Student pharmacist perceptions of participation in hands-on naloxone counseling

Julie Hines, Erin Deja, Esther P. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Opioid overdose is a leading cause of death across the United States. Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society students at the University of Kentucky initiated a project to provide fellow students a volunteer opportunity to educate at-risk patients about naloxone using a physician-approved protocol. The goal was to improve student counseling skills by allowing them to apply knowledge learned during didactic and simulated training. Educational activity and setting: Third and fourth year pharmacy students at the University of Kentucky voluntarily provided opioid overdose and naloxone counseling to patients at the health department and other locations. Students who counseled at the health department were asked to complete an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved, anonymous, electronic survey at the end to gauge their perceptions of the experience. Findings: Thirty-five of forty-five participating students responded to the survey, indicating a 78% response rate. The results suggested that student comfort with naloxone counseling increased after real-world counseling, compared with their perceived comfort levels entering the experience. The majority of the respondents (77%, n = 27) reported a change in their personal views on drug addiction and the associated patient population. Ninety-one percent (n = 32) of students plan to pursue certification to dispense naloxone as part of their future pharmacy practice. Most (94%, n = 33) perceived the counseling experience as practical application of their didactic education. Discussion and conclusions: As opioid addiction and accidental overdose plagues the nation, pharmacists are prepared to lead the battle against this disease. Pharmacy education and hands-on opportunities provide students with the practical knowledge and skills necessary to have impact on their patients and the opioid epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-716
Number of pages5
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Counseling
  • Dispensing
  • Education
  • Opioid abuse
  • Real-world experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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