Saturday, October 23, 2010

Serving the COMMUNITY

Posted by Omo at Saturday, October 23, 2010

Working at THE Pharmacy, Ypsilanti has been very great and eye-opening experience. Contrary to popular belief, not all community pharmacies work hard to fill and dispense scripts without focusing and addressing direct patient care. I started to make interventions on day 1 of my rotation. For example, a customer complained that her Children’s Multivitamins that she bought at The Pharmacy had black spots. My preceptor (Kiela Samuels, PharmD) brought the situation to my attention and asked that I called the manufacturing company. I did so and the company explained that the vitamins may have been turning black because the product contained iron and iron coming in contact with moisture leads to oxidation and consequentially, to the black spots forming on the vitamin tablets. They offered to send the dissatisfied customer a coupon in the mail for a replacement bottle. I felt accomplished because I learned something new and the customer was also satisfied in the end.
This experience made me pumped to do more and learn more about how I could make a difference at the pharmacy. I performed several blood pressure measurements daily and gave useful recommendations in my first week. I also applied what I learned in my previous rotation to this rotation. I had my inpatient cardiology last month and I learned a lot about meds for cardiovascular diseases so when I saw that a patient with chronic heart failure was on metoprolol IR, I immediately though why not ER as shown in the MERIT and COMET trials. I brought this to the pharmacist’s attention and we had a discussion as to why the patient was not on ER with the patient’s daughter. The feeling of being able to apply my previous learning was elating and this motivated me even more to screen patient profiles and intervene whenever I could.

I got involved in many other things at my rotation. Some of these things include:
1. The Antibiotic Call-Back Program
Everyday, I have a list of patients that I had to call to follow up on how their antibiotics were working for them. As little as it may sound, it makes such a huge difference because these patients appreciate that we are concerned about their health. They also appreciate the effort made to call to check up on them. It helps to build trust and confidence in the pharmacist in the long run and these patients feel more comfortable in confiding in the pharmacist.

2. Constant Med Profile Reviews
We constantly check to see how patients are doing when they get their refills. We also set time out to counsel patients and ensure that they understand why they are taking their meds, what to monitor for and goals to expect upon proper compliance and use of the drug.
3. Compounding
I also got to compound medications at the allergy clinic every Thursday. I got a lot of practice in compounding and can say that I am now proficient in compounding mixtures ☺
4. Teaching
Every Thursdays, I was like a teaching assistant to Dr. Samuels at the Washtenaw Community College. She was involved in teaching students in the certified pharmacy technician’s program. I got to see what it was like from the technician’s view. I really valued this experience because most pharmacists have to work with techs and this experience helped me to see what it was like for them to learn the skill they have to apply in pharmacy.
There is so much more that I can share but overall it was a great experience! You can always email me with questions and I will respond as soon as I can…

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