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Common questions raised by local pharmacists, continued 2

Common questions raised by local pharmacists, continued.
Question number 5, what should I do when the student is failing standards? You have learned from Dr. Brown by using the PERF intervention process for performance deficiencies. Remember the perception expectation, resolution and follow up to make sure that the student has enough feedback to continue and correcting that mistake or correcting that deficiency. Well, as a member of the experiential office, I can’t overemphasize the importance of contacting the college experiential office for early intervention as needed. Sometimes, it’s because students may not necessarily have the enough may not necessarily have enough skills or knowledge so that they’re failing the standards. In this case, we might ask the students to redo the rotation.
Another situation could be that a student has certain issues that need to be taking care of before going on to have a good rotation. Another situation could be that there may be conflicts between the preceptors and students. So the college experiential office would then be able to try to communicate with both sides and try to resolve the conflict, if possible. So how can we solve conflicts? Well, just like the PERF process, make sure that we diagnose the problems before we try to resolve all of them. I would also like to share from the pharmacy literature about different conflict resolution style differences. By understanding that there are a mix of conflict resolution styles.
The preceptors could be more flexible and trying to use a mix of different styles, so that potential you might be more effective in communicating and resolving conflicts with the students. The first style is imposing. This is the direct and more principle way of resolving the conflicts. For example, you might be very strict to the students. Saying that this is what you need to correct and do it. So this is very direct and principal. Another style is settling. Even though you are very direct. You look at the pragmatic issues and just get the pragmatic issues solved on. So you may not be as principal as the previous example. This could be one way of resolving a conflict.
Another way is by avoiding. Sometimes, you just don’t have enough time or this might be a very very sensitive issue. Potentially sometimes people may use an indirect and pragmatic way to deal with conflicts. Finally, thwarting. So this could be an indirect and principled way so that students would know that or the two sides of the conflicts could know how to get things straightened out, yet in a less direct way so that feelings are not hurt. So by having or using a mix of these conflict resolution styles, preceptors can be more flexible in solving potential conflicts. Question number 6, How shall work with students who are shy and not confident?
Well, just take myself as an example, I was not a person who can just speak to the camera and not be shy and be confident. So potentially some pharmacist might have the same experience. So you might want to start with reflecting on your own learning experience. When you are shy as a student as a trainee, what did you do to have a better experience at the experiential sites that you had before. So what were the things that works better? I would encourage preceptors to think about the learning outcomes. And with that in mind, try to plan for some intermediate steps.
Say for example, many students when they enter the community pharmacy internship, it was their first experience talking with real patients. So you might plan for intermediate steps, such as having them greet the patients. Just asking them what needs they have for that specific encounter. And hopefully have students gain confidence so that they can try to work out more advanced questions or more advanced steps where they can be more comfortable and asking the patients about assessment of their conditions. Say for example, before you recommend an OTC product, over-the-counter medication, student might be more comfortable. Because they are comfortable with speaking to the patient. They can be more confident and asking questions about the specific patients.
The planning for intermediate steps can be very helpful when you have learning outcomes in mind and hopefully you reach that learning outcome before the experience is concluded. So for these shy students you might also want to provide rewards for each step. Remember how you taught to your daughters or sons on these basic things. Just think about it as the same. There are basic things in the pharmacy that students need to learn. So you can provide small rewards for each step. It may not necessarily need to be a big reward. It could be just some verbal compliments and just to gain more confidence of the students. You can also ask the students to reflect on their improvements, week by week.
So that they know that they’re learning throughout the process. This way students can also gain more confidence and be more prepared to go on to the next step in the learning process. Question number 7, How can I stimulate critical thinking in students? Dr. Brown has share with you the importance of deep learning. And so we want to make sure that critical learning is emphasized in experiential training. So what can preceptors do? First of all, you want to make sure that you have activities and assignments required critical thinking. But this is not difficult. Say even when you ask students to clean or maybe arrange the over-the-counter products in the pharmacy shelves.
You can ask pharmacists, I mean student pharmacists to think about the pharmacology or all these medicinal chemistry behind each of these different products. And what questions they should be asking the customers as they come into the pharmacy? So, if you provide him questions before activities, students can be better prepared to be doing that critical thinking as they engage in the pharmacy practice. After that, you might want to have a little session with the student pharmacists, making sure that they have that good learning experience. So during this process, make sure you ask for student thoughts before teaching them or telling them what should be done. You could ask for reasons as to why students made this choice rather than another choice.
Why they recommended this product versus the different product? Why they ask certain questions over other questions? You can then start to explain relevant principles, you can then reinforce positive attitudes or behaviors or knowledge. And finally, make sure that you correct the mistakes and provide constructive feedback, so that students would know how to do better in the next experience.

What if students fail?

Addressing students that do not pass is a common question from our local pharmacists. In this video, Prof. Chang will talk about the major guidelines to address this situation.

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