by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer
Bethany Sibbitt, a graduate pharmacy student from Danbury, CT, will be traveling to Los Angeles to compete in the national level of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’s (APhA-ASP) Patient Counseling Competition, held at the APhA’s annual national meeting.
The road to the national level began with a local competition amongst several Cedarville graduate students. Before the event, students were given the profiles of several potential medications so they could familiarize themselves with important counseling points and prepare for possible patient questions.
On the day of the competition, the contestants received a patient case study and were told which of the medications they were to use in their session. After five minutes of preparation, students were to counsel the patient, answer any questions the patient had about the medication and do so in a professional manner. Counseling sessions were filmed and competitors were graded based on their professional competency as well as their ability to communicate clearly and effectively with the patient.
Sibbitt won the competition and will travel to compete in the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition. She and several other students will represent Cedarville University in various capacities at the national meeting.
The national competition will work in a similar way to how the local competition was run. Students will be given a set of medications to prepare for and will then be given a particular situation to counsel within on the day of the event.
Cedarville’s pharmacy curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for practical situations like these. “Our program prepares students to actively engage patients in taking their medications accurately and safely,” said Aleda Chen, Ph.D. and co-advisor for Cedarville’s APhA-ASP chapter. “From the beginning of the professional program, we have our students learning the best methods for communicating with a diverse set of patients.” Because the competition is designed to reflect a real-world pharmacy counseling environment, students must be ready for any number of different situations.
Sibbitt will take the skill-set she has developed through Cedarville’s program to a full weekend in Los Angeles, where the meeting and competition will be held. As the president of Cedarville’s chapter of APhA-ASP, Sibbitt will be kept busy throughout the weekend conference. In addition to her time spent in competition, she and other Cedarville students will accept the charter for Cedarville’s chapter of the organization, participate in policy development sessions, professional networking, career preparation events, education sessions and other student activities.
“I'm honored and thrilled to represent Cedarville at the national level,” Sibbitt said. It’s especially exciting as this will be the first time our chapter has been represented at the national meeting.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.