CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: THE ROLE OF PARTNERSHIP
Universidade do Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
One of the main challenges in lifelong learning and teaching is to create and deliver subjects which enhance scholarly pursuits on the contemporary needs. In the past decades some paradigms have been changed and the roles of health professionals were redefined and reoriented, such as pharmacists. By taking direct responsibility for individual patients medicine-related needs, pharmacists must be adequately documented and have the opportunity to acquire the new knowledge and skills required for their new role. To do this they must become life-long learners, one of the roles of the new pharmacist. Another major challenge is ensuring the alliance and the consultation with other areas of healthcare (following the international guidelines of International Pharmaceutical Federation in partnered with UNESCO). Nevertheless, in some countries, such as Portuguese case, there is a mandatory regulation and government´s regulators who evaluate the continuing professional development programs; in fact, each continuing professional development activity is subject to a standards-based evaluation of its quality standards. These encompass the definition of learning objectives, programme content and educators, applicability and relevance to practice, among others. This work is under the scope of acquiring new skills and knowledge in continuing education.
We sought to analyze the effect of a structure and accredited, midwife-led education program on the graduate pharmacists’ knowledge of medicines during pregnancy and its impact on their continuing education.
This study adopted a case study longitudinal research design that involved two waves of data collection with the use of a mixed methods approach for triangulation purposes. All elements of the sample completed a questionnaire to assess their knowledge of using drugs in pregnancy. Teaching sessions were then delivered to pharmacists by a midwife, author of the accredited course. A further second identical questionnaire was completed by the sample. The same group also took part of semi-structured interviews to assess the impact in their comprehensive education development and achievements of competencies in lifelong learning.
Results and implications for the practice
The pharmaceutical knowledge increased significantly (p < 0.001) after participation in the course “Use of Drugs in Pregnancy”. The average results of the pre and post-test range from 43 to 91 percent with the knowledge increased significantly by 47 pp. It is thus, safe to say that the course has a major, if not central, importance in the learning objectives of organized and continuing education. Furthermore, high levels of acceptance and satisfaction of course were found among attendees. The acceptance is explicitly expressed in the semi-structure interviews data, and also by the large number of participants. Attendees indicated the importance of this form of learning in their continuing education process. The present study was not designed as an experiment with a control group but using a pre and post-test in a real-life setting. This means that we cannot rule out the possibility that knowledge increase may result from other sources. However, the naturalistic setting contributes to increased ecological validity.
Keywords: Pharmacists, Drugs, Pregnancy, Continuing Professional Development, Partnership.