Health  Vol.8 No.15 , December 2016
Teaching Physical Assessment and Disease Screening to Students in the Health Professions: A Focus in Pharmacy Education
Abstract: Background: As pharmacists continue to transition into the provision of public health care, physical assessment and disease screening will become part of their everyday practice, in a similar manner that it has been for doctors and nurses. Objective: The aim was to describe the health assessment of undergraduate curricula across three disciplines involved in public health care and to explore the students’ perceived training in a variety of health assessments. Method: Instructors of courses related to health assessment in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy colleges in Qatar were invited to participate in the curriculum review process. Students’ perceived training in a variety of health assessments was assessed using a self-administered survey. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the survey responses. Results: A narrative description for the similarities and differences in the health assessment curricula across the three colleges was provided. Blood pressure, heart rate, and heart sounds were the health assessments that almost all students received training on, although there were differences in where the training was delivered. The health assessments that the students perceived having received least training on were measuring bone mineral density, blood cholesterol and international normalized ratio reported by only 37%, 41% and 44% of students, respectively. Conclusion: The study identified a close alignment between each of the health discipline’s scope of practice and the health assessment content taught in each individual program. It also identified possible curricular gaps towards learning the skills of patient assessment that may need to be addressed.
Cite this paper: Zolezzi, M. , Abdallah, O. , Major, S. , White, D. , Owusu, Y. and Sankaralingam, S. (2016) Teaching Physical Assessment and Disease Screening to Students in the Health Professions: A Focus in Pharmacy Education. Health, 8, 1713-1725. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.815166.

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