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Upon completion of the chapter and exercises, the student pharmacist will be able to

  1. Explain the role that drug information, drug literature evaluation, and professional writing play in establishing a good foundation for a pharmacy professional.

  2. Discuss the modified systematic approach to drug information and how it impacts on developing a good search strategy.

  3. Specify the differences among primary, secondary, and tertiary literature.

  4. Identify essential secondary and tertiary literature used in answering drug information inquiries.

  5. Understand the basic concepts of drug literature evaluation and be able to apply them to an article.

  6. Recognize and apply key concepts in professional writing.

Once the family has been convinced to treat the patient X with antibiotics, they are concerned with the kind of antibiotics that will be used. They have heard that some antibiotics can make a patient lose their hearing and that is the last thing they want. They are also concerned that being on so many antibiotics will make the patient have resistance to their effect and get further or even worse infections.

This is your first day on the ICU ward. What do you need to do first? This family is asking for drug information?

You have reviewed the very specific chart note written in a SOAP format by the student pharmacist who completed the student practice experience last month. You now have an understanding of the family's concern.

What sources will you use to gather data?

How will you interpret the data to provide them with the information they need, and not too much?

How will you present the data and answer the patient's question: orally, with a slide show, or written information?

Will you provide the information and data to anyone else?

Could the information accessed during the research change the patient's therapeutic plan?

Drug information is a specialized area of pharmacy focusing on information management. Information management can evolve into many different forms. Drug information can be a verbal answer to a patient's question, or it can involve a detailed monograph presented to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee in order to decide if a drug will be available through a formulary system. Pharmacists and pharmacy students cannot know every potential or possible question or scenario that might be posed to them during their practice. However, they should be prepared to efficiently and effectively answer questions posed to them from consumers or other health-care professionals. Knowing where to look and how to find the most appropriate information is the basic groundwork for the skills of drug information. Among the skills of drug information is knowledge of drug literature evaluation, which allows one to provide a critical analysis of the literature and have a better understanding of the studies done in health and medicine. The goal of this chapter is to provide the student with a basic ...

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