Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Pharmacy?

Posted by Shannon Hough at Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When I was in high school, I babysat for my neighbors. The dad was a nephrologist, and they had two kids and a dog named Henle. Yep. As in the Loop of Henle. At about the same time, I started trying to figure out what I wanted to be "when I grew up". I knew I wanted to work in health care, but started thinking I might like to be a physician. So my neighbor gave me a summer job in his office. I did all sorts of wild and exciting things. I filed charts, picked up lunch, ran urinalysis and answered the phone ... with a lot of hand washing in between! Often times I also went through brown bags of patient medications, consolidating them onto a neat list for the physician to review. As I worked in the office longer, I found myself less interested in lab tests and how a physician determines a diagnosis, and more interested in how all of those drugs helped the patients. I chose pharmacy to impact how the use of medications can improve quality and/or quantity of life for a patient.

I am currently on an institutional rotation at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. Pharmacists at Botsford provide decentralized (read: they are not all in the basement) pharmacy services. I will have had the opportunity to rotate through four different weeks with different pharmacists and patient populations. At the halfway point, I have been doing a lot of pharmacokinetic and anticoagulation dosing services.

This month's rotation takes me back to why I chose pharmacy. Other than seeing my neighbor nephrologist every day, I’ve had the opportunity to monitor drug therapy to improve patient outcomes. Possibly one of the most rewarding and petrifying things that this rotation includes is a Cardiac Rehab lecture. I will also be giving a lecture about cardiac medications to patients who have recently undergone heart surgery next Monday. Stay tuned!

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