PrePharmD

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I recently shadowed a pharmacist in a hospital setting. The experience was nothing at all like what I had read about and I'm starting to have second thoughts. We were working on the psych floor and there wasn't much patient contact at all. We pretty much read background histories on patients and glanced at their meds and that was it. The pharmacist I shadowed told me he would talk to the patients about their meds, but never did. I learned a lot about psych meds during the experience and that part I loved, but I really was hoping for more interactions with the patients. I'm wondering if this is indicative of what I'm getting myself into or if the pharmacist I was shadowing was just having an off day?? Thanks!
 

ajh88

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The lack of patient interaction was one reason I really didn't like my experience in a hospital pharmacy (I learned a lot but the environment wasn't what I expected it to be). However, some of our "clinical" pharmacists did have patient interaction (not all the time, but moreso than the staff pharmacists). I'm sure other hospitals are different and you'd have to shadow for more than a couple of days to get a better view of what that pharmacist does - but in my limited experience, there was definitely not a lot of patient interaction.
 
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RxWildcat

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The amount of patient interaction is going to vary a TON depending on the pharmacist position and the institution. Don't let this one experience deter you from pharmacy.
 

mike36

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Have you tried asking the pharmacist you shadowed about it? He would be able to tell you if that was in fact a typical day for him, or not.
 

Storm90

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Clinical pharmacists have some patient contact, but not as much as some think. They analyze patient profiles to optimize drug therapy. Most of the time it's tweaking or changing what the MD orders. If you want more, a community setting is likely the solution, as long as it isn't one of those 500+ scripts/day where all you do is pump out rx's. Someone also recommended IHS to me for greater patient interaction.
 

confettiflyer

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Clinical pharmacists have some patient contact, but not as much as some think. They analyze patient profiles to optimize drug therapy. Most of the time it's tweaking or changing what the MD orders. If you want more, a community setting is likely the solution, as long as it isn't one of those 500+ scripts/day where all you do is pump out rx's. Someone also recommended IHS to me for greater patient interaction.
Yeah this experience sounds about right. If you want patient interaction (good and bad) go for retail or another route (IHS is one of them).

I'm personally not a fan of the pt interaction, now again I like it to shake things up.
 

mike36

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Clinical pharmacists have some patient contact, but not as much as some think. They analyze patient profiles to optimize drug therapy. Most of the time it's tweaking or changing what the MD orders. If you want more, a community setting is likely the solution, as long as it isn't one of those 500+ scripts/day where all you do is pump out rx's. Someone also recommended IHS to me for greater patient interaction.
I've heard something similar as well. I guess it depends on where you're at, but I think even clinical pharmacists mostly interact with other healthcare professionals rather than patients.
 

Hels2007

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From my limited experience in the hospital, there is very limited interaction with patients on most services. While there are some hospitals where pharmacists do discharge counseling, it's generally done by nurses. The interaction is mainly with other healthcare professionals, otherwise it's all paper and computer... Besides, on some services, like ICU, the patients' aren't in shape to interact much. The only service where I do know pharmacists get a lot of patient interaction is transplant, since the medication regimen is very complex for those patients, and non-adherence can be fatal, so hospitals are willing to pay for a pharmacists' time to counsel.

For the patient interaction, the best options would be either Veteran's Administration or Indian Health Service. Especially Indian Health Service. The other option would be a low-volume pharmacy, but I have a hunch there aren't going to be a lot of those for much longer. Either they will get busier, or they will get closed, unless you are in a rural area (which, BTW, is another option if you want a lot of patient interaction).
 

thephoenician88

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this is worth reading for you I think...

http://www.theangrypharmacist.com/archives/2008/10/debunking_the_myth_of_what_bri.html

Interesting blog by a pharmacist.
his rants are a little far fetched at times. I work in a slow some days busy some days retail. If all is going according to workflow, you do have time to step to the side and consult for a little (A LITTLE) lol.

I'm not sure about this, but isn't it up to the hospital pharmacist to decide how much time he wants to spend with patients? I mean i'm sure he can just adjust what the doctor wrote, but can't he also walk into the room and say hey how are you etc.?
 

