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Identifying Physical Assessment Skills and Their Relative Importance in Faculty-Based Pharmacy Practice Settings Within the Same Region

Amee D Mistry and Matthew R Machado

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Background: As pharmacy educators, it is the responsibility of the faculty to prepare student pharmacists, through education, for the variety of opportunities that will be available to them after graduation. This education can be provided by incorporating standards set forth by the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE), as well as by working with fellow educators at other schools of pharmacy within the region or across the country. This article summarizes data collected regarding physical assessment skills from pharmacy practice faculty within the Northeast region.

Objective: To identify how often physical assessment skills are applied and their importance to pharmacy practice faculty practicing in various pharmacy settings, to use the data collected from pharmacy practice faculty to standardize which physical assessment skills should be used for training student pharmacists, and to use the collected data to assist in the development of guidelines that highlight core competencies in physical assessment that are in accordance with ACPE Accreditation Standards and Guidelines and that student pharmacists should be able to perform upon graduation.

Methods: A physical assessment survey was mailed to pharmacy practice faculty at schools of pharmacy in the Northeast region. The survey asked faculty members to rate 2 parameters for each skill: how often a skill is used at their own practice site, and the importance of that skill to teach student pharmacists to use in the future.

Results: A total of 238 surveys were mailed to pharmacy practice faculty in the Northeast region; 81 surveys were returned to the primary investigator. The data collected indicated a wide spread of opinions among faculty members regarding physical assessment.

CONCLUSIONS: Although physical assessment skill is a required competency set forth by the ACPE Accreditation Standards and Guidelines, there is a wide variety of skills that pharmacy practice faculty feel are important to teach student pharmacists.

J Pharm Technol 2012;28:82-7

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