The leadership challenge is a prompt given by the national Phi Lambda Sigma chapter every year to inspire collegiate chapter projects. Every year the Upsilon Chapters builds a unique experience around the prompt to strengthen the talents, skills, and effectiveness of leaders in the college of pharmacy.
Pharmacy students promoting Patient safety
UHCOP PLS decided to focus on the needs of our local Houston community and discuss the safe disposal of unused opioid medications, as well as safe needle disposal. We will reach our target audience through three main methods.
First, we aimed to educate the pharmacy student about proper needle and medication disposal. With the help of UHCOP faculty and PLS alumni, we have developed an online workshop where students will watch videos about both topics, take a quiz, and then receive credit toward their community service learning requirements. This establishes competency to go out into the community and educate both patients and providers about the proper needle and medication disposal.
Second, we aimed to educate our health care community. Armed with this knowledge, students can go out into the community and spread awareness. To aid in this process, we have developed pamphlets and posters for proper needle disposal and for proper medication disposal, with emphasis on opioids. These materials are currently in English, but could easily be translated to Spanish, Vietnamese, or Chinese. Students will be encouraged to educate other healthcare professionals, as well as patients when they go to health fairs, rotations, or other events of similar nature.
Third, we aimed to use social media as an educational tool. Through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, we will educate the general patient population on the importance and methods of proper drug and needle disposal. This will be expressed through flyers, info-graphics, a video made by PLS members, and more.
Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Pharmacy Practice
It is vital that all health disciplines to work together in a collaborative manner in order to provide exceptional, evidence-based care for enhanced patient outcomes. Pharmacists have proven to be a valuable component of the healthcare team, regardless of practice setting. It is imperative that student pharmacists continue incorporating themselves as active members of the patient care team in order to enhance patient outcomes, decrease healthcare costs, avoid medication errors, and influence the future of healthcare.
Know Yourself. Know Your People. Know Your Stuff
The participants engaged in various activities that were designed to discover their inner leader. Dr. Vi Doan and Dr. Jessica Stover spoke to attendees about the importance of understanding their own leadership styles before interacting with others. Situational role play was used to encourage students to practice effective communication with their colleagues. A final activity divided students into groups tasked to build a replica of a master model, but only one member may view the master model.
Leading Forward: Reflect on Why, Learn How, and Discover What You Can Accomplish
Based on Simon Sinek's TED talk, the Golden Circle was used as a strategy to launch students forward into their careers. Dr. Tami Johnson, Residency Program Director at MD Anderson, who presented "Leading Forward By Knowing the Past, Present and Future." This was followed by a networking break in which students were encouraged to engage with practitioners to inquire about their career goals and how they got there. During dinner, Justin Hudman, Senior Director of Public Affairs for the Texas Pharmacy Association, closed the meeting with a discussion on the importance of advocacy in our profession. The result was an enhanced sense of what it means to be a pharmacist and why we must persevere in the fight ahead for provider status.