Benefits of Utilizing Pharmacy Learners in an Inpatient Anticoagulation Education Service

  • Carrie Baker Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Emily Ghassemi Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, SRAHEC Family Medical Center
  • Riley Bowers Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Keywords: Counseling, Patient Care, Anticoagulants, Experiential Education


Objective.  The 2019 Hospital National Patient Safety Goal 03.05.01 indicates education regarding anticoagulant therapy should be provided to patients and families. Previous studies assessing pharmacist and pharmacy student involvement in oral anticoagulation (OAC) education services have focused on patient-related outcomes, with limited emphasis on the additional benefit to the student. The purpose of this study was to assess the benefit of pharmacy student involvement in anticoagulation education services both clinically and through their perceptions of participating in the service.

Methods. This study assessed students’ knowledge and perceptions of providing OAC education before and after a 1-month learning experience, where students provided counseling 2-3 days per week. The primary endpoint was comparing each student’s pre- and post-rotation OAC education knowledge assessments. Secondary endpoints included percentage change in knowledge between the prospective cohort and a historical comparator group, perceived benefit of student participation in the service, percentage of patients able to recall counseling, and number of interventions made related to OAC therapy.

Results. A total of 35 pharmacy students were included in this prospective study with 277 patients receiving counseling from June 2020 through March 2021. A total of 32 pharmacy students had assessment data available for retrospective comparison. The mean pharmacy student score within the prospective cohort improved significantly (21.5%) between the pre-assessment and post-assessment. Change in pre- and post-rotation knowledge assessment was also significantly higher in the prospective cohort compared to the retrospective group. Additionally, students gained confidence in their counseling abilities and OAC knowledge through participation.

Conclusion. Pharmacy student participation within anticoagulation education services significantly improved student knowledge and confidence in their counseling abilities. It also allowed for over 70% of patients to successfully recall pertinent information about their anticoagulants over a week later and improved patient care through dosing interventions.


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Received 2021-05-22
Accepted 2021-07-06
Published 2021-07-23
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research