Thursday, April 2, 2020

Rotation 7 (Hospital/Health Systems) + Rotation 8 (Ambulatory Care Oncology)

Posted by Sarah Choi at Thursday, April 02, 2020

Rotation 7: Hospital/Health Systems

During my hospital/health systems rotation, my days were split up into two parts: inpatient pharmacy tasks and counseling. As a student at this institution, I was responsible for serving as the first check on daily medications that were being hand delivered to the floor (mostly because they’re too large to be put into automated dispensing cabinets). I was also responsible for checking A-packs, anesthesia trays, and ancillary medications. I honed my ability to check medications precisely and efficiently. The major second part of this rotation was counseling. I got to improve my counseling and patient education skills, specifically around anticoagulation and pain medications post hip/knee replacement. Outside of the inpatient pharmacy tasks and counseling, I worked on drug information questions and a project, where I drafted a policy for Narcan distribution in the ED.

The main thing my 7th rotation taught me is that a great preceptor can really make a rotation worthwhile. The 7th block can be incredibly busy, not only with rotation requirements and opportunities, but also because residency interviews begin. I had such a supportive and understanding preceptor, and it made me love and even look forward to coming into rotation.

Rotation 8: Ambulatory Care (Oncology)

My 8th rotation was a great experience! I haven’t had any ambulatory care experience before, but I definitely could see myself working in a similar environment in the future. Ambulatory care gave me the opportunity to build and maintain rapport with patients, especially because some of the patients I saw came in every two weeks, depending on their treatment schedule. I also liked how close my preceptor was with the clinic physicians as they’ve been working together for a long time.

I was in four different clinics during this rotation, which included genitourinary (GU), oral oncolytics, melanoma, and breast clinic. I loved the variety of patients I saw within the different clinics, but appreciated how I still felt like I was growing and learning every time I was in clinic because of the rotation. On a typical clinic day, I was doing patient educations or seeing patients prior to their provider (physician, NP, or PA). I could ask specifically about their treatments and what side effects they might be experiencing. Going in before the provider also gave me the chance to give the provider a heads-up about certain aspects for each patient and make recommendations of my own for symptom management. This rotation also taught me a lot of about being flexible; it’s different from the inpatient world where if the patient isn’t in his or her room at a certain time, you can always swing back another time and talk to them. In ambulatory care you have a small window to see a patient. Sometimes you miss it because you’re running behind your schedule or sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to see patients because the entire clinic is running behind. I learned that the way I was going to get the most out of this rotation was being willing to jump right in and see another patient rather than waiting for one you had planned.

Overall, the highlight of ambulatory care was the relationships a pharmacist can build and maintain not only with patients, but also providers. It felt very different from all my other rotations, so I was sad to lose out on the last few days because of COVID19.

My last rotation is my community rotation. I’m sure it will be a very interesting rotation with the current spread of COVID-19 and the social distancing recommendations!


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