Top prize in treating patients right
By Jan Jarvis
UNT System College of Pharmacy student Mark Herndon had 10 minutes to research the drug that had been prescribed for a patient with Crohn’s disease.
He spent his time focused on the patient and how he could make sure the man took the drug properly. When he sat down with the patient, he knew exactly what to say to him.
“What’s most important is to establish good rapport,” Herndon said. “It’s about how you convey the information and make sure the patient understands it that matters.”
Herndon’s patient-centered approach recently won him first place in the Texas Pharmacy Association’s Patient Counseling Competition in San Antonio. The goal of the competition, established in 2005, is to give students the opportunity to practice in true-to-life circumstances.
Volunteers stand in for real patients and students are judged by a panel of pharmacists who look at how well they counsel each person.
As a fourth-year student completing rotations and an intern at a community pharmacy, Herndon already had lots of experience counseling patients in both academic and real-life settings.
“I think the key to successful counseling – and the reason I was able to excel in this competition – is the fact that I genuinely enjoy talking to people,” he said. “Patient counseling, at its core, is a conversation.”
The competition tests students on skills they’ll use in their career, said Jennifer Fix, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy.
“Counseling the patient is an integral part of the pharmacist’s service, whether it is in a clinic setting, hospital setting or a retail pharmacy in the community,” Dr. Fix said. “This competition helps student pharmacists appreciate the art of communicating drug-related information in a way that patients can understand and act upon. “
Herndon began working at a pharmacy while completing a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. He planned to pursue medical school after he finished his master’s but realized that a career in pharmacy aligned with his interests.
By Rita Patterson, Department of Family Medicine I was attending an event at work when I learned that my husband, Les, had crashed his all-terrain vehicle near our Weatherford home. The ATV rolled onto his leg, crushing it. He hollered for help until a neighbor heard him and called 911. The...Read more
Jun 20, 2018
By Jan Jarvis Charles and Teresa Gonzales know what dementia does to a person. The Grand Prairie couple has lived through it with both of their mothers. “The first thing I noticed was my mother kept asking the same question over and over,” Charles said. “She’d ask somethin...Read more
Jun 19, 2018
By Alex Branch For almost 50 years, UNT Health Science Center has preserved two scuffed bowling pins. The vintage pins recall a throwback to the 1950s and 60s, when people in vertically striped shirts and rented suede shoes flocked to bowling alleys on Friday nights. But these pin...Read more
Jun 18, 2018
By Jeff Carlton A UNT Health Science Center team has upgraded and enhanced a national database for cold cases involving missing people and unidentified remains to offer more powerful investigative tools for criminal justice agencies and families searching for their loved ones. Called...Read more
Jun 13, 2018