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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rotations... 1 down, 1 in progress, 6 to go!

So what's up with Stephanie? Where is she doing her rotations right now? What does she actually do when she's there? Does she like it?

Okay... so no one, NO ONE, is asking themselves those questions today, though I'm going to let you in on it anyway. Is this because I have nothing to do right now? No. I have plenty to do, such as what seems like thousands of "thank you" notes for many generous and appreciated wedding gifts. But since my hand has past the point of no return from writer's cramp, I decided a little typing would satisfy my new need to blog incessantly.

To preface this post, if you didn't know, I am currently in my last year of pharmacy school at the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy ( While I have been finished with all of my classes (and finished with studying for them!) since June, I still have rotations untill April. There are 8 of these "rotations" which each last for 5 weeks a piece. Rotations consist of going to different types of pharmacies and working as an intern pharmacist, doing projects, and earning a grade from the pharmacist who is in charge of me, the student. Last month, for my first rotation, I was scheduled at Cooley Apothecary in Prestonsburg, KY (pictured above). This was the stereotypical pharmacy that we all imagine, with the friendly neighborhood pharmacist behind the counter, filling scripts and answering any questions.

Since returning from the honeymoon and abruptly returning to the real world, I have been on my 2nd rotation at Pikeville Medical Center (pictured above). I am located in the "satellite" pharmacy in the Critical Care Unit (a.k.a. Intensive Care Unit). It's funny when I tell people this, they look confused and ask what a pharmacist is doing in the CCU. It seems many people are unaware of what job opportunities there are out there for a Doctor of Pharmacy, just because they are never in our direct line of sight.

The CCU pharmacy is termed a "satellite" pharamacy because it is a branch off of the central/main pharmacy for inpatient care in the hospital. Other satellite pharmacies in this specific hospital include the oncology satellite located on the floor where patients go to receive chemotherapy. In that satellite, the pharmacist and tech mix chemo to be administered to the patients. Thus, in my satellite, we mix all IV bags that need to be administered to our patients in the two ICUs and those patients in surgery and recovery on our floor. Most of the day, the pharmacist (and me!) are doing clinical consults or mixing the medications under the fume hood somewhat like the one above. Clinical consults are orders we get from doctors on the floor who have requested we calculate the kinetics of the patient's doses due to their lab results, kidney/liver function, any other complications, etc.

Once a day, on Mondays through Fridays, we have a "team huddle" which lasts about a hour. Huddle is an interdiscplinary approach where all facets of patient care are addressed by the doctors, intensivists, nurses, wound care, physical therapists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, chaplains, social workers, and of course, the pharmacist. I'm sure it doesn't sound like it, but it's so interesting! Without hearing every other specialist talk about this patient and what they are dealing with in their focus, you don't get the full scope of what the patient is going through, his ever changing needs, what you could do to help another aspect of care, etc. I am learning so much from this one intense hour a day that I could never learn at school. I look forward to huddle everyday - no joke!

Fortunately, I am able to work four 10-hour days a week for this rotation, giving me a lovely 3 day weekend. Unfortunately, that means I have to be at work at 7 am which is getting more difficult with each passing day. If you actually made it through reading all of that - kudos to you! I am aware it was my most boring post so far, but if it interests me or is as large a part of my life as pharmacy is, it's going to be written about in this blog. At least I'll get a kick out of it!

In other news, Nick and I will be traveling to Cincinnati this weekend to help his brother and future sister-in-law (Chad and Lauren) to move out of their house. They will be moving on to Michigan where Lauren will be starting Law school at Cooley. It looks as if it will be Christmas before we get to see them again, which is too sad. We'll all catch a Reds game while we're there and try to get into some other trouble for one last time ;)

We should be coming back this weekend with some exciting news on Monday or Tuesday... so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you are bolgging. I get more info from that than I get from you in person.It is not boring it helps me understand about pharmacy more than I ever knew. Now about that trouble one last time- don't.


I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)