What does experiential education look like in a global pandemic? Reflecting back and looking forward

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Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning


Purpose: The purpose of this reflection or wisdom of experience article is to describe and reflect on the impacts of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on experiential education (EE) leadership and teams. Additionally, this reflection will shift the focus from the spring 2020 environment of SARS-CoV-2 to what EE teams and college administration can learn from those experiences. Moving forward, EE teams and administrators can be better equipped to proactively plan for future emergencies. Description: Using the “What? So What? Now What?” model of reflection, this manuscript will broadly describe the experiences of three EE administrators and their teams during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Proposed lessons learned as well as future planning strategies will be presented. Analysis/Interpretation: The world of education was unprepared for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and most sectors were left scrambling to adjust to new models very quickly with no planning or preparation. In the realm of pharmacy education, SARS-CoV-2 caused complete disruption for pharmacy students on rotations, clinical sites, preceptors, and EE teams. In reflecting on spring 2020, much can be gained and applied to future planning efforts so that institutions can be better prepared for future crises. Conclusions/Implications: While still in the pandemic, schools must plan for the coming year. EE teams can work together to prepare for emergencies, craft contingency plans, and build additional capacity into their teams and available rotation offerings.

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