Category Archives: Practicum Videos

Peer-Led Practicum Preparation Resource

What you will find here: This module was created by Jessica Lee (2024 University of Toronto Entry-to-Practice PharmD program candidate) to help you prepare for your practicum with tips and advice from a peer’s perspective.

Access the Peer-Led Practicum Preparation Resource (Developed in 2024)

Health and Wellness

This video outlines the basics of maintaining health and wellness while you’re on practicum and away from your usual supports. This video also reviews some potential resources and coping strategies.

Video Timestamps:
o Tina’s Story 0:11
o Emotional Awareness 1:49
o Basics of Self-Care 2:57
o UBC Resources 4:57
o Self Compassion 5:55

Hello my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. In this video, we’ll be talking about health and wellness during practicum. Practicum can be an exciting time for students, but it can also be scary and stressful. Emotional awareness, self-care and compassion are key tools to help you manage your health and wellness throughout your practicum and in life. To explore these topics further, we’ll be following the story of a pharmacy student on practicum and discussing some of the emotions and stressors she experiences.This is Tina. Tina is a first-year pharmacy student who lives at home with her parents and sisters. When she’s not busy studying, she hangs out with her friends and goes hiking with her sisters.

This year, Tina has been assigned to a pharmacy that’s 8 hours away from her hometown meaning she’ll have to move away from her family and live on her own for the first time in her life.

While she was hoping to be placed closer to home, Tina is up to the challenge and is excited for the opportunity to learn in a new environment.

Starting her practicum, Tina falls into a new routine. She wakes up, goes to practicum, returns to her apartment, and works on her practicum activities. While she knows that her family is just a phone call away, somehow, it’s not the same.

Her practicum is far more difficult than she expected. Today was her first time dealing with health insurance and she mistakenly charged a patient for their medications without checking if they had drug coverage. This caused the patient to get very upset and one of the pharmacy assistants had to step in to manage the situation.

Tina is worried that the pharmacy staff may feel bothered that they need to step in to help. She also feels bad asking questions and feels anxious whenever her practice educator gives her feedback. She also notices that other staff members don’t interact much with her and concludes that perhaps they don’t enjoy working with her. Returning home to her empty apartment, Tina can’t wait until her practicum is over.

Let’s pause for a moment and identify what emotions Tina may have experienced in her first week of practicum.

Tina may be experiencing any or all of these emotions. She may feel lonely since moving away from her family, tired from her long days at practicum, and insecure or anxious about her performance so far. At the same time, she might be feeling optimistic and excited about the opportunity to be working with such an experienced pharmacy team. She knows school has prepared her for this practicum and is confident in her ability to take on new challenges as they come.

Identifying our emotions, and trying to understand why we feel the way we feel, can help us learn more about ourselves and manage difficult feelings when they arise.

By identifying her emotions Tina can find productive ways to manage them and keep them from overwhelming her.

By recognizing her feelings of loneliness, she can take steps to help herself by reaching out to friends and family.

By acknowledging that she is feeling insecure about her lack of experience, she can start to question how this is affecting her perceptions and work to reframe her thoughts. Does the pharmacy staff actually dislike her or are they just busy with their work?

Identifying your emotions is an important part of emotional awareness that can help you move past negative emotions, embrace change, and feel well.

Next up, I’ll be talking about self-care and the basics of health and wellness.

As healthcare professionals, we educate our patients about self-care all the time. We talk about exercise, healthy eating, and the importance of sleep and reaching out for help when needed. Now it’s time for us to take our own advice.

The changes in Tina’s life have affected the very basis of how she cares for her own health.

Where before she went hiking with her sisters, she now stays home instead.
Where she used to get home cooked meals from her family, she now has a lot of fast foods.
She’s been separated from her main network of social supports and she berates herself over every mistake and failure.

Tina recognizes she won’t be able to change her situation overnight but she knows that taking a look at her basic health needs is a good place to start.

While hiking with her sisters is no longer an option, Tina decides to start making the effort to get out of her apartment and go for walks at least once a week. She finds that the fresh air helps to relieve some of her anxiety.

In school, Tina had learned about nutrition but always found it difficult to apply her knowledge to everyday life. She decides to take this opportunity to spend some time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. She looks up new recipes online and her friends and family are more than happy to share their own recipe suggestions. Tina finds a sense of accomplishment in learning something new.

Tina recognizes the importance of a good night’s sleep and makes it her mission to take care of herself by cutting down on coffee before bed and reducing her nightly screen time.

It was a slow and very personal journey but Tina learned to adapt to her new situation and work towards better health and wellness.

I know it can feel difficult at times to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule. Between pre-readings, preparing care plans and presentations, it can be hard to find time to focus on personal wellness.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits all solution when it comes to this but I’d encourage you to remember that self-care doesn’t have time be time-consuming or complicated. It could be as simple as taking a 15-minute break while working on your care plan to stretch your legs, listen to some music, or call a friend.

I want you to know that there are resources you can use and people who are here to support you. You just need to take the first step and ask for help.

UBC has a variety of free resources to support you throughout your studies. These include counselling services, personal wellness activities, and more. Online and in-person assistance is available so you can access help no matter where you are.

The Office of Student Services is also here to support your wellbeing. I would encourage you to contact them if you’re going through any challenges such as health issues, adjustment to the program, or family concerns. They can also help connect you to the right person to talk to such as our in-house counsellor or other resources.

If you’re experiencing financial stress or anxiety, talk to your Enrolment Services Advisor. They can help answer any questions regarding your financial situation at UBC.

When dealing with practicum- specific difficulties such as struggling to meet practicum expectations, requesting academic concession, or managing conflict with your practice educator, the Office of Experiential Education is here to help you.

