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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Supplementary prescribing training: the CPPE e-learning programme
In this article Angela Trikic describes the development of an e-learning programme to provide the educational support for pharmacists to become supplementary prescribers
The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has developed an e-learning programme that provides support for pharmacists wishing to become supplementary prescribers. The programme content is based on the syllabus specified by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the supplementary prescribing competencies developed by the National Prescribing Centre (NPC). It is the unsurprising similarity of prescribing competencies developed for each professional group that makes the e-learning programme a useful resource for health professionals preparing to take on a supplementary prescribing role. The programme facilitates support for supplementary prescribing in different health care settings. Modules focus on clinical governance, inter-professional working, medicines management and patient safety issues, in order to promote the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for competent and confident prescribing practice. The CPPE e-learning programme is designed to complement accredited higher education institutions providing supplementary prescribing courses that will usually include face-to-face sessions along with arrangements for management of supervision of the practice placement.
Since the programme is relevant to all practitioners training for a prescribing role with its focus on prescribing competencies, it also provides a suitable educational resource for nurses and other allied health professionals and expressions of interest have already been received from nurse course leaders and optometrists.
Why develop an e-learning programme?
It is expected that the wide range of health economies with diverse socio-geography will generate patchy and varying needs for supplementary prescribing educational provision. Also, as an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce, pharmacists can benefit from the flexible access that this method of learning offers.
About the e-learning programme
e-Learning is offered as a platform for accessing the supplementary prescribing programmes to complement accredited course schemes. Some features available in the e-learning programme are described below.
Online learning The value of online learning is that it can help in the development of search and information retrieval skills. Working for the NHS makes such skills increasingly important for maintaining currency of information in fields of practice. The e-learning programme points to the availability of well-maintained health websites representing specialist therapeutic and disease states, the Department of Health website, higher education websites and others. The CPPE has used the opportunity to filter good, reliable websites and has supplied ample possibilities for pursuing more detailed coverage of topics using the web.
Online assessment All modules include learning activities designed to support self-assessment and reflection. Self-assessment activities provide an opportunity to test knowledge and understanding of concepts, techniques and practice procedures. Answers and comments are provided as appropriate, offering immediate feedback with a mouse click.
Online discussion The CPPE has the facility to support pharmacists’ online discussion forums, managed by an e-tutor, to stimulate discussion on supplementary prescribing issues. Online forums allow discussion of more complex cases where prescribing decisions may necessitate consideration of conflicting or difficult social and medication aspects. Opportunity for confidential online discussion gives an opening for airing uncertainties and receiving peer support. With the wide availability of computer-mediated communication tools such forums can be initiated by course providers with e-tutoring capability.
Online feedback The feedback form will be used to help update tasks and enhance the e-learning programmes. We hope this will be a source for capturing new case material that can be represented in future versions of the programme.
Downloadable practice portfolio
The practice portfolio is an innovative assessment tool designed to be completed throughout the programme. It can be downloaded from the supplementary prescribing website and completed on the learner’s desktop computer. The structure of the portfolio remains unchanged since the rows expand to accommodate entries made.
Maintaining the e-learning programme
By prioritising the development of an e-learning programme, efficiencies are gained when it comes to implementing programme updates. The CPPE is already commissioning work as preparation for making the accuracy of clinical and practice information future proof. The CPPE is committed to maintaining the accuracy and development of this site annually or more frequently in the event of major changes. It will be developing a content management system to automate the programme update process enabling greater focus on design enhancement. By using the attributes of web technology to engage learners, for instance, more videotaped communication and consultation cases and exercises are planned.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20011922
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