Integrating ethics into pharmacy practice

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King, Michelle
Hattingh, Laetitia
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2010
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The University of Sydney
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Abstract

Current competency standards for pharmacists include 'Practise pharmacy in a professional and ethical manner'. In pharmacy programs, the prevailing method of teaching ethics is with problem-based learning involving dispensing and counselling practicals and scenarios from practice. This was the approach initially taken when developing and implementing courses in the Pharmacy programs at Griffith University. Later, needs assessments, observation and feedback were used to identify where modifications to this approach would improve students' understanding and performance of ethical decision making. These modifications were based on Kohlberg's stages of moral development and Bebeau's principles of ethical decision making. Ethical sensitivity is taught using lectures and practicals where students indentify and classify issues. Later teaching emphasises moral reasoning using a Socratic approach with the emphasis moving from reasoning to judgement over time. In their 4th and 5th years students are exposed to actual cases, as well as complex practice situations where they are required to demonstrate a robust decision making process, make an appropriate choice and implement it. In their final semester students are exposed to legal and ethical concepts that, while not central to pharmacy, influence it. In addition to this the School of Pharmacy adopted a 'Professional practice development process' to support the development of professional behaviour and practise. The success of this strategy has been validated by feedback from preceptors, indicating that 99% of 4th year students acted professionally, and employers of graduates, which rated the graduate on 'Demonstrates a knowledge of ethics, ethical standards and social responsibility' between competent and exceptional.

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Proceedings of the 17th Annual AAPAE Conference
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)
Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
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