The last thing I want to talk about is self-compassion

Many pharmacy students can be their own worst critic. There are times when I have made mistakes that haunted me for days. I remember thinking things like:
“How did I not know that”
“I’m not cut out for this” and
“Why am I doing so bad”
These, and other negative thoughts, seemed to play in an endless loop and, like Tina, I began to feel paranoid that others thought these things about me as well. When this happens, I practice self-compassion by using positive self-talk instead and standing up to my inner critic.

It’s natural to feel embarrassed or disappointed with yourself when you make a mistake and during these times it’s important that you make an effort to be kind to yourself. Negative self-talk can quickly take a toll on your mental and physical well-being.

So be kind to yourself and remember there’s no shame in asking for help.

At the end of the day, I want you to know that you’re not alone, stress is a normal response and it’s okay to give yourself permission to take care of your own health and well-being.

I hope you found this video helpful.

Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!


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

Health Promotion

This video follows Aria as she plans and conducts a health promotion activity. Dr. Tab will also be sharing some advice along the way.

Video Timestamps:
o What is Health Promotion 0:26
o Planning 1:16
o Preparing 3:34
o Delivering 4:39
o Follow-up 5:47

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. In this video, we’ll be following Aria as she plans and conducts a health promotion activity for her practicum, and I’ll be sharing some advice along the way. Let’s jump right into it! Before Aria starts her first day, she reviews the practicum handbook and recalls that she’ll be participating in a health promotion activity. Curious to learn more about what health promotion means, she does some research online.Health promotion is defined as “the process of empowering people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.” When we think about the concept of health, the World Health Organization describes it as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being” rather than simply the mere absence of disease. Now even though health promotion is focused on prevention and improving health, traditionally, our health care systems are oriented around curing disease and treating medical conditions. More emphasis can be placed on the prevention of disease such as reducing risk factors and taking more of a holistic approach with patients. As pharmacists, we have a shared responsibility for health promotion. We play a role in providing education, promoting patient well-being, and advocating for our patients and communities.After understanding the importance of health promotion, Aria can’t wait to get involved. But where does she begin?The first step in creating a health promotion activity is choosing a topic. Aria asks her friends what they’re planning and realizes that the possibilities are endless. Jamie wants to educate his community members about opioids and naloxone, whereas Dany plans to run a smoking cessation clinic.

This brings me to my first tip: when choosing your topic, consider the patient demographics of your pharmacy. Here are some questions to consider:
• What patient populations frequent this pharmacy?
• What are the more common medical conditions patients are presenting with at this pharmacy?
• What common questions are asked by your patients?
• And does your pharmacy work with any community partners?
Determining your target audience and their needs will help you identify an engaging and impactful health promotion activity.

Aria takes the first few days to observe the patients that frequent the pharmacy. She notices that cardiovascular medications are commonly dispensed, and patients often ask questions about them. In fact, some patients don’t even know what they’re taking or why they’re taking them. Aria believes that they would benefit from additional consultation and education, so she discusses her idea with John, her practice educator. John agrees that this is a worthwhile initiative.

Remember: it’s important to involve practice educators and the pharmacy team, as they have a good understanding of the needs of their patients and community. So the next question is: how will Aria address this patient need?

Here’s my second tip: Once you identified the topic of your activity and are deciding on your delivery method, consider the potential barriers faced by your target population. In other words, what might prevent them from accessing health care? For example, elderly patients may have mobility issues that make it difficult for them to attend in-person events. Providing an option for a phone consultation may be helpful.

Aria reflects on her patients and recalls that they come from many different cultures, representing several different languages. They also have varying degrees of health literacy, so the health promotion content should be kept clear, with a focus on using language that is easily understood. Visual aids such as charts and graphs would also help in presenting statistics or explaining numbers such as explaining one’s 10-year cardiovascular risk.

Before continuing, Aria talks to John about the various resources available at the pharmacy. John points out that Aria can make use of the blood pressure monitor, as well as the various printed materials such as pamphlets and drug information sheets related to heart health.

Aria is now ready to prepare her content. She dedicates time every day to researching and creating content for her activity. Throughout the preparation stage, her practice educator reviews the content and provides feedback. In addition, she also brainstorms ways to generate interest in order to reach her intended audience.

My next tip is to get the word out early about your health promotion activity. You can try:
• Creating an ad to display in the pharmacy
• Informing team members about your activity and ask them to help identify and recruit patients
• And if appropriate, visiting nearby medical clinics to let them know of your upcoming activity

Aria shared with the team that her initiative would be good for anyone who is over 40 years old, requires support with managing their weight, a smoker, and/or has diabetes. With approval from her practice educator, she offers both in-person appointments and virtual consultations. Soon, interested patients begin to sign up.

The day before her activity, Aria calls her patients to remind them of their appointment, what to expect when they arrive, how long the appointment will take, and what specific information they should bring with them. It’s always a good idea to confirm appointments ahead of time as life can get busy.

On the day of the clinic, she wears a clean lab coat with a nametag and ensures that the counselling room is tidy. Soon, her first patient arrives. Despite feeling nervous, Aria follows her pre-planned structure with confidence. John sat in on the appointments to ensure that she was on the right track and that she felt supported. With each patient, Aria takes their blood pressure and vitals, and reviews their lab results. Aria then calculates her patients’ cardiovascular risk, and provides education on lifestyle changes. Each patient is also provided with a handout summarizing the information so that they can refer to it when they return home.

My next tip is to be an active listener and patient-oriented throughout your activity. Patients are much more motivated to change their behaviors when recommendations and advice are tailored to their specific individual needs. Aria takes time to listen to her patients’ concerns and asks open-ended questions about their own desired health care goals. By doing so, she is able to provide individualized recommendations to her patients.

With every patient, Aria provides a summary of the specific action-oriented goals and next steps on a written document. She also follows up with the patients’ doctor and care team with any concerns or drug therapy problems that she has identified.

