Background At present one of most important strategic challenges in modernising the system of higher education in Ukraine is providing high quality education to pharmacists in order to satisfy the worldwide needs. Therefore improving the higher education system and designing new conceptual directions for its development on the basis of analytical marking and strategic approaches are very important for those wishing to study pharmacy. One of the new concepts we need to introduce is ‘Toxicological chemistry’. Nowadays people live in the conditions of toxicological strain; therefore we have an important task to give the complete, systematic and accessible knowledge of ‘Toxicological chemistry’ to the future pharmacists.
Purpose To assist schools of pharmacy in their quality assurance and efforts to improve. To implement new pedagogical, psychological, statistical, chemical, analytical and biochemical methods into the study of ‘Toxicological chemistry’. Ukraine is also realigning its higher education system to bring in the Bologna System.
Materials and methods Testing is the most important modern diagnostic and control instrument used to evaluate students’ activities under the new modular credits system. The second most important instrument is a complex of principles used to approach studying in this course such as ‘general-to-specific and specific-to-general’ and ‘from simple to complex, from complex to simple’, ‘synthesis and analysis of information’, ‘visualisation of toxicological processes on the new schemes’, ‘on-line’ work. The third important instrument is the connexion with modern sciences. All these instruments are provided by a modular credit-based educational system.
Results As a result of the evaluation a report has been written, a new course has been designed “Toxicological chemistry” and new book for students of the same name (2012–2013). The course is based on the modular credits system and recommendations of the European education system.
For example: one of the most important classes of toxic substances being studied in the course is the class of ‘volatile’ poisons (aliphatic alcohols, aldehydes and ketones, hydrocyanic acid, phenols, carboxylic acids, etc). The definitive representatives of this class of ‘volatile’ poisons are methyl and ethyl alcohols. During the studying of biotransformation of methyl and ethyl alcohols in the human body, it is important to pay attention to the fact that their metabolic conversions are performed not only according to the well-known paths, but in complex interactions with the body. The main metabolite of methanol is the product of its oxidation by the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes to formaldehyde, which is oxidised to formic acid under the influence of the oxidase enzymes, part of which is under the influence of decarboxylase enzymes breaks down into carbon monoxide (IV) and water. 90% of ethyl alcohol is oxidised by the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes to acetic aldehyde, and then by the oxidase enzymes is oxidised to acetic acid or to carbon monoxide (IV) and water.
Conclusions In the new course, books, lectures and lessons of “Toxicological chemistry” we describe any changes in the structure of drugs during the chemical reactions, metabolic processes and properties. We are examining the impact of the new initiative on the quality of the students’ knowledge. Thus, by studying the class representatives of ‘volatile’ poisons – methyl and ethyl alcohol – in the ‘Toxicological chemistry’ course, they are learning both about particular chemicals and general principles of metabolism. Testing is an important way of checking students’ knowledge. We aim to provide a high quality preparation for the future pharmacists on a course that meets international requirements.
No conflict of interest.
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