Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cancer Sucks!!

Posted by Omo at Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My fourth rotation was at Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. I was working mainly with patients in the bone marrow transplant clinic and saw most of them as outpatients. This rotation was extremely fulfilling in so many ways. I got to see on average twenty patients daily. Some of my duties included:
1. Meet with and counsel patients on each visit ensuring that medications are taken appropriately and updating their medication list.
2. Look for any drug interactions especially when patients were started on a new medication.
3. Most patients were either an allogeneic-transplant or an autologous transplant so I had to make sure that their medications were well correlated to the type of transplant.
4. Some other patients were pre-transplant so I had to make sure that these patients were not on any meds that would interact with their chemotherapy.
5. I also had to update vaccinations on these patients because after transplant, they are required to have vaccinations done on a schedule.
6. I was also in charge of noting every intervention made by the pharmacy team in the pharmD clinical notes.

This experience allowed me to hone my patient counseling skills. I also had the opportunity to build a relationship with these patients because I got to see most of them at least once a week. I enjoyed learning about the experiences they shared with me. I was impressed that most patients were very knowledgeable on all their medications.

My mother died of cancer. I never fully understood what she went through while she was battling cancer because I was young. However, now that I have worked with these patients and witnessed what they go through, I can only imagine what my mother went through. I have great respect for her and all other cancer patients and survivors.

Cancer sucks but we as pharmacists can work to help alleviate the pain that patients go through!

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