At the end of each interaction, Aria schedules a follow-up appointment with each of her patients. The next tip is to ensure a follow up plan is in place for each patient. Health promotion interventions can be a great opportunity to identify patients who require continued pharmacist consultation and support – patients may have drug therapy problems, other issues and could benefit from a more complete medication review in the future. There’s evidence to suggest that interventions that involve follow-ups with patients tend to be more beneficial than ones that do not. More precisely, interventions incorporating regular follow-ups were more likely to result in greater behavioural changes and health outcomes. Therefore, I encourage you to follow up with every patient. If you aren’t able to do it for reasons such as your practicum coming to an end, you can handover your patients to another member of the pharmacy team to ensure continuity of care.

As the day wrapped up, Aria felt like she achieved a lot today. On her bus ride home, Aria takes some time to reflect on her experiences. This brings me to my final tip which is to reflect on your experience—what worked, what didn’t, and what you’ll do differently next time. A core component of experiential education is reflection, as it allows students to understand their strengths, areas of improvement, and formulate a strategy for future situations. I encourage you to actively seek out feedback not only from your practice educator but also from patients. After an interaction or appointment, students can ask their patients if they found this of value or helpful.

In Aria’s case, after meeting with each patient, she asks them to fill out a short survey asking how effective they found the consultation to be, what they enjoyed, and what could be improved for next time. She also sits down with her practice educator afterwards to debrief and discuss the feedback received.

During this practicum, Aria gained first-hand experience about the value and importance of health promotion and developed an understanding of the opportunities that pharmacists have to better the lives of patients. That’s all I have for Aria’s journey. Now it’s your turn—I’m excited to see what health promotion activities you will embark on throughout your practicums!

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

Acknowledgements:  We would like to thank Lucy Zhou for helping to create this video and Garrett Tang for designing Dr. Tablet.

Learning Moments on Practicum Video Series

In this video series, the concepts of the learning cycle, learning moments, and learning scripts are described in the context of student learning on pharmacy practicums. The first two videos on the Learning Cycle and Learning Script set the stage and describe these concepts; the subsequent videos show how these concepts might be applied to learners’ experiences in different practice settings.

01 – The Learning Cycle

02 – The Learning Script

03 – Creating Learning Moments on Outpatient Practicums

04 – Creating Learning Moments on Inpatient Practicums

05 – Creating Learning Moments on Non-Direct Patient Care Practicums

Acknowledgements, Licensing, References, and Project Team
The team behind these videos would like to acknowledge the (rather loose) use of Kolb’s (1984) concept of the experiential learning cycle and its more recent renditions in theories of adult learning (see Taylor & Hamdy, 2013).

Similarly, the notion of learning script as used throughout these videos, is based on Schank & Abelson’s (1977) concept of “script” and its application in health sciences education as “teaching script” (Irby, 1992; Marcdante & Simpson, 1999) and “illness script” (e.g. Schmidt & Rikers, 2007).

Animation, Script Writing, and Directing Team:
George Pachev          Garrett Tang

Gilly Lau                      Harmen Tatla

Neelam Dhaliwal        John Lee

Tarique Benbow

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this project provided by UBC Vancouver students via the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF).


These videos are part of the Educational Resources to Support Effective Learning in Pharmacy Settings Project and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial- ShareAlike 4.0 International License: (Links to an external site.)

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Taylor, D. C. M. & Hamdy, H. (2013) Adult learning theories: Implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 83, Medical Teacher, 35:11, e1561-e1572, doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.828153

Schank, R., & Abelson, R. (1977). Scripts, plans, goals and understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schmidt, H. G., Rikers, R. M. J. (2007). How expertise develops in medicine: knowledge encapsulation and illness script formation. Medical Education, 41, 1133–1139.   doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02915.x

Irby, D. M. (1992). How attending physicians make instructional decisions when conducting teaching rounds. Academic Medicine, 67, 630–638.

Marcdante, K. W., and Simpson, D. (1999). How Pediatric Educators Know What to Teach: The Use of Teaching Scripts. Pediatrics 104, 148 – 151.

Tips for Practicum

This video follows a third year student on their first day of hospital practicum and outlines 7 tips to help you get the most out of your experiential education experience.

Video Timestamps:

o Introduce Yourself 0:55
o Seize Opportunities 1:32
o Set Expectations 2:19
o Set Goals 2:53
o Embrace All Activities 4:00
o Feedback 5:09
o Stages of Learning 5:47

