March is Pharmacy Awareness Month and the School of Pharmacy is encouraging others to think about the many roles pharmacists play, including the role of community educators.
This March, University of Waterloo pharmacy students are teaching over 600 elementary and high school kids about important health topics. Pharmacy students visit local classrooms as part of PAM Outreach, an initiative which has future pharmacists speaking in 13 schools throughout Waterloo Region.
In elementary schools, pharmacy students educate about handwashing technique and medication topics like the importance of taking medication safely and the difference between candy and medicine. For older learners, presentation titles include Operation: Butt Out and Operation: Allergies and teach teenagers about the effects of smoking and how to recognize and respond to an allergic reaction.
“We make sure our talks are engaging and interactive,” says Kris Mendoza, third year pharmacy student. “We want not only to educate kids on these important topics, but also to show them that pharmacists are accessible professionals who can share knowledge on a wide variety of health topics.”
Outreach and pharmacy education programs like these are organized and delivered by the University of Waterloo chapter of the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns (UW CAPSI) each year. Over 35 UW CAPSI members volunteered in this year's classroom initiatives. Operations Butt Out and Washup are sponsored by TEVA, and the Kids and Medicine presentation is sponsored by the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Without the support of these organizations or the dedication of our student volunteers, the presentations would not be possible.
The Think Pharmacists series is issued by the School of Pharmacy for #PAM2018.