Monday, August 8, 2016

Rotation 1 - Health Systems

Posted by Brock Jackson at Monday, August 08, 2016

Hello everyone! 

My name is Brock Jackson. As a fourth year PharmD student, you will go through a series of nine different Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs for short) rotations. I'll be updating you about my experiences over each rotation along the way. My hope is that you will be able to gain a better understanding of what each rotation entails and my experience within that rotation. 
As a quick aside, PLEASE ask any questions you may have about anything I have written!
For a quick background on myself, my interests in Pharmacy are almost entirely with Independent Community Pharmacy. If I were to go the clinical route, I would go with either an Infectious Diseases or Oncology speciality. Personally, I love to travel and any opportunity that I have that would offer more of that I would probably jump on in a heartbeat (Drug Information Pharmacist on a Cruise Ship would be a dream job but those don't exist, to my knowledge.).

My current rotation list is as follows:

Rotation 1 - Health Systems
Rotation 2 - Inpatient A - Oncology
Rotation 3 - Ambulatory Care - Oncology
Rotation 4 - Drug Information
Rotation 5 - Inpatient A - Pediatric Cardiology
Rotation 6 - National Community Pharmacists Association
Rotation 7 - Off
Rotation 8 - Generalist
Rotation 9 - Community Pharmacy

My typical day during Health Systems begins at about 6am. My daily commute is about an hour. Once I arrive, I prepare to start my day by checking out the patients that are on the Warfarin and the Antimicrobial Stewardship reports. For the Warfarin Report, checking to ensure the doses match the indication and recommending appropriate changes usually takes me about 10-15 minutes. With the Antimicrobial Stewardship, I am checking to see if various cultures and sensitivities are back from the lab. From here, I will see if we can move down from a broad-spectrum antibiotic to a narrow-spectrum antibiotic.

After this, I go up to attend rounds with one of our clinical pharmacists. This usually takes about an hour. I follow up with any questions the team may have and anything I did not understand during the patient presentations. Being my first rotation, there was generally quite a bit that I was looking up on a regular basis.

Following daily rounds, my day typically was never the exact same. I spent a lot of time doing various activities around the hospital.

Here are a few examples of things I did:
  • ·      Representing the Pharmacy department at the county Aging Wellness Fair
  • ·      Working alongside our anticoagulation pharmacist
  • ·      Compounding drug and nutrition products
  • ·      Shadowing dieticians
  • ·      Drug information questions
  • ·      Assisting the Pharmacy technicians in their duties
  • ·      Attending various internal Pharmacy and Nursing meetings
  • ·      Pharmacy-related projects
  • ·      Creating Pharmacy staff educational materials


For the most part, this rotation was laid back. My stress level never went over a 3/10. For a first rotation, this was perfect to wet my feet a little bit. The Pharmacy staff was absolutely incredible to work with over the five weeks I was with them.

PS - I apologize for the timing of my first post. My transition back from Alaska was a bit rougher than I previously expected. 

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