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet but you can just call me Tab. In this video, we’ll be following Wanda on her first few days of hospital practicum and I’ll be sharing seven helpful tips along the way. Let’s get started.Today is Wanda’s first day, she refers to the email from her practice educator to confirm her start time
and dress code. Before leaving, she checks that she has her notebook, pens and orientation documents in her bag.Wanda arrives at the designated meeting place 15 minutes early, wearing her lab coat and UBC nametag. She meets Justin, her practice educator, and introduces herself. Excited to begin, Wanda asks if now is a good time for Justin to go over the orientation documents with her. Justin suggests reviewing them later, since rounds are starting soon and he’d like her to participate and observe.To kick off team rounds, everyone is given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the rest of the team. This brings me to my first tip. Introduce yourself as a student pharmacist to the people around you. This may include health care professionals, medical staff, other team members or patients. Fostering a good rapport can help you
create a positive learning space. It can also help you get to know the roles of other workers at the site and help them understand yours. While Wanda had a chance to meet most of the health care team right at the start of her practicum, your experience may be different. It’s important that you introduce yourself with your name, program and year level whenever you meet someone new.During team rounds, Wanda takes initiative in her learning by being attentive, asking questions and taking notes to refer back to later. This brings me to my next tip. Be adaptable and seize learning opportunities. Practicums are a chance for students to immerse themselves in the practice setting and observe their practice educators and other team members. Asking questions and being open to new experiences can help you get the most out of your practicum. Wanda shadows her practice educator for most of the day as he provides care to his patients. Before each interaction, she introduces herself as a pharmacy student and follows the pharmacist’s lead as he speaks with the patient. She takes notes, asks questions, and debriefs with her practice educator between the interactions. After lunch, Justin gives Wanda an unofficial tour of the practice site and sits down with her to discuss the practicum schedule.Guided by the orientation documents, they discuss a tentative timeline for the practicum and review expectations. Setting expectations should be a discussion between you and your practice educator at the start of your practicum. Each practice educator may approach things a little bit differently in terms of their style of teaching or even
their feedback approach. It’s important to discuss expectations for patient care activities and how to integrate yourself into the site’s workflow. It’s also a good idea to determine how and when you’ll be touching base for feedback. Wanda returns home after a busy first day. Now that she’s had some time to observe the workflow, she has a better understanding of the learning opportunities available and can start to think about her personal goals. This brings me to my next tip. When identifying your goals and working on your learning contract, consider site-specific factors such as the patient population, available resources and unique needs.The next day, Wanda and Justin review the learning contract together. Wanda notices that her practice site offers many opportunities to practice medication reconciliation, also known as Med Rec. She asks Justin if that would be something she could focus on during her practicum. Justin asks her about her comfort level and previous experience with the process. Wanda has never completed one before with a real patient and admits
to feeling a bit nervous. Justin suggests that she shadow him first as he performs the tasks and work toward taking more of a lead role as she becomes more comfortable.Later that day, Justin models how to complete a Med Rec. Wanda was looking forward to having him observe and provide feedback as she completed the activity. But before she has a chance to do so, they find out that help is
needed in the dispensary. Wanda is reluctant to go as she feels she has plenty of experience dispensing medications and figures she has more to learn on the ward. Let’s pause for a moment and explore Wanda’s feelings.

Although Wanda is excited to spend time on the patient ward, it’s important that she learns about
all aspects of pharmacy practice. Pharmacists are responsible for both patient care and drug distribution tasks. Student pharmacists are expected to build a solid understanding of medication distribution processes in a variety of practice settings. Students can be expected to become more familiar with medications,
learning their shape, color and branding. Learn how to use various pharmacy distribution technologies. Learn how to identify, manage and prevent distribution errors, and understand the procedures and workflow of a pharmacy practice. My advice for students is to embrace all aspects of pharmacy workflow. Wanda considers the importance of learning the medication distribution process and its impact on patient care and safety. After reflecting on her feelings, she goes forward with a growth mindset and follows Justin to the dispensary.

Justin meets with Wanda at the end of the day to provide some feedback. In reflecting on her patient interaction earlier that day, Justin commends her for being thorough in her information gathering, but suggest she use fewer technical terms. Wanda is surprised she thought the interaction went really well. My advice to students is to be
open to receiving feedback. Feedback is an important step in the learning process and can help
you improve your knowledge and skills. We can’t improve if we don’t know what we need to work on. I would encourage you to be curious and ask for examples to understand your practice educator’s perspective. Practice educators take the time to provide feedback because they care and are invested in their students learning. Wanda thanks Justin for his feedback. Although she recognizes that she is still learning, she can’t help
but feel a bit frustrated. She feels like she’s always struggling and checking her notes while all her peers seem to be doing so well. It’s common for students to feel this way. My advice for you is to remember that learning is a process and it all starts with day one.

When working to develop a new skill, feelings of frustration and other emotional responses are normal. To understand Wanda’s situation, we need to recognize that learning is a process and there are four stages students must transition through when learning a new skill. In the unconscious incompetence stage. Students don’t know what they don’t know. They are inept, unaware of it, and may not recognize the value
of a new skill or the need to learn it. For example, before providing a Med Rec for a patient, Wanda didn’t
know what she needed to work on. When students become aware of what they
don’t know, what they can’t do or how much they need to learn, they have entered
the conscious, incompetent stage. During this stage, it’s normal for students to feel hesitant and uncomfortable. They may have low confidence or feel like they’re making a lot of errors. Students will transition in and out of this stage frequently throughout the course of their program. While it can be difficult to acknowledge
your learning gaps, this stage is key as this is where learning starts. With time and work, students will enter the conscious competence stage.

Here, students understand or know how to do something, but need to think
and work hard to do it. They still need to refer to their notes or checklists and go through each process step by step in order to complete the task. The skill doesn’t come naturally yet. The fourth and final stage
is unconscious competence. This is when the task can be done easily and is almost second nature. Wanda’s practice educator, Justin, is at this stage and is able to complete a Med Rec easily without having to consciously think about each individual step in the process. While on practicum, continue to observe, reflect, and ask questions. What you gain from your practicum depends on how much effort you put into it. In Wanda’s case, she embraced the spirit of experiential learning, was open-minded to new learning opportunities, and demonstrated adaptability to the dynamic practice environment. She made the most of the rest of her practicum by being actively engaged in her own learning. When her practicum finally came to an end, she left with invaluable
experience, new skills and knowledge and a better understanding of what it means to be a pharmacist.

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

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).

Working with Displeased Patients

This video explains how to work with displeased patients using a complaint resolution method known as the BLAST technique.  

