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Pharmacy Simulator: A 3D computer-based virtual patient simulator for training community pharmacists


Bindoff, IK and Ling, TR and Bereznicki, LRE and Chalmers, L and Westbury, JL and Gee, PR and Garland, T, Pharmacy Simulator: A 3D computer-based virtual patient simulator for training community pharmacists, Pharmacy Simulator: A 3D computer-based virtual patient simulator for training community pharmacists, 29 November - 2 December, 2015, Hobart, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]


Introduction: Computer-based simulated learning experiences allow students to experience realistic, engaging workplace scenarios and apply classroom theory in a safe environment (Lyons, 2012; Susi et al., 2007).

Aims: To provide a computer-based pharmacy practice learning method that is as effective as paper-based scenarios, but more engaging and less labour-intensive.

Methods: We developed a virtual community pharmacy in which students can take on the role of pharmacist, and are given freedom to complete interactive patient scenarios from start to finish. Educators can write scenarios that cover almost any community pharmacy practice issue using the scenario builder tool that we also developed. The simulator was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial with third and fourth year Bachelor of Pharmacy students. We compared the traditional paper-based teaching method against the computer-based approach using equivalent scenarios. The paper-based group had two tutors while the computer group had none. Both groups were given a pre- and post-scenario clinical knowledge quiz and survey.

Results: A total of 33 students participated. Students in the computer-based group showed a trend towards greater improvements in their clinical knowledge score (mean change +0.631.31 vs. -0.241.30, p=0.059). Third year computer-based students also showed better improvements in history taking (n=18, p=0.029) and counselling competencies (n=18, p=0.008). Third year students found the simulation fun and engaging.

Discussion: Overall the pharmacy simulator provided learning outcomes that were generally equivalent to and in some cases better than those provided by a paper-based scenario equivalent, without the need for tutors, and was generally felt to be more fun. The simulator has the potential to augment our existing teaching activities, complementing and better preparing students for experiential learning.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research Field:Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Bindoff, IK (Dr Ivan Bindoff)
UTAS Author:Ling, TR (Dr Tristan Ling)
UTAS Author:Bereznicki, LRE (Professor Luke Bereznicki)
UTAS Author:Chalmers, L (Dr Leanne Chalmers)
UTAS Author:Westbury, JL (Associate Professor Juanita Breen)
UTAS Author:Gee, PR (Mr Peter Gee)
UTAS Author:Garland, T (Mr Tristan Garland)
ID Code:105032
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2015-12-03
Last Modified:2015-12-03

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