COVID-19 FAQs for Pharmacy Students
We are working diligently to help you navigate this difficult and stressful time and have developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) specific to Pharmacy students:
1. Where can I find out information about information Memorial University is providing to students in response to COVID-19?
In response to COVID-19, Memorial University has a web page to communication information about the impact on students. Since the situation is changing rapidly, please check this website regularly. You can also access this site through the Pharmacy site.
2. How do I stay connected with Memorial and the School of Pharmacy?
3. Am I able to go to campus for any reason this summer or fall?
Currently many buildings on campus are closed with restricted access. The School of Pharmacy currently has limited/controlled access for faculty & staff and no access for students. If you have personal items remaining on campus, you are not permitted to go to campus to retrieve these items. We will advise you when this status changes and you are able to enter the School of Pharmacy. As the restrictions change, you must get approval prior to entering campus. Please refer to Memorial’s building access announcement for the most up-to-date information on building access.
Fall 2020 Courses
4. I’ve heard that MUN will use a primarily remote teaching and learning environment this fall. What does that mean for Pharmacy students?
The School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, and Faculty of Nursing have been exempted from this overall directive. The School of Pharmacy has decided to use remote learning for the fall semester.
5. Does that mean I will be on campus this fall?
Upon careful consideration, the School of Pharmacy has decided to provide remote instruction in the fall. This means that you are not required to come to campus for the fall semester. We are working diligently to ensure that you meet the intended educational outcomes for your degree. This includes alternate forms of delivery and assessment.
6. When will I hear more about fall instruction?
The recorded town hall session held on June 11th will be posted in the “School of Pharmacy Undergraduate Student” course shell in Brightspace. Additional information will be posted in Brightspace and emailed to students as more information becomes available.
7. Will we get the same quality education through remote delivery?
We are working diligently to ensure that you meet the intended educational outcomes for your degree. Our instructors are adjusting their courses for remote instruction, and are using the education and technology support provided through CITL. We are also moving the content in some courses so that crucial hands-on activities will be held at a later time in your program.
8. How will we obtain our pharmacy practice skills if we are working remotely?
All pharmacy practice labs will be held remotely this fall. The pandemic has required health care practitioners to adjust the delivery of care remotely. As such, we will be simulating a telehealth environment during your pharmacy practice labs. We will be using platforms that will help us connect individuals, small groups, and the class that will help you meet the intended outcomes of the courses. In addition, some activities that require hands-on learning will be shifted to a later semester.
9. What are the technical requirements for working remotely?
The university is working on recommended minimum technological requirements for remote instruction in the fall. This will include such things as requiring a computer, webcam, microphone, and internet connection. We will inform you of these minimum requirements as they become available.
10. When will injections training be offered?
We are working on a plan to offer injections training to our 4th year EPPD students in the fall. The fall training will be optional for any 4th year student who wishes to obtain training. It will be offered again during the winter semester, as this is a requirement prior to beginning your APPE rotations in May 2021.
11. What if I’m not able to complete a component of the degree due to the pandemic?
We recognize that living during this pandemic is a challenge for everyone. We will do our best to support you and help you complete the required components of your program. Even though some components may be postponed, you are ultimately responsible to complete all components of your degree before graduation.
12. What will happen if Memorial continues its remote instruction in the winter semester?
If Memorial offers remote instruction in the winter, there are some hands-on activities that would require you to come to campus. We will identify these activities in advance so that you will have ample time to prepare to travel to campus.
Course Grading Options
13. Will I be offered an option for receiving a pass/fail or numeric grade during fall 2020 semester?
Each course will outline the grading option for that particular course. You will not be permitted to change the grading option that is indicated in your course outline.
14. Will we have proctored evaluations for our fall courses?
We are determining the best methods of assessing and evaluating students remotely. We are considering a combination of proctored and unproctored evaluations. The methods of evaluation will be communicated to you in your course outlines at the beginning of the semester.
15. What are the implications for awards and scholarships if I choose a pass/fail grade instead of a numerical grade?
Only students who choose to receive numerical grades in all of their winter semester courses will be eligible for the 2019/2020 Dean’s list. Choosing a pass/fail instead of a numeric grade may have an impact on your eligibility for some other academic awards or scholarships (e.g., grades are part of the criteria).
Pharmacy Practice Experiences (PPE)
16. What happens if I am not able to complete my PPE this summer?
If you are not able to complete your rotations as scheduled, you will receive a grade of “Incomplete” and the practice experience may be completed at a later date. The School will work with you to ensure that you complete all of your PPE before you graduate.
