Students Get Hands-On Experience with COVID Cases During Emergency Response Rotation
Forty University of Michigan College of Pharmacy 4th-year students recently completed the COVID Emergency Response rotation – the second group to go through the inventive and relevant nontraditional Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE).
“I know our fourth-year students have been looking forward to starting their Advanced Pharmacy Practices Experiences for much of their academic career,” says Peggy Carver, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacist, Michigan Medicine.
“I remember this time period being an exciting and highly informative point in my education, and I wanted to give students as much of a hands-on experience as I could.”
Dr. Carver, who typically leads an infectious disease rotation, reached out to the College’s Experiential Education team to see how she could help students get the necessary Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience hours they needed to graduate. She was added to the COVID Emergency Response rotation, guiding students through week-two.
“I wanted students to actually ‘see’ patients with COVID-19” – so Dr. Carver came up with a HIPAA sensitive way for students to follow the care of actual Michigan Medicine patients without rounding at the hospital.
Dr. Carver divided students into groups, assigned them a current patient and asked them to monitor their chart throughout the week. Students had to apply knowledge from other areas of the course and to critically analyze care decisions and other social factors. “While many of the assigned patients were hospitalized due to complications of COVID infection, others were admitted for other underlying conditions, but tested positive for COVID, which complicated their care. Therefore, students had to consider the treatment of their COVID symptoms along with treatment of their other existing conditions. Even if the condition which lead to their admission was well managed, there was still considerations on if the patients were able to be released into nursing homes, their families, or elsewhere,” explains Dr. Carver.
At the end of the week, students would present their patient to the rest of the class. “It’s one thing to hear about COVID cases and treatment options on the news, but having the hands-on experience and making care decisions is another matter,” notes Dr. Carver.
“The College’s COVID rotation made approachable and tangible what was an otherwise overwhelming disease,” says Joseph Haroney, P4. “For a P4 student who will work alongside COVID-19 for the rest of the year, learning to understand the intricacies of the disease early on was an invaluable experience. I left the rotation feeling better prepared for the remainder of my experiential learning.”
“The patient reviews we completed with Dr. Carver and Dr. Sarah Adie made me feel like a normal P4 student on rotation. Despite an ongoing international crisis, I was still able to improve my patient monitoring skills and increase my clinical knowledge- both things I had thought would be put on hold when my original rotation was cancelled.”
“Most of the cases were actually quite complicated and interesting,” adds Grace Hohn, P4. “I wish we had more time to delve into the whole patient beyond the COVID case, which would have been quite helpful.”
“It was a unique experience and was grateful to learn about something that feels incredibly relevant at the time,” continues Grace. “What we learned about COVID in general on that rotation has already been helpful - many patients on my current rotation have asked questions about it that I have been able to answer because of it.”