Community Pharmacy Practice (PhPr 803)

The purpose of the Community Pharmacy Practice rotation is for students to gain experience in various aspects community pharmacy practice.  This may include, but is not limited to, provision of products, clinical pharmacy services, and pharmacy management. 

Prior to the rotation, the student should download both the

Checklist for All Rotations and Community Rotation Checklist can be used as guides for rotation activities.

Preceptors may download a Community Rotation Syllabus template to assist them in creating a syllabus for their rotation.

Community Rotation Goals and Objectives

The following are guidelines regarding activities in which students should gain experience or at least exposure during the Community Pharmacy Rotation.  These may be adjusted to accommodate the student’s previous experience and goals as well as the preceptor's expertise and unique characteristics of a practice site. 

Overall ratings of the accomplishment of checklist tasks are reflected in items 1 and 2 (Knowledge/Application section) of the form used for the final rotation evaluation and grade assignment. 

1.  Processing prescriptions

  • The student should describe legal and practice site specific requirements for receiving prescriptions via written, electronic, facsimile, verbal, and any other means used at the practice site, including transfers of prescriptions from other pharmacies.
  • The student should evaluate new and refill prescription orders with respect to completeness, legal requirements, indication, dosing, route of administration, patient allergies, potential drug-drug and drug-nutrient interactions, and potential drug-disease interactions.
  • The student should collect missing prescription information efficiently from appropriate sources.
  • The student should accurately input prescription information into the pharmacy's computer system whether creating a new patient profile or adding to an existing profile. 
  • The student should select appropriate products to dispense according to established laws and protocols.
  • The student should generate accurate prescription labeling for dispensing products.

2.  Medication Therapy Management

Prescription problems

  • Upon evaluating prescription orders as described above, the student should be able to identify and resolve prescription problems.  This involves evaluation of new and refill prescriptions in the context of an individual patient's profile.
  • The student should be able to interview patients/care givers to obtain information needed to evaluate prescriptions.
  • The student should be able to effectively communicate prescription problems and suggested resolutions to physicians and other health care providers as well as patients. 

Counseling/communication skills

  • The student should demonstrate communication skills needed for interviewing/counseling patients.  These include speaking clearly, using appropriate terminology, asking open-ended questions, prioritizing counseling points, listening to patients, verifying patient understanding, and displaying a caring attitude.  This also includes providing accurate and complete information, appropriate use of written materials and other patient education media, including those designed for non-English speaking patients. 
  • The student should be able to recognize patients with compliance issues and explore potential solutions. 

Drug information

  • The student should be able to respond to questions from patients and health care providers.  This includes clarifying the question; consulting appropriate references; formulating an accurate, complete, and concise response; and communicating that to the requester.


  • The student should document interventions, communications with other health care providers, and significant patient interactions according to established procedures. 
  • The patient should describe procedures for reporting significant adverse drug events to the FDA MedWatch program.

3.  Preparation and Dispensing of Prescription Products

Finished dosage forms

  • The student should select correct products from inventory; accurately count/measure quantity to be dispensed; and select appropriate containers for dispensing.  This includes using correct procedures for products requiring reconstitution prior to dispensing.


  • The student should use appropriate ingredients, make accurate calculations; make accurate measurements; and follow established compounding procedures with good technique.
  • The student should follow legal requirements and established procedures for documentation of compounding products for immediate or future dispensing.

Cytotoxic/hazardous products

  • The student should be able to recognize products with safe-handling precautions.
  • The student should use appropriate precautions when handling these products for compounding or other preparation for dispensing.
  • The student should be able to describe and comply with appropriate storage and disposal methods for cytotoxic/hazardous materials.

Dispensing/delivery of prescription products  or devices to patients

  • The student should gain skill in efficiently filling/dispensing prescriptions.
  • The student should comply with established procedures for dispensing/delivering products to the correct patient or patient representative respecting confidentiality. 
  • The student should comply with documentation procedures for documenting the dispensing of prescription and controlled substances.
  • The student should appropriately counsel patients regarding the correct use of the medication/device and its potential adverse effects.  Specific counseling skills are described in section 2, Medication Therapy Management.
  • The student should learn how to effectively supervise the work of pharmacy technicians and supportive personnel assisting in the preparation and delivery of prescription products.

4.  Controlled Substances

  • The student should be able to describe and comply with established procedures for handling controlled substances with respect to procurement, inventory/storage requirements, theft/diversion precautions, filing prescriptions, and disposal procedures for expired or partially used products.
  • Where possible, the student should learn procedures for over-the-counter dispensing of schedule V controlled substances. 


5.  Over-the-counter products

  • The student should be able to obtain information from patient to accurately assess chief complaint.
  • The student should learn to determine when over-the-counter (OTC) treatment is appropriate and what circumstances warrant referral to physician.
  • The student be able to advise patients regarding selection of OTC products in categories including, but not limited to, analgesics/antipyretics; cough/cold/allergy; topical anti-infectives and anti-inflammatories; intravaginal antifungals; first-aid/medical supplies; ophthalmic and otic products; vitamins/nutritional supplements; and contraceptives/fertility aids. 
  • The student should be able to effectively communicate recommendations and appropriate use of selected products to patient.

6.  Therapy monitoring devices

  • The student should be able to explain the importance of monitoring drug therapy to a patient or health care provider.
  • The student should demonstrate skill in use of devices including, but not limited to, blood glucose monitoring, cholesterol screening, and blood pressure monitoring products.
  • The student should be able to demonstrate the use of these devices and teach patients how to use these devices.

7.  Pharmacy/Personnel Management

  • The student should understand the functions of all pharmacy personnel and manage relationships between them to accomplish efficient workflow with appropriate prioritization.
  • The student should define common terminology of third party payment systems, troubleshoot third party rejections, and identify strategies to resolve them.
  • The student should describe procedures for inventory management, including procurement and appropriate storage and disposal of pharmaceuticals.
  • The student should describe theft/drug diversion prevention strategies.
  • The student should describe procedures for procurement and maintenance of pharmacy supplies and equipment.
  • The student should describe procedures for assuring compliance with federal, state, and company regulations pertaining to pharmacy practice.
  • The student should attend meetings relevant to pharmacy practice/management.
Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: July 31, 2015
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