THE USE OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING METHODOLOGY IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE MARKETING TOOLS TO BE USED AT THE COMMUNITY PHARMACY
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) methodology has been used in the subject of Management, Planning, Legislation and Deontology of the Degree in Pharmacy of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, in order to make the students face situations that will happen to them in their professional future as community pharmacists. Community pharmacists are responsible for dispensing and distributing medicines and they must work within legal and ethical guidelines to ensure the correct and safe supply of medical products to the patients. Therefore, they are involved in maintaining and improving people's health by providing advice and information, as well as supplying prescription medicines. However, pharmacists also sell over-the-counter medical products and para-pharmacy products. In this sense, the work in a community pharmacy requires the development of some significant aptitudes such as: good communication skills in order to listen carefully to what patients say, as well as be able to explain complex and sometimes sensitive information to the general public, the ability to work with others in a multidisciplinary team, a methodical approach to work and an understanding of business principles.
The present work explains the experience that we have had over the last two years when applying this methodology in one of the thematic blocks of the subject related to the acquisition of different tools regarding to Marketing and Merchandising, and their application to the Community Pharmacy daily work. Importantly, this educational action has not only been focused on achieving specific competences related to this topic, but also, to the improvement of some transversal competences such as team work maturity, information search, ability to communicate orally within the academic standards and the capacity to debate and make conclusions, among others. Students formed stable groups at the beginning of the course and they worked together in most of the proposed activities. Interactive questionnaires were designed in order to be used in combination with the rapid response devices (clickers), students were provided with videos (flipped teaching activity), and expository activities and several reports were proposed over a three weeks time. As mentioned, the work in teams was promoted and importantly, the effort done by each student was vital for the team resolution of the final complex situation. The evaluation of the activities within this thematic block was formative in some cases and accumulative in others. Specifically, students had to present a group deliverable, respond to an individual self-assessment test, work on two brief oral presentations, respond to two individual assessment tests and finally, work on a more extensive group presentation.
In general, the evaluation showed highly satisfactory results. In addition, great involvement of the students in all the activities was achieved which made the development of the classes much more active and dynamic.