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STLCOP Student Exceeds Own Expectations

Published on 15 December 2015

As a member of both the Eutectic Cross Country and Track and Field teams, Bethany Chew, P3, is no stranger to competition. She is prepared to rise to another challenge as this year’s St. Louis College of Pharmacy representative for the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) National Patient Counseling Competition. As the national representative for the College, she will travel to Baltimore during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition held March 4 -7, 2016.

“I’m currently enrolled in Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) coursework and I felt that our in-class counseling sessions gave me a lot of experience that I needed for this competition,” said Chew. Other classes at the College gave me the medication knowledge and communication skills to help me succeed.”

The initial round of the competition was held on campus in the new Academic and Research Building’s mock patient rooms. During the local competition, Chew was given five minutes to reference a list of medications followed by another five minutes to instruct and educate her patient on how to best use the medication to meet their medical needs.

“I signed up for this competition as a way to step outside of my comfort zone and improve my patient counseling skills,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win, but I’m looking forward to continuing to sharpen my patient counseling skills and serving as a STLCOP representative at the national competition.”

According to APhA, the national competition is used to demonstrate the importance of pharmacists serving both as health care providers and educators. Participants from pharmacy schools across the nation will compete in a preliminary and final round. The preliminary round will consists of a student pharmacist educating a patient on proper medication use and making recommendations using the references provided in a model pharmacy. The top ten participants will advance to the next round.

During the final round, participants will counsel the patient again, however, this exercise will be more challenging. The patients will display personality characteristics that will make it more difficult for the participant to educate the patient on safe medication use.

“Patient counseling is a critical function in the profession of pharmacy. Relationships with patients matter because it helps create trust between the pharmacist and patient,” said Chew. “As a soon-to-be pharmacist, I believe we are the medication experts, but we also want our patients to be experts since they’re the ones taking the medication.”

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