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Finding the Right Balance: A Nationwide Study of Student Pharmacist Exposure to and Perceptions of Nonsterile Compounding

Author(s):  Fredrickson Mary E, Belcher Faith G, Del Vecchio Kamryn N, Galleher Miranda N, Jugo Leila S, Gothard M David, Pallotta Raneem H, Pallotta Victor A Jr

Issue:  May/Jun 2022 - Volume 26, Number 3
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Abstract:  Nonsterile compounding is essential to meeting the individualized drug therapy needs of patients. While compounding education is a required component of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula, student training varies notably in scope, duration, and assessment across programs. Variations in training, coupled with a potential lack of emphasis on the importance of nonsterile compounding, may impact pharmacy students’ interest in nonsterile compounding, their perceptions of its importance in pharmacy practice, and their pursuit of compounding careers. The objective of this study was to assess pharmacy student exposure to nonsterile compounding and determine its impact on their perceptions of nonsterile compounding and its applicability to their future careers. Faculty members at colleges and schools of pharmacy within the U.S. were asked to distribute cross-sectional surveys to pharmacy students in the Class of 2022. Surveys collected demographic information and addressed the following: nonsterile compounding experience; exposure to nonsterile compounding within PharmD curricula; and perceptions and expectations of nonsterile compounding. Tests of associations between nominally measured and ordinally measured survey questions were performed via Pearson chi-square tests. Associations between two ordinally measured questions were performed via Kendall’s tau tests. In total, 252 students completed the survey. Numerous factors were associated with student perceptions and expectations of nonsterile compounding, including paid work experience in a compounding pharmacy, the number of semesters inclusive of nonsterile compounding education, and the perceived quality of didactic and experiential training in nonsterile compounding. It is imperative that pharmacy students receive nonsterile compounding education that not only ensures appropriate skill development but instills confidence and emphasizes the vital role of compounding pharmacists in patient care. Additional research is needed to determine how best to optimize compounding education to ensure students have sufficient exposure and opportunity for skill development and assessment.

Related Keywords: Mary E. Fredrickson, PharmD, BCPS, Faith G. Belcher, PharmD Candidate, Kamryn M. Del Vecchio, PharmD Candidate, Miranda N. Galleher, PharmD Candidate, Leila S. Jugo, PharmD Candidate, M. David Gothard, MS, Raneem H. Pallotta, PharmD Candidate, Victor A. Pallotta Jr., PharmD Candidate, nonsterile compounding, pharmacy education, compounding curriculum, Doctor of Pharmacy students, compounding training, survey study, extracurricular training


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