Friday, October 12, 2018

Rotation 4: Kiddos

Posted by Unknown at Friday, October 12, 2018

My fourth rotation and my second out-of-area rotation was on a general pediatrics unit in an inpatient practice.  I originally elected to do a pediatric rotation because I had zero interest in pediatrics (and I still have zero interest; this isn’t going to be a sappy blog about a transformative, life-changing revelation, so don’t worry).  However, I always try to stand by the policy that you don’t know what you don’t know, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t intentionally overlooking an experience just because I suspected that I wouldn’t be interested in it. 

This being my first clinical rotation, I was definitely nervous.  In a way, I knew that I should feel prepared to do patient work-ups, presentations, and care plans because we had done so much of that in school.  On the other hand, regardless of the amount of class time spent practicing a skill, going into a hospital and doing it FOR REAL is a whole different thing.  Fortunately, my preceptor was patient and encouraging, and always made a point to give me feedback so I could continuously improve my patient work-up efficiency and presentation skills.  I had the added benefit of working closely with a PGY2 resident who is a UM COP alumnus..  This was a major advantage for me because even though the resident did not have the years of experience that my preceptor had, we were able to relate more about life, school, and career topics because we are closer together in age and stage of life.  Additionally, everyone else at this site was always SO nice and willing to answer my questions.  It was like having a ton of mini preceptors who all wanted to help me succeed :) 

The pediatric population is generally under-emphasized in class, so I had to change my whole way of approaching patient care.  Everything from normal lab values, to weight-based dosing, to worrying about decimals, to treatment options was different than in the adult setting, so it was almost like re-learning everything I thought I knew.  The learning opportunities were endless, as there are so many pediatric-specific disease states that I had to teach myself every day.

Overall, it was a tremendous learning experience.  Regardless of the fact that I didn't have a specific interest in becoming a pediatric pharmacist going in, I wasn't going to let myself miss out on the value of working in a unique, specialized field with many talented and knowledgeable cohorts.  I had to make a conscious decision to go into each day with an enthusiasm for learning and the confidence to contribute to real decisions regarding patient care.  I can definitely say that I have a new appreciation for this field of work!  For me, my pediatrics rotation was humbling.  Every day I was reminded that no learning opportunity should be disregarded or taken for granted, regardless of my personal interest in it.

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