As an academic health center, residents and students play a major role in this initiative. Ten pharmacy residents are accepted to practice at UF Health Jacksonville. The department also receives around 100 students from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy annually for six-week rotations. In addition, Pharmacy has eight part-time interns who are fully integrated into the department and primarily focus on patient education. Regardless of the role, all are assigned to specific hospital floors or units, where they speak directly to patients about medications.
“For students, their education typically happens in the laboratory setting with acting and role playing with their classmates,” Belgado said. “Here, they are able to come into the hospital and talk to real patients who have real situations. They are definitely learning from that and it gives them an advantage by developing that skill.” The interns undergo proper training and are supervised by the pharmacists on duty.
The use of interns, residents and students, along with communication from nurses and respiratory therapists, ensure patients receive medication information multiple times during their stay.
“We have a process of following up with our patients to see if they remember some of the information that we’ve given them,” said Lamont Hogans, education coordinator for Respiratory Care Services. “We have an informational brochure that is given to all the patients we treat. We also developed a video depicting, among other things, how to educate our patients. Lastly, we provide re-education at discharge to COPD patients who will be using respiratory therapy medications at home.”