JACKSON, Tenn. – March 18, 2010 – Union University pharmacy student Erica Rogers was first runner-up in the American Pharmacists Association’s National Patient Counseling Competition March 15 in Washington, D.C.
“Erica has definitely set a high bar and put the Union University’s School of Pharmacy on the national academic map by illustrating our serious commitment to excellence in academics and patient care,” said Sheila Mitchell, dean of Union’s School of Pharmacy. “This is of great significance to us and is a reflection and confirmation of the hard work of this outstanding and tireless faculty and staff, who are dedicated to selecting and teaching quality students to become outstanding pharmacists.”
This marks the first year that Union has entered the competition, which is designed to encourage student pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators, according to the American Pharmacists Association.
The competition begins on the local level as students compete to be the national representative from their school or college of pharmacy. The local winner from each school advances to the national competition, which is divided into a preliminary round and a final round. At the preliminary round, students select a simple practice scenario at random and are required to counsel a patient on the appropriate use of the drug involved.
Students are then given time to refer to the reference sources available in the model pharmacy. After consulting the references and determining the appropriate information for the patient, the participants counsel the patient. Evaluations are based on the content and style of the counseling presentations. The 10 highest scoring participants are then invited to the final round.
The final round involves a more complex counseling situation where the participants again select a prescription at random and are asked to counsel the patient on safe and effective drug use. In addition, the patient in the final round will display personality characteristics such as anxiousness, belligerence or apathy to challenge the participants’ ability to convey pertinent information in a realistic situation.
Rogers, a second-year pharmacy student, outperformed many fourth-year students from other institutions. Of the 115 schools represented at the national competition, Union was the only Tennessee school in the top 10 and one of only four in the southeast region, along with Auburn University, the University of North Carolina and Appalachian College of Pharmacy.
The four top winners of the national competition received cash prizes.