Patient Care is Everywhere!

Hello Blogosphere!

As usual, I’ve been busy with pharmacy life and haven’t had a chance to document what I’ve done. But as Dr. B always says, “If you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it.” So time to document!

Rotation life is great! I have free time (yes, that is a real thing). I’ve been hanging out with friends and family, enjoying happy hours, taking in the wonderful views at the lakes and generally just relaxing and enjoying the summer, oh and learning. Lots of that still happening, but this time sans books and late night cram sessions. Have I mentioned how great rotation life is?!

Block 1 was at Allina Pharmacy (community/retail) in Owatonna. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not much for small towns, but 5 weeks flew by at Allina. All of the staff there were wonderful to work with and it was really interesting to see the unique relationship that the pharmacist, David Cooper, had with the patients. He always greeted them with a smile or a joke and really earned their trust. You could tell that they knew they were in good hands when they saw THEIR pharmacist. And David trusted me to do a lot more than just count pills, which meant a lot to me. Retail rotations are always a little worrisome. You don’t want to get stuck being “free-labor,” and I can say without a doubt, I feel like I learned a great deal during my time there and it was worth every minute!

Block 2 was my elective at Medication Management Systems (MMS) in Golden Valley–another great rotation! If you’re looking for a non-traditional practice setting, this is it! At MMS the pharmacists all provide pharmaceutical care by doing comprehensive medication reviews via the phone with patients all over the country! The Care Center here is run out of an office building. Technicians contact patients and schedule appointments for pharmacists to review their medications, then the pharmacists review them, document their drug therapy problems and send the recommendations in a letter to the patients and their providers. So yes, all of those “ideal world” scenarios we hear about in school really do exist, but they may not necessarily be in a traditional pharmacy setting.


Pharmacist Lynn Lukoskie at her desk talking to patients.

And boy do these pharmacists know their stuff! It was amazing to sit in on their phone call and hear how they interacted with the patients and how they knew just what to ask to assess for indication, efficacy, safety, and convenience. It’s definitely going to take quite a bit more training before I can even come close to that level of patient care. And here again, the pharmacists often developed a trusting relationship with patients but in a completely different way from what I saw at my first rotation. The pharmacists, interns, and I made quite a few follow-up calls and it was great to hear how much patients appreciated the information they received. It completely changed their perception of what pharmacists can do.

I was a little sad that my 5-weeks at MMS had flown by, but more adventures in pharmacy await! I started my 10-week acute care rotation at Methodist Hospital today. Stay tuned to hear all about it. In the mean time, enjoy the wonderful summer weather, stay safe, and keep on keeping on!

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