Tracing prescription journey: a qualitative exploration of an interprofessional simulated learning activity

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The majority of prescribing in the NHS occurs within the community. Close collaboration between GPs and pharmacists is required to minimize relatively common medication and dispensing errors [1]. Despite the need to work collaboratively, medical and pharmacy training is often unilateral [2]. Inter-professional education (IPE) and simulation-based education (SBE) are teaching approaches widely used by healthcare professionals to foster collaborative practice. Researchers at QUB have developed an innovative IPE activity amongst medical and pharmacy undergraduate students, aiming to develop the knowledge of their roles in prescribing, dispensing and patient education.

1) Explore the impact of an SBE activity on students’ attitudes towards IPE
2) Ascertain student perceptions on the value of this prescribing SBE activity and how well it supports their core teaching and mentorship skills.

Design and Setting
Interprofessional groups of Year 3 Pharmacy and Year 4 medical students, took part in a SBE community prescribing activity. This focused on the IPE team clinically assessing, diagnosing, writing prescriptions and dispensing medication(s) for a simulated patient (in a simulated practice and pharmacy setting).

Using a questioning guide, 4 focus groups of medical and pharmacy students were used to explore their attitudes towards the simulated IPE activity. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed iteratively using template analysis [3].

Four main themes emerged from the analysis: 1) IPE simulation activity: unlocking new learning experiences; 2) patient centred practice: a shared understanding; 3) professional skills: explored and shared and 4) professional roles: a journey of discovery, respect and stereotypes

Students broadened their knowledge of each other’s expertise in skills and clinical roles while working together. Furthermore, students valued the opportunity to strengthen co-operations with their future colleagues with the shared goal of improving patient centred care.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2017
EventIrish Network of Medical Educators, Annual Scientific meeting: INMED - Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 28 Feb 201701 Mar 2017


ConferenceIrish Network of Medical Educators, Annual Scientific meeting


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