Professionalism (Part 3)

This 3-part video series covers professionalism standards for pharmacy students.

Part 1: Confidentiality
Part 2: Accountability, Honesty and Integrity, Appropriate Attire and Appearance, and Punctuality
Part 3: Practice Scenario

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. This is the last part of the professionalism video series. In the previous videos, I covered each of the 5 professionalism standards in detail. In this final video, you’ll get a chance to test your knowledge with an example scenario from a student’s point of view and then explore that same scenario through the eyes of a patient.Let’s get started.Tony arrives at the pharmacy at 9am, the specified start time for his shift. He goes to the break room to store his belongings and change into his lab coat. When Tony returns to the pharmacy, there is a patient already waiting. Tony isn’t ready to talk to the patient yet as he always makes a point to say hello to the pharmacy team first. He walks past the patient, takes a sip of coffee, and proceeds to chat with the pharmacy technician. The pharmacy technician notices Tony’s cup and exclaims that he is also a fan of coffee. The two of them start a lively conversation about where to find the best coffee in town.When the patient’s medication is ready, Tony goes to the counter to counsel them. The patient asks if it is safe to use the eyedrop she got last year. She can’t remember the name of it. Tony is unsure but wants to be helpful. He tells her that it is probably safe to use, and she should check the expiry date on the box.Later, the pharmacist receives a call from the patient as she has now identified the active chemical in her eyedrops. The pharmacist tells her she should dispose of it immediately as it is no longer safe to use. The patient wants to know why she is being told something different from earlier that day.

Although Tony may have had good intentions, his actions were perceived poorly by the patient and compromised patient care. Imagine how the patient must have been feeling. Let’s put ourselves in her shoes.

It was a busy day for Carol, she had to drop her kids at school, pick up her medications from the pharmacy and then get to the doctor’s clinic for a pap test. The pharmacy was busy as usual and she watched from the counter as the pharmacy student arrived in casual clothes, walked across the pharmacy and disappeared into the staff room. In a few minutes, he was back out and she tried to get his attention. He seemed to be intentionally ignoring her and took a sip of his coffee as he walked right past her. Maybe he has something important to do, she thought to herself, but he didn’t. The pharmacy student spent the next 5 minutes talking to the technician about coffee!

When Carol finally received her medications, she ran out the door as fast as she could to get to her doctor’s appointment. She didn’t really trust the pharmacy student’s advice about the eyedrops as he seemed unprofessional and probably wasn’t very knowledgeable about her drugs. She found the bottle of eyedrops and called the pharmacist to double check. Although she was appreciative of the advice provided by the pharmacist, she was disappointed by the student’s lack of care and professionalism.

You can see how your appearance, attitude, and behavior as a student can affect your patient’s perception of you. I reflect on my actions on a regular basis to uphold the highest standards of professionalism. Ultimately, I am accountable to my patients, society, my profession and myself.

I hope you found this video helpful. Thanks for watching. I am Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!

Acknowledgements:  We would like to thank Alyssa Low (Undergraduate Student) for helping to create this video and Garrett Tang (Undergraduate Student) for designing original images (e.g. Dr. Tablet).