Video Timestamps:

o Believe 1:06
o Listen 1:43
o Apologize 2:28
o Satisfy 2:50 
o Thank 4:49

Hello my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. Have you ever encountered a displeased patient while on practicum? It can be an uncomfortable situation especially when emotions are running high. In this video, I’ll be talking about how to work with displeased patients using the BLAST technique. The “BLAST” technique is a complaint-resolution method that is helpful for addressing patients’ concerns or complaints. Let’s begin.BLAST stands for Believe, Listen, Apologize, Satisfy, and Thank. To explain how to use the BLAST method, let’s work through a scenario together:Natasha was completing her practicum at a community pharmacy when Bruce stormed up to the counter and demanded to speak with her.“You didn’t tell me these antidepressants could cause weight gain!” he said. “If I had known, I never would have taken them. I’ve gained 5 pounds in the past month and it’s all your fault.”Natasha is taken aback by this accusation, but she knows that responding angrily or defensively could escalate the situation and create adversarial feelings and mistrust between herself and the patient. When emotions are running high, it’s helpful to have the BLAST technique in your tool box to help you work through difficult situations.The first step in the BLAST technique is B, believe the patient. This refers to acknowledging and validating the patient’s experience and emotions even if there are parts of their story you don’t agree with. Even though it isn’t Natasha’s fault that Bruce gained weight, arguing this point would be counterproductive and Natasha needs to respond in a way that acknowledges his experience and validates his feelings. For example, she could say something like, “I’m sorry this happened, and I understand you feel you were not properly informed about this medication.” Accepting the patient’s concern as legitimate shows empathy and tells the patient that you hear them, you understand their concern, and you want to work with them.The L in BLAST stands for Listen. Active listening is necessary to help you discern the patient’s unmet expectations and resolve the issue. In this case, the patient is upset because he trusted the pharmacy to explain all the side effects of his medication and he feels that they failed to explain the risk of weight gain. Natasha allows the patient to fully express himself and demonstrates active listening by facing the patient with an open posture, making eye contact, and being attentive and empathetic.After Bruce is finished speaking, Natasha should restate his concerns in simple, non-medical terms. She might say something like this: “It sounds like you have some concerns about your antidepressant causing weight gain and you feel that important information may have been missed when the pharmacist counselled you on your medication last time. Is that correct?Going back to the BLAST technique, the A stands for apologize. Apologizing helps you to de-escalate the situation while opening up an avenue to provide more of an explanation without appearing defensive. Natasha might say: “Bruce, I’m sorry that this happened to you and it sounds like we could have done better. I’m open to talk about how we can address your concerns.”

Natasha’s response leads us into the next step, S, which stands for Satisfy. While you may be able to resolve certain concerns for the patient, there may be times when you are not able to give the patient what they want. It is helpful to address these things first so that patients have a clear idea of what you can and cannot do about their situation. It helps to manage their expectations at the onset of the conversation to prevent further misunderstandings. You might consider asking the patient what they want as it gives them some control over their situation and offers you more information about what they expect from you. If the patient proposes a reasonable solution, the problem may be solved without further conflict. If the patient proposes something that cannot be done, you can explain why their proposed option is not possible and try to provide them with other options.

When Natasha asks what would make Bruce feel better about the situation, Bruce states that he does not want other patients to experience what he went through. He suggests that Natasha explain every possible side effect, no matter how rare, to every patient that picks up a new drug. How do you think Natasha should respond to this? Is his request reasonable?

Natasha responds by saying: “Yes, I appreciate your concern and want to assure you that we also want what’s best for our patients. It may be overwhelming for some patients to be counselled on every potential side effect. Some side effects are rare and may not be applicable to all patients, so counselling is often focused on the most common side effects likely to be experienced. In your case, I could have provided you with additional written information with a comprehensive list of all potential side effects. If you want, I could provide that to you now and I’d also be happy to discuss options for managing the weight gain.”

Notice how Natasha started her answer with “yes”. Starting your sentences with positive words like this can help to show the patient that you’re on their side rather than arguing with them. Natasha explains why she can’t accept Bruce’s solution as it is and redirects him to other options. If possible, it is best to provide the patient with 2 or 3 of options. To ensure that you have resolved the issue to the patient’s satisfaction, ask the patient if they are satisfied or if they have any other concerns to talk about.

That brings us to the final step in the blast technique, Thanking the patient. Remember to thank the patient for taking the time to share their feedback and concerns with you. All feedback is an opportunity to reflect and identify how we can better serve the patients under our care

As a student, you should always inform your practice educator immediately about any complaints or concerns that are shared with you. This gives them a chance to step in and help you address the patient’s complaint and follow up with the patient.

In some situations, students may experience rudeness and criticism directed at them. If you ever feel unsafe or if you are losing control of the situation, it is okay to remove yourself and ask for help from your practice educator or another member of the team.

In summary, the BLAST technique can help you navigate through challenging patient interactions step by step. Through practice and over time, you will become more comfortable with handling these situations. The key is to stay calm and work alongside the patient to address their concerns.

I hope you found this video helpful.

Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum


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).

Introduction to Experiential Education

This video introduces the concept of experiential education, the practicum courses offered by the E2P PharmD program, and the office of experiential education.

Video Timestamps:
o What is Experiential Education? 0:29
o Types of Experiential Education 0:54
o Practicum Courses 2:44
o The Office of Experiential Education (OEE) 5:38

