Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Wonderful World of Warfarin

Posted by Salem at Sunday, September 26, 2010

I spent the month of September in the transitional anticoagulation clinic at Sparrow hospital in Lansing.

I liked anticoag. It was a good mix of the outpatient and inpatient settings.

I spent the first half of each day in the clinic, seeing patients who had recently been hospitalized at Sparrow with new prescriptions for Coumadin. I read their INR, spoke with them about the importance of adherence, and we discussed Coumadin’s most common drug and food interactions during 15 minute appointments.

Since the patients were just getting started with Coumadin, we saw them frequently to make dose adjustments. It did not take long to get to know everyone who was a patient at the clinic.

I spent the second half of each day speaking with patients who were still hospitalized and ready to be discharged with new Coumadin prescriptions. I discussed Coumadin and low-molecular weight heparin with each new patient for about an hour, and they often had many questions. I remember being pretty nervous the first time I had to run one of these counseling sessions on my own. By the end of September the long sessions were my favorite part of the day.

I have always worked in inpatient pharmacy so being able to interact with the people I was taking care of was a new experience. It was rewarding being able to see patients’ health improve from week-to-week and knowing that I was contributing to that improvement.

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