Unique training prepares pharmacy students for real life scenarios


July 24, 2018

donnie sullivan teaching
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The College of Pharmacy is committed to ensuring students are ready for any situation that may come their way. From acing exams, to counseling patients and even being prepared in case of a robbery.

In an effort to help students prepare for the unexpected on their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE), the college recently implemented a Robbery and Burglary Training for its first and second year students.

“We want to make sure our students are prepared for whatever may happen while they are out on rotation,” Donnie Sullivan, professor of clinical pharmacy, said. “The goal for these trainings is to give them the tips and tools they need to stay safe if they end up in a situation like a robbery.”

While third and fourth year students receive training before they begin their rotations, 2018 is the first year younger students have been introduced to this topic. During the hour-long trainings, Sullivan used simulations, videos and case studies to show students what could happen during a pharmacy robbery and how to react in the safest way possible. He roleplayed with the students to demonstrate what different types of robberies could look like, from being slipped a note to being held at gun point.

“You don’t think as a student that something like this could happen while you’re out on rotation getting hands-on experience,” Daniel Senger, a first-year PharmD student, said. “I’m thankful we are receiving this type of training and information early on in our careers.”

Moving forward, the college will continue to host these trainings for their students and keep them best prepared for whatever may come their way. Responding to the training in Pharmacy Times, a former member of law enforcement notes that trainings on this topic should be more widespread across colleges of pharmacy.

“I had never before heard of a school of pharmacy offering this kind of program, one that could help future pharmacists and their customers survive such an event,” said Cmdr. John Burke, a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, the past president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and the president and cofounder of the International Health Facility Diversion Association. “Kudos to Ohio State. I would strongly suggest that other universities with pharmacy schools follow suit, and provide students with these practical skills.”