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Learning game for future pharmacists

By Leanne Miles

An innovative simulation game is helping students gain the practical experience to become pharmacists An innovative simulation game is helping students gain the practical experience to become pharmacists

An innovative simulation game is helping Charles Darwin University students gain the practical experience required to become pharmacists, no matter where they are.

The new Pharmacy Stock Management Game, “PharmStock”, provides online students with the opportunity to participate in a simulation as if they were working in a real pharmacy.

Created by CDU’s Innovative Media Production Studio (IMPS) team, in partnership with pharmacy content expertise from the School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, the course is the first simulation game created specifically for pharmacy stock management.

Senior pharmacy lecturer Dr Hana Morrissey said the game provided third year pharmacy students studying online with the opportunity to practise and undertake a formal assessment.

“On Casuarina campus we have a purpose-built mock pharmacy for students,” Dr Morrissey said. “This game now allows us to provide a new learning resource for our online students to practise their skills.”

IMPS manager Alison Lockley said students could access the course from anywhere, anytime, and any device.

“We have created a simulated working pharmacy, designed to enable students to participate in stock management simulation activities in an interactive way, without having to physically be in the classroom,” Mrs Lockley said.

“There are two practise levels of increasing difficulty. Each of these practise levels must be completed to the required accuracy, within the allotted time. These results are recorded and achievements given as immediate feedback.”

Dr Morrissey said that pharmacy was a regulated profession with students required to learn how to follow very specific procedures in accordance to scheduling and the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act Therapeutics and Poisonous Act.

“The game addresses the critical skill-sets of identification of pharmaceutical-active ingredients and schedule classification, storage requirements of different products, their management of incoming pharmacy stock and critical thinking,” she said.

“During the game students are required to take delivery of incoming goods, check against an order and place in the appropriate part of the pharmacy. The goal is to appropriately check off, sort and store incoming pharmacy stock in a specific amount of time.”

Dr Morrissey said the interactive game also enabled lecturers to provide feedback to students on their progress and final assessments.

This is one of many valuable workplace-ready proficiencies that the pharmacy program at CDU provides to students to support them in becoming more competitive and ready for employment.