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problem-solving?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by kitkat06, 05.19.07.

  1. kitkat06

    kitkat06

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    I am afraid to ask this question- there is much problem-solving involved in the field of pharmacy? Can one be creative without being in the research track? or without being on the diagnosis side of health conditions?
  2. twester

    twester Senior Member

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    Pharmacists don't diagnose. A pharmacy student may be exposed to diagnostic methods, but not nearly to the extent that a med student is. That said, a pharmacist typically has much more knowledge about how a drug works and interacts with other drugs. In an ideal setting, the skills sets of pharmacists and physicians complement each other.

    I'd say there's a good bit of problem solving that goes into training a pharmacist. Problem solving is part of learning, IMO. I think many people have the idea that rote memorization is learning (including some people on the faculty of my school), but memorization is merely a subset of learning. The ability to apply what one has memorized involves problem solving. The best way to learn it is to practice (as a student does in any science from mathematics to pharmacy).

    I'll let one of our resident practitioners speak to whether their job requires a lot of problem solving.
  3. kitkat06

    kitkat06

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    Thanks for replying, twester. I am aware that pharmacists are not the health professionals with the authority to diagnose illnesses/diseases. I should have elaborated on the last segment of my original post ("without being on the diagnosis side of things") that I was comparing to someone who does have this power to use their problem solving ability in the "traditional" sense in the health care field - ie. a physician/clinician. Now before people starts to send flying daggers at me for once again bring up the pharm.d vs m.d. debate, i am only trying to get a sense of a pharmacist's opportunity to use his/her problem solving skills in a non- disease diagnosing capacity; it is it is not my intent to offend anyone in the profession. Personally, I find pharmacology and toxicology more intriguing. I really want to learn about drug mechanisms and medication reactions in the human body, and the selective usage of medicinal properties to combat diseases. It is just that there seems to be a lot of people on this forum commenting about how their job/profession is not as stimulating as they would like and that the skills pharmacists acquired from their pharmacy education/training are underutilized. I am an inquisitive individual, and would like to be like a detective and problem solve. Correct me if I am wrong, are there areas other than of pharmacotherapy, pharmacoepidemiology and research that these tendencies/ skills would be greatly beneficial / essential?
  4. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    a few i can think of:

    "what can i piggyback with what? i have a trauma patient with only a triple lumen, but she needs at least 6 different drugs as well as blood? and, no, we can't get anymore lines in her"

    "this patient is allergic to penicillin, but has tertiary syphilis. can you prepare serial dilutions of PCN so we can desensitize her and treat her?"

    "we need to have patient specific barcodes for each medication given in the NICU, but the computer currently doesn't print barcodes. how can we get it to print drug and patient specific barcodes?"

    "our epidurals don't scan in our medication administration system, so we can technically can't chart them. if we can't chart them, we can't hang them on the patient. can you fix the item, the barcode and how the system reads the barcode?"
  5. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    Goood Gawd... Thank you for reminding me why I'm not a DOP no more!!!!

    :smuggrin:
  6. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist

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    i'm not a DOP...i'm a night schmuck!
    :D
  7. ZpackSux

    ZpackSux Retired

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    I can be the DOP schmuck and say...

    "Hey Tuss.... can you fix that...I'm kinda busy surfing the web.. Thanks..you're the best" :smuggrin:
  8. ButlerPharm.D.

    ButlerPharm.D. Honor Before Glory

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    If you're interested in using problem solving skills you might find medication therapy management or MTM intriguing. Essentially, you'll see patients in conjunction with their physicians and adjust their medication regimens as needed. It's very interesting because you are interacting with patients in a greater capacity than retail pharmacy but you are also using your more "clinical" skills as well. Example: a patient has recently been diagnosed by their physician as having type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia and is forwarded to you for management of their medications; what types of lifestyle counseling can you offer and what medication therapies would be appropriate to initiate in this patient? This is just an example but you can see where I am going with this.

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