Sunday, April 25, 2010

"From soup to nuts"

Posted by Jeffrey Huang at Sunday, April 25, 2010

I really did not know what this saying meant until Stephen Smith, Director of Pharmacy used it a couple times to describe the rotation I would be experiencing at Karmanos Cancer Center.

This phrase really embodied the experience I would be getting at Karmanos, working in the many different areas of pharmacy that support the sensitive, meticulous, and careful preparation of pharmaceuticals surrounding chemotherapeutic care. I have always been fascinated with bone marrow transplant (BMT) and hematology/oncology, and my experience at Karmanos was a great segway into my next two inpatient rotations in these respective areas back at UMHS.

From beginning to end, as the phrase describes, and my rotation began with order entry and dispensing. It progressed to working in the IV and chemo room, where the chemotherapies were compounded by highly trained technicians and pharmacists. Towards the end of my rotation, I rounded with both the BMT and heme/onc pharmacists and visited the patients on the floor, and finally finished the month with investigational drug services (IDS). I was particularly interested in IDS at Karmanos as I will likely be on the other end of the service next year at GlaxoSmithKline.

In quick summary: I loved the rotation. The people really made the experience quite amazing. As Steve and others described, the group is really like one big family. People teased each other, cracked jokes, and played pranks like you would see with siblings. But everyone also really cared for each other and helped each other when in need. I feel like the lighter atmosphere the staff kept was vital for how somber the words "cancer" and "chemotherapy" can be for people. And after some testing of the waters, they happily welcomed me to the group. I really hope to keep in touch with everyone and have our paths cross again in the near future.

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