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Students prescribe medication online

The School of Pharmacy and the Learning Engagement Team have collaborated to create an innovative online learning unit, which offers Curtin’s pharmacy students the opportunity to practise prescribing medication to residents of aged-care facilities.

Curtin Care is an innovative online learning unit available to pharmacy students.
Curtin Care is an innovative online learning unit available to pharmacy students.

Practising pharmacists who frequently visit aged-care residences often cannot conduct interviews with the residents themselves. Instead, they are given access to a database to review documents and information about individual residents to determine the appropriate medication they should receive.

As these databases can vary greatly between residences, it is important for pharmacy students to experience using such systems before working in an aged-care context.

Curtin Care, originally modelled on the resident databases found in age-care residences, was developed to meet this need. It gives pharmacy students experience with working and prescribing medication in these very specific conditions.

In 2015, Madelon Heperi, the Learning Media Developer for the faculty Learning Engagement Team – Health Sciences (FLET-HS) was approached by Dr Andrew Stafford, School of Pharmacy, to create a simulation of one of these databases.

The aim of the simulation was to provide a framework for students to practise prescribing medication to simulated (case study) residents. Working closely with Dr Stafford, Madelon developed the original Curtin Care simulation using Adobe Captivate. The final product was then embedded within a Blackboard unit, and online access provided to students.

With the success of the first framework, FLET-HS was approached by the School of Pharmacy to further refine the Curtin Care simulation and increase the number of resident case studies available to students.

Milo Radunski, the current Learning Media Developer for the FLET-HS team, worked on converting the simulation to a JavaScript-based web package to enable greater academic control over the content of the simulation.

The updated Curtin Care simulation now allows for a more dynamic approach where academics have the ability to add and remove residents with ease, as well as edit or add to the documents relating to each resident.

Written by Milo Radunski

Learning Media Developer
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Health Sciences