ENGAGING PHARMACY STUDENTS: EXPERIENCING VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE CLASSROOM AND CONNECTING GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES WHO NEED PHARMACOLOGICAL ADVICE WITH MOBILE APPS
Pharmacy students in the 21st century are used to learn with learning technologies like notebook computer, virtual reality devices and mobile applications (August, Miranda & Serag-Bolos, 2015). Pharmacy practices go beyond drug dispense or prescription check. More importantly, it is about connecting patients and continuously performing medication review because patients’ health condition changes across time (van de Pol, et al. 2019). This case study reports a pharmacy educator redesign the curriculum such that students can gain both cognitive knowledge and the humanistic side of pharmacy practice through virtual simulation and connecting vulnerable people in the community.
Pharmacy students in Hong Kong have much exposure to the use of mobile for communication with peers, and they are highly encourage to use mobile applications to find drug information and useful and reliable medical references with medical mobile applications. As they have very limited opportunity to know the communication and consultation process with doctors and patients, it would be a valuable experience if they can experience it through immersing in the virtual reality devices using their mobile phones or notebook computers as a preparation for clinical internship. In addition, a mobile application for e-health support for patients is under development, and it gathers health records of individual patients, information on drugs being prescribed and the pharmacist, and medical appointment data. These students may build a holistic conceptual understanding on medical support for patients from hospital to being discharged in communities.