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Unplanned learning example: improving understanding of patient experience in acne

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This is the second year that unplanned learning can be submitted to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Similarly to 2018, a maximum of two CPD records can be unplanned.

The following unplanned learning entry is intended to act as a guide to better enable you to complete your own learning record for submission to the myGPhC site. You should not replicate or copy and paste this material, rather create your own entry based on your experience. You should reflect on your own practice and consider how your patients or service users have benefited from your learning.

Title

Improving understanding of patient experience in acne

Describe an unplanned event or activity that enabled you to learn something new or refresh your knowledge or skills

Tell us about the event or activity. Be specific about the event or activity you describe. If you read an article give it a reference.

Tell us what you learnt from the event or activity in terms of the skills, knowledge, attitudes and/or behaviours you have adopted.

Please take care not to disclose any confidential information about patients without their consent.

While reading The Pharmaceutical Journal, I came across an article about acne vulgaris. The article outlined the causes, diagnosis and management options for the condition, as well as three case studies for a range of patients suffering from mild to moderate acne vulgaris. (Case-based learning: acne vulgaris accessed at bit.ly/PJReval-CBLAcne) .

From reading this article I developed a better understanding of:

  • The pathophysiology of acne vulgaris (e.g. increased production of altered sebum);
  • The different presentations of the condition (e.g. the types of lesion – papules, pustules, nodules and cysts);
  • The role of medicines, hormones, diet and lifestyle in acne formation.

The case studies helped me understand the patient journey and what treatments they are likely to receive. I have a clearer understanding on over-the-counter and prescription-only medicines that patients may buy or be prescribed, and when it is necessary to refer a patient. I read the BNF to find more information about specific counselling points for the products discussed in the article.

The case studies also made me more aware of how a patient will prefer a particular treatment and how I can inform patients about their options so that they can make informed decisions.

Give an example of how this learning benefited the people using your services

Include a real example of how the people using your services have benefitted from your learning. If you are able to introduce a new service successfully, the benefits will be clear. If you are more confident in your ability to respond to a particular query or have some new knowledge that you can use in your practice, that is also a beneficial outcome.

Do include any feedback about your practice that you have had from other people.

Refreshing and improving my knowledge on acne vulgaris has helped me provide better consultations with patients visiting the pharmacy.

For example, a patient recently came into the pharmacy with her mother because she had started taking isotretinoin after treatment failure with several tetracycline antibiotics. The patient was anxious because she had started to have side effects that she thought may be linked to the new medicine. The patient explained that nobody had given her advice on taking the medicine or what side effects she may expect.

Through my newly gained learning, I was able to counsel the patient on administration; general and possible side effects; and estimated timelines for effectiveness of her medicine. I was able to make recommendations for over-the-counter products that may help with her side effects, specifically a moisturiser for her dry skin and an appropriate lip balm for her chapped and flaking lips.

The patient and mother were grateful for my time and thanked me for my help. Since then the mother has called the pharmacy asking for further advice about her daughter’s treatment.

I shared my learning and patient experience with the wider pharmacy team so that they can provide better advice to patients and so they know when to refer patients to me for a more in-depth discussion.

Before creating unplanned learning entries, see ‘Revalidation: How to use planned and unplanned learning entries to record CPD’, which provides a step-by-step guide for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians writing and submitting this vital part of revalidation.

How the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is supporting members with revalidation

A dedicated revalidation support hub, which also provides more information on the various support services offered is available on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website and includes:

  • RPS MyCPD app - An app supported by The Pharmaceutical Journal. Available for iOS devices via the App Store and Android devices via Google Play. For information on how to use the app, see ’How to use the new ‘RPS MyCPD’ app for pharmacy revalidation’.
  • Revalidation support service - Members can contact this service by phone (0845 257 2570 Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:00) or email support@rpharms.com.
  • Revalidation events - Information on the latest events can be found on the website.
  • MyCPD Portfolio - members can create a portfolio allowing you to make records of any CPD you have engaged with and retain these records throughout your career.

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