Pharmacy students compete in simulated world

A simulated pharmacy is part of a new cutting-edge educational game to be used by Griffith Bachelor of Pharmacy students as part of their course.

Signalling a first in Australia, the PharmG game offers students the chance to compete as teams in a simulation game working in a rich educational setting with a set number of patients, which theyeither lose or gain based on their performance.

Originating from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, GIMMICS (as the game is known in The Netherlands) requires final year students to compete against teams of peers or colleagues from across the world and aims to be as close to real life as possible.

“PharmG provides our final year students with a fully immersive workplace which completely reflects what they would be facing in a real-life pharmacy,” says Dr Gary Grant from Griffith’s School of Pharmacy.

“Starting from week 6, students will each be spending 13 full working days in the PharmG environment where they will hone their skills.

“Like other simulation games, e.g. SimCity, pharmacies start with a set number of patients which they will either lose or gain based on performance in activities. Activity includes dispensing of prescriptions, medication reviews, verbal walk-in cases, responding to phone calls, assignments and presentations etc.”

Actors will play the part of patients and will test every layer of pharmacy skills in our students. Meanwhile time management and team workload is completely at the discretion of the team to organise.

A major educational advantage

“This technology represents a major educational advantage ,” says Dr Grant. “It also encourages interaction that generates real cognitive or socio-cognitive conflicts, provides a solid construction of knowledge; an autonomy in the learning process and an eventual transfer of acquired skills.”

The introduction of the simulated pharmacy learning method follows the School’s introduction last year, of a virtual learning tool allowing students to work in different environments including hospital and pharmacy from anywhere in the world without having to leave the classroom.