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New ACPE Standards Impact Preceptors

The following information regarding ACPE's new educational standards has been provided by Kim Broedel-Zaugg, PhD, R.Ph., Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Ohio Northern University.

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) adopted new educational standards for 2007. In these new standards, ACPE requires colleges of pharmacy to implement Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) in addition to the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs, a.k.a. "rotations"). ACPE has also defined the number of hours spent in both IPPEs (300 hours) and APPEs (1440 hours). Although most Colleges of Pharmacy already had some sort of introductory pharmacy experiences in their curriculum, the hours have now been more specifically defined by ACPE. ACPE has specified that the 300 introductory hours must involve direct patient care and the majority of these hours will be spent in community and institutional settings. As with APPEs, students cannot be compensated for their 300 hours of IPPEs. Pharmacy schools in Ohio and across the country are modifying their curriculums as necessary to accommodate the most recent guidelines.

Due to the IPPE requirements, the Colleges of Pharmacy will be asking that even more students be granted the opportunity to "rotate" through your site. These additional students may be younger, less experienced and less knowledgeable than in the past. These IPPEs hold great potential. Preceptors and mentors will be challenged to stay current as fresh, young minds expand their knowledge base. Pharmacy networking and recruitment will be at an all time high due to the additional students. But most importantly, the profession will advance. Students learn best by doing, so this extra time required for "on the job" training will serve to produce pharmacy graduates that are more skilled, better prepared and more experienced.

Each preceptor will need to consider how it will handle the additional student requests. Every pharmacist will need to determine how to balance the stress of everyday workflow with the time demands of students. But if you have a passion for pharmacy and the progression of this profession; your help, time, patience and experience is needed. Colleges and preceptors will need to work together so that Pharmacy Practice experiences "introductory and advanced" can become building blocks for these students.

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