An initiative to improve the professional communication skills of first-year pharmacy students

McKauge, L. M., Emmerton, L. M., Bond, J. A., Steadman, K., Green, W., Sweep, T. and Cole, M. (2009). An initiative to improve the professional communication skills of first-year pharmacy students. In: Proceedings of the 32nd HERDSA Annual Conference. The Student Experience, Darwin, Australia, (284-295). 6-9 July, 2009.

Author McKauge, L. M.
Emmerton, L. M.
Bond, J. A.
Steadman, K.
Green, W.
Sweep, T.
Cole, M.
Title of paper An initiative to improve the professional communication skills of first-year pharmacy students
Conference name The Student Experience
Conference location Darwin, Australia
Conference dates 6-9 July, 2009
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 32nd HERDSA Annual Conference
Place of Publication Milperra, NSW
Publisher Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Publication Year 2009
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISSN 0155-6223
Start page 284
End page 295
Total pages 12
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Competence in communication skills is essential for pharmacists, and is assessed in all years of the BPharm program at The University of Queensland, Australia. Students of non-English-speaking background often demonstrate communication difficulties in academic assessments. This project aimed to determine the outcomes of extra-curricular tailored communication training on academic performance and self-evaluated competence. First-year students were identified based on academic performance and invited to participate in tailored tuition by an independent provider for two hours per week during Weeks 1-8 of Semester 2, 2008. Workshops involved self-assessment and needs-driven communication exercises based on pharmacy scenarios. School-based mentoring was offered from Weeks 9-12. Outcome measures included academic performance and self evaluations of communication competency. 54 students attended the first workshop (42 from 54 identified academically, 12 self-identified). 80% of these attended at least half of the workshops. The most common communication challenges were self identified as colloquialisms and pronunciation. Greater attendance was associated with higher achievement in communication-related and unrelated assessments. Moreover, 30 of the 54 academically-identified students had been identified 'at risk' of failing the final oral assessment; only four failed, three of whom had poor workshop attendance. Self-evaluated improvements in competence were notable. Early introduction of this initiative is ideal. Students were receptive tot he extra-curricular tailored assistance in communication skills, and aware of the emphasis on oral assessment through the BPharm program. The protocol for identifying students is suitable for further application. The future of this initiative will be determined by feedback, academic indicators and funding.
Subjects 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Keyword communication
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 17 Mar 2010, 15:18:41 EST by Ms Diana Cassidy on behalf of School of Pharmacy