UTS Pharmacy students up-skill on Virtual Placement
UTS Pharmacy students have access to some of the best on-campus facilities in Australia. Students recently completed a two-week Virtual Placement in collaboration with Nursing students from the UTS Faculty of Health, working together at the bedside with high-fidelity patient manikins.
UTS Master of Pharmacy students recently participated in a two-week “Virtual Placement”, held in the UTS Faculty of Health’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratories.
The program brought together academics and students from UTS Pharmacy and UTS Nursing for two weeks of collaborative learning and interdisciplinary simulation. Pharmacy Lecturer Dr Cherie Lucas, who developed and initiated the new Interprofessional Collaborative Model for learning, lead students through several hands-on workshops and hospital pharmacy simulations, with Pharmacy and Nursing students collaborating at the bedside.
Participating students enjoyed access to the UTS Faculty of Health’s simulation labs, which contain a suite of high-fidelity advanced patient manikins. These manikins respond in real-time to treatment and can display symptoms like sweating, pupil dilation and breathing difficulties. Working with the manikins proved an invaluable experience for UTS Pharmacy students preparing to take on real-world hospital pharmacy placements during their studies.
UTS Pharmacy also hosted industry guest lecturers during the two-week period. Research Pharmacist Rayan Nahas from Royal North Shore Hospital presented a lecture on the types of research pharmacists can engage with in hospitals; specialist Clinical Pharmacist Sue Aran presented a fascinating lecture on HIV/AIDS medications, interactions and therapies; and colleague Russell Levy - the Director of Pharmacy at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital– spoke about the importance of medication safety in hospital settings.
In addition, pharmacy students practiced vital skills like needle and syringe use; anaphylaxis response with Dr Cherie Lucas and cholesterol monitoring, INR and blood glucose testing with industry experts and partners like Roche Diagnostics in support. The final day of the Virtual Placement included a workshop on vaccination training conducted by Registered Nurse, Aida Mehri from St George Hospital in conjunction with Dr Cherie Lucas.
The Virtual Placement proved a hit with academics and students alike.
“It was a great combination of practice-based learning and fun,” remarked one student.
Dr Lucas is delighted with the continuing development of the Virtual Placement program as a rewarding learning and teaching exercise.
"A new addition to the Virtual Placement this year was the new interprofessional simulation model of learning which allowed students to think on their feet, collaborate with other health professionals and respond in real time,” she said.
“This provides Pharmacy students with authenticity and practice prior to experiential placements and clinical practice."