Current and former students’ views on two different methods of classroom-based teaching in pharmaceutical care: University of Namibia
Keywords:Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Care, Case-Discussions, Didactic Sessions
Background: Namibia is divided into 34 districts, each with a public hospital supplemented by a number of primary health care facilities. These hospitals shoulder the responsibility of ordering and distributing pharmaceuticals for the district as a whole. As the number of pharmacists in the public sector is quite low, staff often get engrossed in supply chain issues on the expense of pharmaceutical care. Namibia, cognisant of this challenge, established the School of Pharmacy, with one of the goals being to equip the students with knowledge and skills in the area of pharmaceutical care. So far two groups have gone through pharmaceutical care training: the 2014 and 2015 BPharm IVs. The 2014 group received classroom-based training through conventional didactic sessions, while the 2015 group was trained via case-discussions. The two groups were asked to comment on which of the two training methods was better for pharmaceutical care training.
Methods: We summarised the methods of classroom-based training as implemented in 2014 and 2015. We used a Focus Group Discussion with the 2015 group and telephonic discussion with individuals of the 2014 group. Individuals from both groups were asked if they would pursue a career in hospital-based clinical pharmacy. We used the Student’s T test to compare the proportions of students who reported wanting to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy, with the confidence level set at 95%, and the significance observed at a p-value ≤ 0.05.
Results: Summaries of the two methods were generated and used to explain the two methods to the respondents. All the respondents (n=9, 2015 group; n=10, 2014 group) said that the case discussion method was better than the conventional didactic sessions. The majority of the respondents (n=8, 89%) from the 2015 group said they would pursue a career in clinical pharmacy.
Conclusion: The case-discussions seem to be a better method for classroom-based training, when compared with the conventional didactic sessions. Even though the proportion of students considering building a career in clinical pharmacy was greater in the Class of 2015 than that in Class of 2014, we cannot conclude that the new method of training was the reason that underscored the difference. A more in-depth assessment is required to provide clarity on the relationship between the module delivery method and pursuing a career in clinical pharmacy.
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