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Pharmacy Students Participate in Patient Counseling Competition

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Patient Counseling Competition was held in ONU's pharmacy building on Friday, Jan. 9. A large number of pharmacy students counseled mock patients in 15-minute increments throughout the day, competing for the grand prize of an all-expenses-paid trip to the National APhA-ASP meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in April.

Catherine Taylor, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Powell, Ohio, took part in the competition, and said she thought the experience would have been beneficial to pharmacy students in all years.

The drug students counseled their patients on "is generally something common that you see in the retail pharmacies on a day-to-day basis," Taylor said. "So any pharmacy student should have been able to at least moderately counsel the patient."

"Since the drug itself requires less drug knowledge," she said, " it allowed for the participant to spend more time talking to the patient about special application techniques, and really showcase the student's ability to interact with the patient."

Taylor said participating students were able to browse through reference materials for five minutes before beginning patient counseling in order to better prepare themselves.

As a fifth-year student, Taylor felt her past counseling experiences prepared her for this competition. But she said lack of experience shouldn't be a deterrent for students in the future.

"Even if you don't think you have enough experience to win, it's always a great opportunity to practice for both the graded counseling you have to perform, as well as for real life situations," she said.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the end of January. Along with the grand prize, second and third pace finishers will receive cash prizes, and fourth through thirteenth-place finishers will receive free textbooks from APhA.