Sunday, October 23, 2011

I ♥ Cardiology!

Posted by Anna Polk at Sunday, October 23, 2011

We are already a third of the way through rotations!  I guess everyone was telling the truth when they said this year would fly by!  I spent the last month at Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI on a cardiology rotation.  This was my first inpatient rotation and I was nervous going into it, but my preceptor was really great at making me feel comfortable in the CUB (cardiac universal bed) unit.  She helped me get a feel for how to prioritize the patients and taught me who all of the different practitioners were that I would be interacting with.  

The pharmacy model was a little bit different than what I was expecting.  We didn’t round on the patients and there were not medical students or residents.  Instead, I made most of my interventions by interacting with the nurses or physician’s assistants.  This could get a little bit confusing as there are several different groups practicing in the CUB- Michigan Heart, Jackson Cardiology and then there are the surgeons and each group has different PAs and physicians.  Once I figured out who was following the patient I would try to track down the appropriate PA and let them know what my concerns were.  All in all, the people I worked with were very receptive and happy to have pharmacy there.  My other main task was patient education.  Many of our patients go home on warfarin or amiodarone and we tried to counsel on these separately from their discharge counseling as it can get overwhelming to give the patient all of the information at once.  Luckily we had a great discharge planner who gave me an idea of when each patient would be going home so I could get in to counsel them early.  

I also had the opportunity to watch an open heart surgery.  The patient had coronary artery bypass grafts placed and also had valves repaired- since it was a valve surgery you could actually see into the heart!  I spent most of the surgery with the perfusionist and he explained to me exactly what drugs and infusions were being given to the patient and why.  It was really useful to see what had happened to the patient before they arrived on the unit and why they had to come up on all of the different drips that I had been seeing on their profiles.  I also watched a cardiac catheterization.  

All in all I loved this rotation!  I was so sad on my last day, even though I am excited for what lies ahead.  Next up, I’ll be doing psych at the U of M (which looks great according to Eric Zhao!)

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