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Health-System Pharmacy... A Little Something for Everyone!
I had a really cool experience yesterday.
I mean, it did snow a bit and the temperature was low 20s when I left work, but this is way cooler.
Even though my health system is in the midst of a hospital-wide electronic health record conversion (think BIG BANG approach), I made it a priority to share my cool experience with the ASHP Connect World. We are P-GoLD 3 (Post-Go-Live-Day 3) and there's been such a whirlwind of activity that I really don't want to forget about yesterday's moment. A moment that reminded me why I love what I do.
Since starting at Reading Hospital in July 2012, I have precepted 6 final-year pharmacy students on their Institutional Pharmacy APPE rotation, and they are a highlight to my work days. It's funny because going through pharmacy school, I never had the desire to teach or be a rotation preceptor. I knew I had a passion for hospital pharmacy, but I never got excited about formalized teaching. Then, I had fabulous preceptors on all of my APPE rotations (well... almost all... but I don't want to hurt any feelings... let's just say Northeast Montana was too cold and too desolate for my own well-being). These preceptors were all unique in their own ways, and I decided which bits and pieces I wanted to emulate from them. I pursued and matched with a 24-month Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency in Kansas City where I continued to learn from fabulous movers & shakers of the pharmacy world. I continued to add to and modify my list of what characteristics and skills I wanted to emulate from these residency preceptors. As a new practitioner and new manager, I am still a work in progress. But I feel like I'm this cool collage that is unique as a whole, but not unique in the individual pieces I have glued together from my mentors and preceptors.
Okay, so back to my story. I'm currently precepting 2 final-year pharmacy students from Temple University. It's really amazing to see how students grow both over the course of their 6-week rotation and as the academic year progresses. One of the students is in the midst of residency interviews for a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice program. He is going to make a fantastic resident at whichever program is lucky to match him! My second student has already signed a contract with a community/retail pharmacy. Prior to the start of the rotation, she made it very clear that she is on a community/retail path and is only rotating through Reading Hospital because she has an institutional APPE requirement to fulfill. Fair enough. My only request to her (and all my students) is that they keep an open mind during their 6-week stay, ask lots of questions, and be a team player.
I have the students complete formal assignments over the course of the rotation and I try to do at least two semi-formal topic discussions with them each week. We try to debrief on a daily basis, but some days the only free time I have is to run to the coffee kiosk for another cup of joe. In residency, many of our leadership journal club articles were past Whitney lectures. I really enjoyed learning from these influential pharmacists, and so I've created a "Whitney Lecture" topic discussion on the Institutional APPE rotation calendar. I select a different Whitney Lecture for each student (and so the discussions don't become stale to me) and we talk about who Harvey AK Whitney was, why the lecture is important, and what recognition means in the profession of pharmacy. We then proceed to discuss the article, where I am always interested in the students' insights and what struck them about the lecture.
For this month, the students and I discussed "What Will Be Your Legacy" from James C. McAllister, III (2003). We discussed what it means to have a legacy and where you leave it. We talked about their upcoming transitions as they prepare for graduation and leave their current workplaces where they have worked as an intern for many years. As we were wrapping up the discussion, I asked if either had a last comment from the article.
Student: "This article was fantastic. It was probably one of the best articles I've read on a rotation."
Me: "Oh really? What stood out to you?"
Student: "The very last paragraph hit the nail on the head. All these other articles have pearls and talk about what's important in your professional life, but this one brought it back full circle. It reminded me why I signed a contract with XYZ Pharmacy and decided against pursuing a residency. My fiance and his daughter are the most important things in my life, and my future family will be the best legacy that I am investing into."
We continued for another fifteen minutes talking about work-life balance and how it will always be a challenge - sometimes easier challenges than others. I left them to ponder this quote by Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca-Cola:
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit... and you're keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shatter. They will never be the same.
You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.
And with that, I am back to my P-GoLD resource assisting for the evening and planning our final topic discussion before they finish on Friday afternoon. Thanks for reading!
Tue, Feb 05, 2013 01:19 PM
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