Pharmacy department receives new facility

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Feb. 24 for the pharmacy program’s new physical assessment center in St. Albert Hall.

The lab will be used primarily by fourth and fifth year students in the Drugs and Disease series within St. John’s pharmacy program.

The lab, located in room 122, opened this semester after a year of construction. The project was funded by a grant received from the Institute for the Advancement of Community Pharmacy.

“It gives us an opportunity to enhance our curriculum and maintain state-of-the-art cutting edge education,” said Robert Mangione, dean of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professionals.

“The most important thing is that we want to provide an outstanding educational environment for our students. I am very excited.”

The $150,000 grant was used for the lab, as well as other educational programs within the pharmacy cirriculum. The Institute for the Advancement of Community Pharmacy is a foundation in which their objective is to fund projects that assist with community pharmacy.

Physical assessment of patients is taught in the lab. By practicing in the lab, students will learn how to take blood pressure, be able to evaluate whether a patient suffers from hypertension and how to evaluate pulmonary function.

“The skills that our students learn in this laboratory they will be able to use in the community pharmacy setting,” said Mangione. By practicing in this state-of-the-art facility, the student pharmacist will be able to assess what is wrong with the patients and figure out the right drug to prescribe.

The physical assessment center was formerly two offices and after a year of construction, the offices were converted into a lab-like setting on one side and a classroom with seating for approximately 20 students on the other.

The lab includes a projector with Internet connection and two desktop computers. There are also two examination rooms with examination tables, instruments to examine the eyes, ears and nose and two mannequin arms to assist in teaching the students how to give injections to patients.

“When class began in it this semester, I can’t tell you how happy I felt when I observed the students engaged in the technologies, and they were learning to do blood pressures already on mock patients,” said Mangione.

The lab has further use than just the classroom. Soon, local pharmacists across New York City and Long Island will be coming in for a continuing education program.

“These pharmacists will be able to bring the skills back to their pharmacy and that will enhance patient care and community pharmacy as a whole,” said Mangione. The pharmacists of Duane Reade will be among the first to engage in the new lab.

“We recognized we needed a facility like this when we wrote our new curriculum,” Mangione said. The new curriculum, which was in effect in 1998, changed the five-year program to a six-year program. Now, St John’s students will be receiving their doctorate degree upon graduation.

“I am so happy because it is good for our students and nothing makes me happier than having our students have the best education possible,” Mangione said.