Friday, August 5, 2011

Lessons from Community

Posted by Jenna at Friday, August 05, 2011

My first rotation is at Hometown Pharmacy in Manchester with Dr. Jay Demski. To be honest, I don't feel comfortable in this setting, so I was nervous. I feel like I lack OTC knowledge (be thankful for the new curriculum!) and knowledge of important counseling points because I've worked in the hospital setting for the past 3 years.

Manchester is a very small, but very active, community and Hometown Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in town. Along with a pharmacy there is a little store, as well as a rented out floral shop. I have a new friend there, Petals, an adorable dog who loves that I share my breakfast with her (Multigrain Cheerios, if you're curious)!

The script count can vary from 40 (Saturdays) - 150 or more. It's not high volume but it does have hectic times and provides a unique experience. It's an ideal pharmacy for students without a lot of retail experience (or if you want to work with a great pharmacist!) because there are slow times where the pharmacist is all yours for questions!

Important Life Lessons
1. You are NOT the earth's gift to pharmacy! Be a TEAM player.
Don't be one of those people, you know the ones who think that they are above other employees/technicians. This past week I faced the shelves, which included everything from OTC's to batteries and toilet paper, and helped order Hallmark cards. Not exactly 'pharmacy intern' duties but I offered to do these things during slow times and I think it was very much appreciated. I did it all with a smile on my face too.
Don't act (or feel, for that matter) that any task is below you. Get over yourself!

2. It's inevitable - There are days when you're going to feel like an idiot.
I don't know about you but there aren't many things worse than feeling like an incompetent fool. Admittedly, I am very hard on myself. I get frustrated with how much I feel like I don't know and I hate when I know that I've learned something but can't dig out that information from my brain. The example that comes to mind is when a patient (who happened to be an MD) asked me about his prescription for Mobic. He saw that I was a student and so he thought he'd quiz me. So here he is standing right in front of me, the pharmacist is standing right next to me, and I'm standing there dumbfounded. CRAP (or some other more profane word), I said to myself, what in the world is this drug and why can't I remember it?!!? I was a combination of panicked, embarrassed, and mad at myself because nothing was coming to mind, other then the fact that it sounded familiar. So after what seemed like the longest 30 seconds of my life, the pharmacist said to me 'It's an NSAID,' so then I said to the doctor (feeling totally defeated) 'Uhh .. take it with food.' There are going to be MANY more of these instances and I need to learn how to deal with them better.
Acknowledge that you can't know everything, no matter how much you prepare. Come up with an action plan to help fill in your knowledge deficits. [This weekend I will be making what I hope will be a fabulous chart on the Top 200 drugs - their counseling points, dosage range, brand name, etc.]

Overall, it was a great first week of rotation and what I think is an ideal rotation to ease into life as a P4 on rotation! I can't wait to see what the next 3 weeks have in store for me.

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