Implementation of a vital signs skills programme at a US school of pharmacy: A mechanism to assess competency for first-year student

Sera Chung, Conan Macdougall, Tina Brock, Christie Robinson Dr.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Context: Vital signs skills should be emphasized in US pharmacy curricula. However, there is no standard method for teaching these skills. Programme: A 3-hour vital signs skills education programme for first professional year students was provided. After the programme, students completed a survey and demonstrated in an assessment manual blood pressure skills on a programmable mannequin arm. Competence in manual blood pressure assessment was evaluated with the mannequin and associations between confidence, experience, and training with performance were determined. Evaluation: Most students correctly identified the pre-programmed blood pressure on the mannequin within two attempts (102/120, 85%). Most students were confident in their ability to measure blood pressure (98/117, 83.7%). The likelihood of passing trended towards a lower probability of passing among students reporting greater confidence, training, and experience. Implementation. Develop an observed structured clinical exam as an alternative means to verify student competence in blood pressure assessment after participating in a 3-hour skills programme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-44
Number of pages3
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Curriculum design
  • Pharmacy students
  • Vital signs

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