Tuesday, September 7, 2010

HIV in Cali

Posted by Jody at Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I am in my second rotation in California and the East Bay AIDS center (EBAC). This rotation is my community rotation but it’s far from “retail” pharmacy.

My first week at EBAC flew by fast. On my first day I was given an overview of the pharmacy and the clinic as a whole. My preceptor explain how EBAC developed and how she acquired a position in this specialty. She discussed the patient population and explained how I would not be able to counsel patients until she thought I was ready to handle this patient population. At first I didn’t fully comprehend her statement, “handle this patient population.” We have been counseling in school, internships and our IPPEs – how am I not ready? When I started reading the patients’ charts I finally understood. Some of the patients have a history of (or currently going through) domestic violence, prostitution, homelessness, and drug addiction. Of course this isn’t every patient, but I realized why my preceptor was caution with students counseling.

The entire first week I reviewed patient charts and learned the different classes of HIV medications. I was given a list of 10 patients. My preceptor made sure to include all types of patients since their experiences and how they acquired HIV is very different. My list of patients included males, females, youth and MTFs (male to female). At EBAC the charts are not electronic and some patients have up to five separate charts because they have been a patient for so many years. One of my patients only had three charts and when stacked together it was bigger than Diprio! At the end of the week I presented on this patient and condensing 3 charts into a 15min patient presentation was difficult and frustrating. But with three more patient presentations to ago I’m sure things will get easier.

Now, that I have the basics covered for HIV I’m looking forward to counseling and interacting with the patients at the clinic.

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