Introduction Patient safety and reduction of error has never been so paramount and acquisition of skills to address this is vital.1 Simulation based training is well placed to do this, allowing facilitated education and reflection on such skills.2 To support the expanding role of the pharmacist and address skill deficiencies previously identified,3 simulation courses have been successfully integrated into the Masters course for pharmacy.
Methodology Third year students undertake a one day course where they are exposed to the basics of non-technical skills, particularly communication skills and latent error recognition, to aid development of safer clinical practice. These skills are built on and explored further in an immersive, interprofessional one day course in their fourth year, with both final year medical and nursing students. The courses allow video assisted debrief following scenarios and guided group discussion around key topics.
Results Integrating simulation into pharmacy education has been well received with over 450 students involved to date. Communication skills and confidence in the safe application of clinical knowledge were the most frequently reported attributes improved on by third year students. Fourth year students reported increased confidence in communicating with the multidisciplinary team and appreciation of others roles, with leadership skills and team work also improving. The skills of the pharmacists have also been widely and positively acknowledged by other students on the courses.
Potential impact Undergraduate exposure to simulation for pharmacy students has provided a unique opportunity to integrate the fundamentals of non-technical skills and interprofessional team relationships that underpin good, safe clinical practice. Expansion to include all years would develop these skills earlier and continue to build on a culture of safety within healthcare.
Department of Health. Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry-Executive Summary, HC947. London: The Stationary Office, 2013
Aggarwal R, Mytton O, Derbrew M, et al. Training and simulation for patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010;19:i34–i43
Guile D, Ahamed F. Modernising the pharmacy curriculum – a report for the modernising pharmacy careers pharmacist undergraduate education and pre-registration training review team. Health Education England, 2009
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