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. In this video I’ll be providing a brief introduction to experiential education. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s begin.Back when I was a pharmacy student, I aspired to become a competent and caring pharmacist. I studied the classroom material diligently and worked at the local pharmacy on weekends. While watching the pharmacists work, it made me wonder: Will I be able to do all of that when I graduate? How do I develop and practice those skills?Experiential education is “a teaching philosophy in which educators engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge and skills, clarify values, and develop one’s capacity to contribute to their communities” (Association for Experiential Education). In the context of pharmacy school, think of it as the “bridge” that connects theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to professional practice in the workplace. Let’s look at some examples.One type of experiential education is work-integrated learning, where learners tackle real tasks and solve real problems. Examples of this include outpatient and inpatient practicums. Unlike in a classroom environment, I was interacting with real patients. I got to apply my knowledge and skills and witness how my clinical decisions impacted my patients’ health and well-being. I also learned how to communicate and collaborate effectively with members of the team. Work-integrated learning helped me to become practice-ready.As some of you may already have pharmacy work experience, you might be wondering how practicum activities compare with pharmacy assistant duties? While there is overlap between the two, pharmacy assistants are involved in technical duties, such as ordering and filling prescriptions. They cannot provide medical advice or clinical services to patients. On the other hand, practicum activities are generally focused on learning about the pharmacist’s role and providing patient care which may include counselling patients, conducting medication reviews, and providing therapeutic recommendations. Activities are supervised by a practice educator or pharmacist and students engage in self-reflection and feedback.Another example of experiential education is community-engaged learning, which occurs when students partner with community organizations or community members to learn from their expertise. Often, these partner organizations run programs for historically, persistently, and systemically marginalized groups. My placement at a soup kitchen allowed me to see how people deal with barriers, and how difficult it is to overcome them. I saw and experienced their frustration, not at myself, but because they’re hungry and they feel helpless. It wasn’t until I talked to them that I began to understand their struggle. I was able to help them get through their toughest times.Now that we’ve discussed some types of experiential learning, let’s take a quick look at all the different practicum courses you’ll participate in!The Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program provides 42 weeks of hands-on experiential education to prepare students to fully take on their clinician role upon graduation.Starting with the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences, which are also known as IPPEs – PHRM 171 will take place the summer of year one in an outpatient setting. Students are introduced to the pharmacy workflow and the role of the pharmacist. Over the course of 4 weeks, you’ll become familiar with the various distribution activities and provide direct patient care.In second year, you’ll be enrolled in 3 courses: PHRM 270, 271 and 272.

PHRM 270, community service learning is a course where students will learn about broader social issues, such as the social determinants of health in your community, and gain awareness of their civic responsibilities through serving others. It differs from volunteering and clinical placements in that it puts equal focus on service, as well as self-refection and learning. Throughout second year, you’ll be engaging in activities that benefit the community.

During the summer of second year, you’ll participate in two practicum courses.

PHRM 271 will be your second exposure to outpatient practice. During this 4 week-practicum, students will be expected to provide care to more complex patients and handle more tasks and increasingly difficult situations compared to first year.

PHRM 272 is a 2-week introduction to inpatient practice. Students will become familiar with various aspects of inpatient practice within the hospital setting and participate in both observation and direct patient care activities.

In the summer of 3rd year, you’ll once again practice in an outpatient pharmacy, your final IPPE. PHRM 371 is an 8-week course allowing students to consolidate their knowledge and skills from the past three years of their pharmacy education. The duration of this course is longer than previous years to allow students to have more opportunities to follow up with their patients. Students will be expected to provide care to a wide array of patients with increasing complexity.

The IPPEs from Years 1 to 3 expose students to direct patient care activities and provide them with a clear understanding of pharmacy practice. As you transition out of IPPEs and into your 4th year practicums, the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences, there will be a shift in expectations. Students will be expected to apply, reinforce, and advance their knowledge and skills; and to provide competent care to patients with increasing complexity.

Throughout your 4th year, you will spend a total of 24 weeks in practice: 8 weeks at an outpatient setting for PHRM 471; 8 weeks at an inpatient setting for PHRM 472; and 8 weeks of selected experiences for PHRM 473. Examples of selected experiences may include outpatient settings such as travel medicine or compounding pharmacy; Inpatient settings such as critical care or antimicrobial stewardship; or Non-direct patient care settings such as academic teaching or drug and poison information. The practicum categories and opportunities available may vary from year to year.

So, who coordinates these experiences? The team at the Office of Experiential Education, also known as the OEE, are responsible for the academic and administrative leadership of experiential education. Their mission is to create meaningful learning opportunities for students to gain the knowledge, skills, and professional attributes needed to become exemplary pharmacists and leaders.

Let’s briefly go through the organization of this unit.

First up is the director who oversees the entire experiential education program and leads the team in determining and achieving various goals and initiatives within the four strategic imperatives, which are: (1) student experience, (2) practice educator experience, (3) experiential education sites and, (4) program advancement.

Next up is the administrative team, which includes the placement manager and senior program assistants. They coordinate practicum placements and schedules every year. They also liaise with various stakeholders such as UBC Health, UBC’s Safety & Risk Services, WorkSafeBC and our Health Authorities in setting up pre-practicum requirements that support your safety while on practicum. One example is your annual flu shot. The team can answer questions about scheduling and respond to general inquiries about experiential education.

Last but not least, we have the course who run the individual practicum courses. They are responsible for developing curricula, aligning with program and accreditation requirements, as well as ensuring that educational outcomes are achieved by the end of the program. In addition, they’re here to support your success and to discuss any aspect of your practicum. Whether it’s a question or concern or an experience you simply want to share, they are happy to connect with you.

Beyond the work of supporting students, the team as a whole is responsible for engaging with our external stakeholders. One example is onboarding, training, and providing continuing education to our practice educators. Formal processes are in place to ensure our sites and practice educators are prepared and well supported to host our learners. The team also facilitates the quality assurance of practice sites in order to meet accreditation and program requirements to ensure students have a robust and positive learning experience.

Through experiential learning, I was able to immediately apply knowledge from the didactic courses, receive timely feedback and coaching from practice educators and other team members, foster my lifelong learning attitude through regular practice of self-reflection, apply my knowledge and skills flexibly and creatively in different situations, and provide service to communities. As the scope of pharmacy practice is rapidly expanding, I want to encourage you to embrace the various opportunities that lie ahead of you. I’m grateful for experiential learning as it has informed my future practice and prepared me for my professional career.

Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!

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

Academic Concession

This video explains what to do in some of the most common scenarios requiring academic concession during UBC pharmacy practicums.

Video Timestamps:
o Sick Days 0:34
o Running Late 1:20
o Extenuating Circumstances 2:00
o Resources and Policies 3:14


Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. In this video, I’ll be talking about academic concession because life doesn’t always go as planned.

