Pharmacy students spread message of medication safety at local elementary school


March 12, 2018

Student leading medication session
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When it comes to teaching children about medication safety, students from the College of Pharmacy are hitting the streets and heading into elementary school classrooms. They are dedicated to educating kids now to make a difference later in life.

In 2015, the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) launched its Over the Counter (OTC) Medicine Safety Program, a national patient care project. Through OTC Medicine Safety Campaign, APhA-ASP chapters educate 5th and 6th graders on reading medicine directions, following OTC label directions, proper measurement of medicine, safe storage and disposal practices and consulting with a parent or guardian before taking medications. In 2015-2016 alone, more than 36,000 kids across the country were educated about the safe use and storage of over-the-counter medicines.

Many of our PharmD students are using teachings from the campaign, as well as teachings from Katie’s Kids and Be Smart, to educate local elementary school students about medication safety. In their adapted program, students from the College of Pharmacy lead various stations, educating children on the importance of respecting medication. Some of the stations students can visit include ‘Medication vs. Candy’, ‘Safety Tips’, ‘Medication Compounding’, and ‘Who are Pharmacists?’.

“Our ultimate goal is to make these sessions fun and interactive,” Alexa Putt, PharmD student, said. “We want the kids to walk away with new information and an understanding of medication safety.”

In addition to their work with APhA-ASP, students also partner with Generation Rx to further their educational reach. Each May, they work together to put on a week-long event where College of Pharmacy students travel to different schools in Ohio and present on topics related to medication safety.

“These education sessions open doors to the profession of pharmacy for these students,” Putt said. “It feels good to hear the kids say that they understand the importance of medication and that they want to be a pharmacist one day.”

For more information on the OTC Medication Safety Campaign, check out the national website.