and Pharmacy Support Staff to Manage Childhood Fever via Simulation.

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King's College, London, United Kingdom.
The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


Objective. To ascertain how pharmacy students (novices) and pharmacy staff (experts) respond to a childhood fever scenario. Methods. Data were collected from 65 second year students and 51 fourth (final) year students in an over-the-counter fever scenario during assessment tasks. Data from pharmacy staff were collected via mystery shopping conducted over nine weeks between March and October 2015. All encounters were immediately scored by the trained simulated client, and immediate feedback was provided for pharmacy staff and fourth year students. Questioning scores and proportions of competent participants were collected in all groups. Statistical comparative analyses were made between fourth year students and pharmacy staff. Pharmacy staff scores were also tracked over time. Results. Second year students performed well, achieving a median questioning score of 100%. Conversely, pharmacy staff scored 22%. A large proportion of the fourth year students and pharmacy staff achieved appropriate outcomes (92% and 65%, respectively); however, a smaller proportion of second year students performed well (52%). The pharmacy staff achieved statistical improvements over time for median questioning scores. Conclusion. Protocol compliant questioning appears to decline with experience. However, experienced counselors are more likely to provide appropriate patient advice. Further improvements in outcomes can also occur when staff are provided feedback and coaching. Mystery shopping simulations can be used as a valuable educational tool.


community pharmacy; competency; fever; simulated patient

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