Unpacking student learning from an early experience with the Pharmacists' Patient Care Process

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Background: To illuminate learning, a case study approach was used to examine early, authentic experiences within Pharmacists' Patient Care Process (PPCP)-focused practices. Educational activity: Six students were matched with five practitioners and spent five half-days in a primary care clinic in a PPCP-committed health system. Students practiced interviewing, determining the patient's medication experience, and formulating the beginnings of the assessment, as well as observing and debriefing on the completion of the process by a practitioner mentor. The Five R Model was used to prompt student learning reflection. In addition, instructors examined students' work for evidence of transformative learning and observations were captured using forms of reflective practice and collaborative debriefing. Critical analysis of the educational activity: Reflection performance ratings varied; however, there was strong evidence of transformative learning for all students. Specifically, most student reflections demonstrated a focus on elaborating on existing frames of reference. The most prevalent indicator of transformative learning was exploration of options for new roles, relationships, and actions. The codes from instructors' observations revealed five categories of learning evidence, with the strongest in the patient centeredness category. The process of reviewing student work products, documenting instructor observations, and collaborative debriefing resulted in insights for curricular improvement and explanations for learning difficulties. Further work is needed in understanding student experiential learning intentions and their influence on learning and reflection. Additionally, further research should explore the value of longitudinal assessment of reflection and the value of assessing student work products using criteria beyond traditional reflection criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1460
Number of pages14
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Ambulatory care
  • Experiential education
  • Pharmacists patient care process
  • Reflection
  • Transformative learning


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