TTUHSC School of Pharmacy Shifts Continuing Education Focus to Preceptors

The Office of Experiential Programs at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy is shifting the focus of its continuing education programs to preceptor education and training. The shift comes as national organizations and accrediting bodies cite the minimal availability of quality and interprofessional preceptor training.

“Our office is always looking for new and improved ways to deliver precepting education and training,” said Craig Cox, associate professor and vice chair of experiential programs for TTUHSC School of Pharmacy. “By focusing most of our attention to this need, we feel we will have a positive impact on the knowledge and abilities of preceptors of students and residents industry wide.”

Cox said the effective and efficient precepting and teaching is a process that greatly influences the academic experiences and future careers of TTUHSC health care students and residents and students enrolled in similar programs at other universities. Health care students depend heavily on the training they receive during their rotations and Cox said TTUHSC is fortunate to have high quality preceptors training its pharmacy students and residents.

“It’s imperative that preceptors be given adequate tools not only for precepting and advising how to handle difficult situations, but also how to be an effective teacher,” Cox said. “Precepting encompasses so many different facets when working with trainees, so preceptors should take pride in their teaching abilities and strive to improve their knowledge and ability so they deliver the best rotation experience possible. This is important for both the preceptor and the trainee.”

Cox said his office has developed a calendar of events that will feature multiple delivery methods for precepting education during the coming year. Each quarter new precepting programs will be released and delivery methods range from home study programs that are recorded, written or viewed via webinar or podcast to live programs or conferences.

“There will be a catalog of options to fit every preceptor’s needs and learning style,” Cox said. “Although the primary focus of these preceptor development programs will be for pharmacy preceptors that train students and residents, we will also be looking at designing programs that are interdisciplinary.”

Although preceptor education and training will be the new focus for TTUHSC’s continuing education in pharmacy, Cox said the pharmacy school’s Office of Experiential Programs still plans to offer its Immunization Certification course and its Sterile Preparation Certification course. He said the office also remains available to co-sponsor and accredit continuing education programs for other organizations.

Brittany Patterson, the pharmacy school’s assistant director of experiential programs, said TTUHSC is striving to become one of the elite and sought after providers of quality and innovative preceptor education and training and she is looking forward to moving ahead with the new continuing education focus.

“I feel that our preceptors, as well as others nationwide, will benefit from our new programs and innovative delivery methods,” Patterson said. “We are also expanding our education and training to encompass other medical disciplines such as nursing and medical preceptors. Pharmacy precepting education is our forte, but it is imperative we expand to cover interdisciplinary training since all fields interact with each other and the training is rather interchangeable.”

Patterson said course credits will vary by topic and delivery method and will be provided in increments ranging from 15 minutes to three hours. Training will be free for all first-time TTUHSC preceptors and for those that train a minimum of two TTUHSC pharmacy students or pharmacy residents each year. Training will be offered at discounted rates to all other preceptors. Details for each program, including pricing, will be available this fall at www.ttuhsc.edu/pharmacy/continuing-education.

For more breaking news and experts, follow @ttuhscnews on Twitter.

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