Our first story takes place in Squamish where Oliver has come down with the flu. He feels fatigued, achy, and feverish. Oliver is expected to be at his practicum site in the next hour, but he knows he should stay home and not risk spreading his infection to others. A million questions are running through his head: Who should I contact? Do I need to submit an academic concession request form? Will I have to make up missed time? Do I need a doctor’s note? If you get sick during your practicum, the first thing you should do is Evaluate your condition. Are you well enough to perform your duties safely and effectively? Is there a risk of infecting others? If you decide you are unfit to attend your practicum, notify your practice educator as soon as possible and let them know when you expect to return. Finally submit an academic concession request form as the faculty needs to be notified. All missed time due to absence or lateness must be made up. Once you have submitted an academic concession request form, a member from the office of experiential education, also known as the OEE, will evaluate your case and contact you with further instructions. You only need to provide a doctor’s note if it is requested by the faculty.

Now that we’ve covered sick days, let’s move on to another common scenario, running late. Jennifer’s car wouldn’t start this morning and now she is running late. She knows she needs to contact her practice site as soon as possible. If you are late, your practice educator will make note and you will be expected to make up all missed time. For example, if you arrive 10 minutes late, you may be required to stay 10 minutes later.

While I know that lateness can’t always be helped, it is important to reflect and ensure steps are taken to prevent lateness in the future. Punctuality is a program expectation and consistent demonstration of professional behaviour is required to pass the practicum course. You are expected to arrive on time at the beginning of each day, return from breaks on time, and be punctual for all scheduled activities.

Now let’s move on to more serious matters. Extenuating circumstances are instances where you are unable to meet practicum requirements due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event such as a serious illness or death of an immediate family member. In circumstances like these, please submit an academic concession request form and the OEE will be in contact with you.

So far, we’ve talked about circumstances that are unexpected and unavoidable: Getting sick, running late, losing a loved one… but how should you manage personal commitments like dentist appointments, family vacations, work, conferences or weddings?

Your practicum should take priority over all non-urgent activities. Most scheduling conflicts can be prevented by planning activities only after receiving your practicum location and schedule. Working at a job in addition to your practicum is not recommended as completing practicum activities will require much of your time and focus. Employment is not usually viewed as an acceptable reason for academic concession. You may need to have a conversation with your employer to ensure that you are not scheduled to work during practicum dates.

For fourth year students, make sure to schedule your Jurisprudence Exam on a date outside of your practicum blocks. The College of Pharmacists of BC offers multiple examination sittings each year.

For more information and additional resources please refer to the items listed on the screen.

I hope you found this video helpful.

Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!


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).

Placement Process

This video answers some of the most frequently asked questions about your pharmacy practicum and the OEE placement process.

Video Timestamps:
o Where can I be placed? 1:26
o How does the preference process work? 1:55
o What if I have an ongoing disability or special consideration? 4:32
o Can I make changes to my practicum? 5:36
o Am I going to be paid? 6:08

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can call me Tab. In this video I’ll be giving you a crash course on the practicum placement process. I’m happy to answer all of your questions like: Where will I be placed? How does the preference process work? What if I have an ongoing disability or special consideration? Can I make changes to my practicum? Am I going to be paid? There’s so much to think about so let’s dive right in.Based on your current year level and corresponding practicum course, you’ll get a chance to learn and practice in a number of settings including: community pharmacies, hospitals, primary care settings, long term care facilities, government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and more.
The only sites you won’t be placed at are community pharmacies where you’ve completed previous practicums or sites where there is a conflict of interest. For example, you won’t be placed at a site owned or managed by a relative or friend. Also, you won’t be placed at a pharmacy where you have been employed in the past, are currently employed, or have an arrangement for future employment. This is to avoid any potential bias during the assessment of your practicum activities and to ensure that the student-practice educator relationship is upheld. It is your responsibility to disclose any possible conflict of interest to the Office of Experiential Education, also known as the OEE.Now that we’ve discussed conflict of interest, the first thing most students want to know is where they can be placed. The short answer is ANYWHERE IN B.C. This is your chance to explore different areas of practice across the province so I would encourage all of you to embrace these opportunities and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Here’s a handy toolbox with some resources that might be helpful. You can also enter your preferences for your placement and Evalue will take them into consideration.That brings us to the question that students are always asking me. How does the preference process work? With hundreds of sites across B.C. and almost a thousand students to place, the goal is to take your preferences into consideration while also making the matching process as fair as possible. This can be complicated as the OEE is accountable to their stakeholders and must support the needs of practice educators. They volunteer their time to enrich the educational experience for students. Placements are subject to site and practice educator availability so, unfortunately, placement preferences cannot be guaranteed. A placement software, called E*Value, is used to match students with practicum sites. Depending on your practicum course, E*Value will give you the option to input your preferences for things such as time block, geographic location, practice setting, or community partner.Here’s the secret to our software’s algorithm works. It is a common misconception that your preferences are entered into a lottery system, where each student is randomly assigned a number and the one with the first selection gets their first choice. Then the next randomly selected student receives their highest choice so long as it is still available. This lottery system yields some very happy students and some very unhappy ones. Our software does not use this system as it only allows a few students receive their top choices. Instead, we analyze all student preferences simultaneously to optimize the match for everyone. This way, every student’s preference is taken into account, every student is treated equally and there really is no “luck of the draw”.In case you were wondering. Roughly 75-80% of each class gets placed within their top 5 geographic zones! That’s pretty good if you ask me.Now for some important tips about entering your preferences:1. Make sure that each of your preferences is unique, if you duplicate a choice, the system will ignore it!2. You can change your preferences as many times as you like before the deadline. No preferences can be entered once the deadline has passed

3. You are not at any advantage if you enter preferences before other students.

4. Entering preferences is NOT REQUIRED. If you leave the form blank, the system will assume you don’t have any preference and place you accordingly. That being said if you only enter 5 preferences and leave the rest of the form blank, E*value will treat it as if you have no preferences in the remaining blank spots and if it is not able to match you with any of your top 5 choices, you’ll be placed anywhere there is an available site.

