Innovative 'Pharmily Pheud' a hit

Version of TV game show helps psych mental health NP students learn psychopharmacology content
By Jimmy Creed

As a way to improve their students’ knowledge of psychopharmacology, faculty in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Specialty Track have freshened their onsite intensive using a gameshow format to not only provide an innovative review but also as a way to simultaneously evaluate the students' mastery of psychopharmacology content.

"Pharmily Pheud” developed by Instructor Simone Durand, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC -- who also served as moderator -- teams four students in the question-and-answer game based on the long-running TV game show “Family Feud.”

Contestants for each team faced off over a bell that served as a buzzer and answered survey questions like "We surveyed 100 psychiatric nurse practitioners and asked them what neurotransmitters..." among others. The student who buzzed in first and answered correctly earned the right for their team to pass or play and supply the top five answers to another survey question while other students in the "audience" looked, listened and learned as well.

Pharmily Pheud 1Students in the UAB School of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Specialty Track confer on an answer to a survey question asked as part of the recent 'Pharmily Pheud' review session. The version of the TV game show was an innovative teaching technique employed by the PMHNP faculty to freshen the typical onsite intensive and simultaneously evaluate their students' mastery of psychopharmacology content."Typically, a review session consists of a lecturer revisiting information that was presented previously," Durand said. "Students passively receive a fresh version of older material, but the faculty are not able to gauge whether or not the content has been digested. 'Pharmily Pheud' allowed us to gain insight into what the students really knew while still providing a valuable review of information to the whole class."

The competition was spirited, with the student from each team who was named "Most Outstanding Performer" allowed to leave 30 minutes early on the intensive's last day as a reward.

“I really enjoyed it,” said student Jaenelle Grace, BSN, RN-BC. “I thought it was a creative concept, and when I found out we were going to be playing, I was excited because I had watched that show at home.

“I was nervous at first because we had to get up in front of the whole class to play, but after a while I felt confident, and I found out I knew a lot more than I thought I did.”

Grace believes the event is something the psych students will come to look forward to each year.

“A lot of my classmates really got into it and enjoyed the competition,” Grace said. “It was a good way for us to get together, work as a team, have some fun and learn all at the same time.”

Each member of the PMHNP faculty contributed questions for the game, and as a group they reviewed them to insure critical content areas were covered.

"Feedback we received from the students indicated the activity helped them identify areas for further study," Durand said. "The students in this cohort are quickly approaching graduation, so their focus is shifting towards studying for the certification exam. Our ultimate goal is to prepare students to practice safely and effectively and to pass their boards on their first attempt.

"We found this activity allowed us to meet both objectives. We will improve it before the next onsite intensive, perhaps with proper buzzers and theme music, and try to make it the most beneficial learning experience it can be for our students."
Last modified on May 15, 2017

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