17. Will my PPE1 community placement be going ahead this summer?
There are several options for completion of PPE I: (i) complete placement as originally scheduled (if community partner willing); (ii) apply paid or unpaid experience worked in any community pharmacy setting AND demonstrate that you’ve met the expected competencies. Details have been communicated to students regarding these options.
18. Will my PPE2 hospital placement be going ahead this summer?
All hospital rotations in NL have been postponed, with no definitive time of when they might resume. We are looking into providing an opportunity for you to complete some of the PPE2 activities and discussions remotely and reducing the amount of time required at the practice site accordingly. More information will be circulated to students as more information becomes available.
19. Will my PPE3 (PHAR 407P) direct patient care placement be going ahead this summer?
You are permitted that you can use paid or unpaid experiences worked in any pharmacy patient care setting to fulfill the 160 hours AND you would need to demonstrate that you have met the expected competencies. Details have been communicated to students regarding these options.
20. What is the time period for claiming experience worked towards my PPE?
You may apply time worked in a pharmacy setting between December 13, 2019 up to December 4, 2020. It is the student’s responsibility to record their time, obtain appropriate signatures, and document the achievement of the competencies as set out in their manual.
21. Why can’t I use experiences prior to December 13, 2019 towards my PPE hours?
The PPE’s are positioned in the program so that you can apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the academic year during your practice placement. December 2019 date was chosen because you would have completed one semester of the academic year.
22. Can the requirement for completing my PPE be waived?
In order to meet the requirements for graduation of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Memorial, you must complete all of your PPE courses. In addition, the PPE courses are structured so that you meet the requirements for registration as a pharmacist with the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, as well as the requirements to graduate from an accredited pharmacy program.
23. Do I need to register for PPE this spring if I am not sure if I will be completing my experience this summer?
You should register for the PPEs once registration opens for Spring, whether or not you will be completing your experience this summer. If you are unable to complete a rotation, a grade of “Incomplete” will be assigned and the practice experience may be completed at a later date.
24. Given the concerns with COVID19, am I required to complete my practice experience this summer?
The decision to begin the experience and to continue in the workplace is up to you. You are not, in any way, required to continue with practice experience if you do not wish to do so because of concerns with respect to the pandemic.
25. What happens if I have begun the practice experience but I am no longer able to stay in the workplace?
The university, student, preceptor/pharmacist, or workplace may decide to stop the student from remaining in the workplace due to COVID19; the student will be given credit for the amount of time that is completed.
26. Is it ok for me to volunteer or work at a pharmacy or in a healthcare environment?
Volunteer activities and employment opportunities are independent of academic studies and the University, even if the activities take place on sites that are affiliated with the University. Please make sure you are following public health advice and protecting yourself against any potential risks.
Of note, student volunteers are not covered by the University’s insurance or Workers Compensation which is applicable during student placements.
Supports and Services
27. How will the School of Pharmacy and Memorial provide support to the students during COVID-19?
Student Life has a number of resources and supports available to all students. The staff and instructors in the School of Pharmacy will continue to support our students remotely, such as holding virtual meetings and periodic town hall events, sending email communications, distributing PharSide Updates, and posting in Brightspace.
28. How will official student committees meet virtually?
Memorial is using Webex as an online meeting tool to connect participants remotely. This is an option for student committees to connect virtually. If a student committee would like access to Webex for the purpose of holding meetings, you must obtain approval of the School of Pharmacy to be granted access.
29. Will the Health Science Library or the QEII Library be open to students in the fall for the purposes of things such as studying, accessing resources, internet connection?
We have contacted the library and a decision has not been made with regard to in-person library access. Please check the library’s Covid-19 page for information on how to access library resources and services.
30. Will any School of Pharmacy events be held in person this fall?
All School of Pharmacy events must be held remotely in the fall. The pharmacy students, faculty, and staff are discussing plans to deliver these virtually, such as orientation activities and awards night. More information will be circulated about the events as plans are made.
31. Will the Atlantic Pharmacy Advancement Conference (APAC) be going ahead in October?
Unfortunately, APAC has been cancelled for the fall. The APAC planning committee has decided to postpone the conference until fall 2021. More information will be shared once it is available.
32. Since PEBC exams are postponed, when will the exams be scheduled?
The new date for the PEBC – Part I (MCQ) is August 4 & 5, 2020. PEBC will email more details to candidates registered for the May 2020 exam. The May 2020 administration of the Part II (OSCE) is cancelled, and will hold the next administration of OSCEs in November 2020 as previously scheduled. See the PEBC website for more information and further updates.