5. Finally, once you have saved your preferences, you will see a “preferences saved” message. Make sure to save a screen shot of this as proof.

Does anyone have any questions?
Student: “Umm… Dr. Tablet? What if I have a situation that requires me to be in a specific area?”
Dr. Tab: “That’s a great question!”
If you have a situation like an ongoing medical condition or disability that impacts your learning, please register with UBC Centre for Accessibility as soon as possible so that the OEE can make appropriate arrangements. If you have a special consideration such as caring for a young child, please let us know. Students registered with UBC Centre for Accessibility and those who have applied for special consideration SHOULD also enter their preferences on E*value.

After entering your preferences, you’ll have to wait patiently for the results to be released. You may be wondering why it takes so long to release the schedule. As I mentioned before, placements depend on the availability of sites, practice educators, and community partners. I just want to take a moment to emphasize the sheer volume of practice sites and practicums we’re talking about here. The OEE needs to enter the availability of over 800 practice sites, ensure there are no conflicting schedules for each and every required practicum course, optimize placements based on all students’ preferences and manage special cases as needed. To be fair to all students, placement schedules are not released until every student has been placed.
Student: “Can I make changes to my practicum?”
Unfortunately, once you’ve received your practicum schedule, you won’t be able to request any changes due to the sheer complexity of the placement process. While changes to your practicum site cannot be requested, unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, and changes in site or practice educator availability may require some practicums to be changed. In these circumstances, the OEE will contact you directly with more information.
To avoid conflicts, please wait to receive your schedule before making travel plans.
Student: “Am I going to get paid?”
The short answer to this popular question is no. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to be the one to give you this news. In accordance with the Practice Education Guidelines for BC Remuneration and Reimbursement…
Students shall not receive any remuneration for their practicum experiences. Students are responsible for all transportation, housing, food, and any other personal expenses associated with their practicums. For me, I try to think of it as an investment in our futures.

You might feel better knowing we’re not the only ones. Your practicum is like a rite of passage in the healthcare field. Completion of an unpaid experiential practicum is a requirement for many health disciplines including medicine, nursing, and dentistry. Although travelling for practicum is a great adventure, I understand that traversing the province brings about its own set of challenges. Some of you have already started thinking about the logistics: money, transportation, housing, being apart from friends and family. I know it can be challenging at times but you’re not alone. The rest of team from the office of experiential education, or the OEE are here to support you.
I hope you found this video helpful.
Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Tablet and I hope you have a fanTABulous practicum!

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).

Professionalism (Part 2)

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

Video Timestamps:
o Accountability 0:16
o Honesty and Integrity 1:46
o Appropriate Attire and Appearance 2:20
o Punctuality 3:36

Hello, my name is Dr. Tablet, but you can just call me Tab. This is part 2 of our 3-part video series on professionalism. In this video, I’ll be talking about accountability, honesty and integrity, appropriate attire and appearance, and punctuality.Accountability is being responsible for your decisions and actions. For example, you are accountable for the health information you give to patients. If you tell a patient it is safe to take alcohol with their medication, you are responsible for making sure that information is correct. A common pitfall for students is trying to do tasks they are not completely familiar with in order to live up to what they think is expected of them. Being on practicum is when students begin to recognize how much they don’t know. It’s okay say you’re unsure as this is part of the learning experience.While learning involves stepping out of your comfort zone, it is important that you have a firm grasp on what you know and what you don’t know. Being accountable for your actions involves acknowledging when you are unsure of something and then working to gain the knowledge needed to ensure that the task is completed correctly. Remember, before providing any medical advice to patients, it must be reviewed by your practice educator. Being accountable also means taking responsibility when you have made a mistake. Imagine you were supposed to call a patient back by the end of the day, but for some reason, you did not, and your practice educator asks what happened.Which of the following responses demonstrates accountability?
a) I forgot but the phone call wasn’t really necessary.
b) Another student was talking to the patient too and I thought they were going to do it
c) I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to call yet. I’ll call them now since I realize it’s a time sensitive matter.

Option C is the best response as you apologized, took ownership for what happened and took steps to resolve it.

Next let’s talk about integrity.

Integrity means acting honestly and with strong moral principles. This could mean being on task even when no one is watching, submitting original work with proper referencing, disclosing any real, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest, and being proactive in acknowledging and rectifying errors, including lapses in professionalism. For example, imagine you overlooked discussing a drug interaction with a patient. The right thing to do in this situation is to call the patient as soon as possible and let them know that you forgot to tell them about something.

First impressions are important and so it makes sense for us to talk about attire and appearance for your upcoming practicum.

Your appearance is an important part of your professional identity. From a patient’s perspective, your appearance speaks to your ability to provide quality care. Patients are observant and may form an opinion of you based on your appearance. Patients will even notice minor details like pen stains on your lab coat, or even a wrinkled shirt. They may not tell you directly but might be less willing to trust you based on what they see on the outside.

Take a look at these two students. Which one looks more approachable? Knowledgeable? How about Trustworthy? This is why it’s so important for students to present themselves professionally in appearance as well as in all other areas. Remember, while you are on practicum, you are representing the Faculty and UBC. Make sure to double check with your practice site to find out what their dress code is as the dress code policy may differ from site to site. Here are some examples of appropriate attire (see examples on screen). And make sure to wear your name badge with the title student pharmacist. Your practice site will usually require you to wear a short, clean, and pressed white lab coat. Remember to introduce yourself as a student and do not misrepresent yourself.

The last thing on our list is punctuality.

It is important for you to be on time for all practicum activities. This means arriving early to ensure you are ready to work at your scheduled shift time, returning from your breaks on time, and remaining at the practice site for all scheduled hours. Being punctual also applies to completing and submitting all assignments on time.

Thanks for watching Part 2 of the professionalism video series. Please watch Part 3 where you’ll have the chance to apply what you’ve learned. I’m 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).