26 September 2016
Today was the first day of the Mbarara University Pharmacy Students Association 7th Annual Conference to which we were invited to speak and participate on ward rounds with the Pharmacy Students.
It was an absolutely wonderful and exciting day for both us and the MUST students. I am so filled with inspiration from their youthful exuberance and passion to improve patient care through the provision of pharmaceutical care. They say we have encouraged and inspired them but truly, the feeling is mutual! We started out the day with a morning filled with presentations by me and the Wilkes pharmacy students. We all made our talks interactive so the students got a chance to practice the skills we were teaching them. I think they had a lot of fun with the role-play activities where they had to pretend to be patients and pharmacists and interact with each other as they should do with real patients on the hospital wards. When you just talk about how to interview a patient to learn what drugs they are taking or to assess their symptoms of illness, it seems rather simple. They realized when they practiced with each other that doing it for real is a lot different than writing the steps on paper. I think practicing gave them more confidence when we went into the wards for rounds in the afternoon. We Americans all split up and took small groups of the 4th year pharmacy students to the different wards. The students had found patients to assess ahead of time and presented them to us. We then worked together to determine the patients drug therapy problems and came up with solutions we could recommend to the Clinicians. At the end we went into a room to debrief the whole experience and this was basically like a verbal reflection of what they had learned. Each student arose and talked about what they learned from the rounds and the whole day’s event. Our time here has definitely been helpful for the MUST students as well as for our own personal growth. Tomorrow we will continue the program with more ward rounds in the morning with the 3rd year students and I will present Grand Rounds to all of the healthcare profession students here at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.