Antibiotics: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Sunday, June 13, 2021

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Describe the importance of effective antibiotic stewardship.
  • Classify common clinically important bacteria, describe what organisms are usually found where and select appropriate antibiotics.
  • Tailor antibiotic therapy according to your patient's medical history, concomitant medicines and allergy status.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 120 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital trainee pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC learning outcomes such as these:
  • LO 12 Take an all-inclusive approach to ensure the most appropriate course of action based on clinical, legal and professional considerations
  • LO 16 Apply professional judgement in all circumstances, taking legal and ethical reasoning into account
  • LO 27 Take responsibility for the legal, safe and efficient supply, [prescribing] and administration of medicines
  • LO 29 Apply the principles of clinical therapeutics, pharmacology and genomics to make effective use of medicines for people [including in their prescribing practice]
  • LO 30  Appraise the evidence base and apply clinical reasoning and professional judgement to make safe and logical decisions which minimise risk and optimise outcomes for the person
  • LO 34 Apply the principles of effective monitoring and management to improve health outcomes
  • LO 35 Anticipate and recognise adverse drug reactions, and recognise the need to apply the principles of pharmacovigilance
  • LO 48 Actively take part in the management of risks and consider the impacts on people

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.2 Need for the medicine
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine (medicine-medicine, medicine-patient, medicine-disease interactions)
  • 1.5 Medicine specific issues (ensures appropriate dose, selection of dosing regimen, selection of formulation and concentration)
  • 1.8 Evaluation of outcomes
  • 3.2  Knowledge 
  • 3.3  Analysing information

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  Shadow your microbiology multi-disciplinary team on a ward round. Reflect upon, and learn from their expert decision-making.
★  Does your department record the clinical questions received by the on-call pharmacists out of hours? Review the calls involving antibiotics - would you have known the answer or where to look for information? Identify and prioritise your knowledge and experience gaps.
★ Choose a patient with an interesting infection and present the case to your team. Teaching others is an effective way to improve your knowledge of a particular topic and increase your confidence if faced with a similar case again.