Monday, June 25, 2012

BMT- Rotation in Review

Posted by Katrina Karpowitsch at Monday, June 25, 2012


I completed my rotation last Friday in Bone Marrow Transplant at the UofM, and am still amazed at how interesting this field is!

Just think- clinicians have the potential to eradicate certain cancers in patients with high-dose chemotherapy followed by an infusion of allogeneic (donor) or autologous (self) stem cells to “repopulate” the patient’s marrow- its quite incredible! Whether a patient has arrived for transplant, or readmitted to the floor several years after, pharmacists play an integral role in the care of these patients.

In order to start to understand the complexities of BMT, the first several weeks involved extensive reading of primary literature and review articles to get a better view of the course of transplant and medications used throughout the process. By working up and following patients during their 3+ week stay, I was able to dive into how to approach patient workups, monitor labs, and implement medication changes. I really enjoyed being a part of the rounding team every morning, and felt the more I learned about the transplant process, the easier it was to suggest pertinent adjustments in therapy.

During the course of the rotation, I was able to get a better idea of just how important it is to truly appreciate the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of drugs. Dr. Frame, a master of pharmacology, challenged us to integrate therapeutic knowledge with an understanding of physiologic principles and literature-based evidence. Although this is not an easy task and will take practice, I believe that keeping this concept in mind will help me develop my clinical skills this year and beyond. 

I highly recommend this rotation to anyone interested in clinical pharmacy, as it features taking ownership of complex patients and developing knowledge of drug therapy. I will miss the BMT team, but am thankful to have had the chance to be a part of it!

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