PrePharmD

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Have you tried asking the pharmacist you shadowed about it? He would be able to tell you if that was in fact a typical day for him, or not.
By "off day" I meant, was he slacking? So, no, I was not going to ask him :D.
 

PrePharmD

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From my limited experience in the hospital, there is very limited interaction with patients on most services. While there are some hospitals where pharmacists do discharge counseling, it's generally done by nurses. The interaction is mainly with other healthcare professionals, otherwise it's all paper and computer... Besides, on some services, like ICU, the patients' aren't in shape to interact much. The only service where I do know pharmacists get a lot of patient interaction is transplant, since the medication regimen is very complex for those patients, and non-adherence can be fatal, so hospitals are willing to pay for a pharmacists' time to counsel.

For the patient interaction, the best options would be either Veteran's Administration or Indian Health Service. Especially Indian Health Service. The other option would be a low-volume pharmacy, but I have a hunch there aren't going to be a lot of those for much longer. Either they will get busier, or they will get closed, unless you are in a rural area (which, BTW, is another option if you want a lot of patient interaction).
I'm going to try and get a job at a small family owned pharmacy. The one that I found online offers BP monitoring services, smoking cessation counseling, herbal and nutritional supplemental counseling, delivers medications to the homebound, and offers classes on the proper use of walkers, wheelchairs, etc. Sounds like a good place to start...Hopefully they stick around because a new Super Wal-Mart and Super Target were just built about a half mile away in each direction.
 

jyw003

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I'm going to try and get a job at a small family owned pharmacy. The one that I found online offers BP monitoring services, smoking cessation counseling, herbal and nutritional supplemental counseling, delivers medications to the homebound, and offers classes on the proper use of walkers, wheelchairs, etc. Sounds like a good place to start...Hopefully they stick around because a new Super Wal-Mart and Super Target were just built about a half mile away in each direction.
when you said family owned...i was just about to say...will it be sticking around haha....good luck~
 

SHC1984

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I recently shadowed a pharmacist in a hospital setting. The experience was nothing at all like what I had read about and I'm starting to have second thoughts. We were working on the psych floor and there wasn't much patient contact at all. We pretty much read background histories on patients and glanced at their meds and that was it. The pharmacist I shadowed told me he would talk to the patients about their meds, but never did. I learned a lot about psych meds during the experience and that part I loved, but I really was hoping for more interactions with the patients. I'm wondering if this is indicative of what I'm getting myself into or if the pharmacist I was shadowing was just having an off day?? Thanks!
Thats a good thing trust me. I work retail right now and its annoying as hell when people keep on calling or coming up to you to ask questions when you have a TON of scripts to type in and fill...:rolleyes:
Its like leave me alone I have work to do!!! Retail will be great if its just typing and filling and vertfication with no one bugging you and asking you a million questions!!!
 

YiYaoYue

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i like that there is only a limited patient interaction... you can choose to be someone who goes on rounds and talks to patients and family or work outpatient when they have questions if you want or you can be more anti-pt interaction. I think maybe retail is for you if you really like to talk to patients specially. Most of the time pharmacist work on computer, talk to each other and techs. I like the more intimate social atmosphere than having to deal with patients that talk on phone, yell at you, disrespect you (although some doctors do the same), etc. Patients also call more often in hospital setting, so you might have not noticed that the pharmacist was talking to a patient over the phone. I had the exact opposite feeling where I didn't like retail aspect, but fell in love with the hospital or specialty settings.
 

triumphbr

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his rants are a little far fetched at times. I work in a slow some days busy some days retail. If all is going according to workflow, you do have time to step to the side and consult for a little (A LITTLE) lol.

I'm not sure about this, but isn't it up to the hospital pharmacist to decide how much time he wants to spend with patients? I mean i'm sure he can just adjust what the doctor wrote, but can't he also walk into the room and say hey how are you etc.?

I agree that at times he does tend to dial up the pessimism to an eleven. I think the point he is making is legitimate however. There is a line between the fairy tale world young "to-be" pharmacist see (and are taught) and the reality of the proverbial "THEM" demanding max profit at all times. I think the bottom line is whatever you do as a pharmacist you had better find a way to turn a profit at the end of the month or, just like any job, the "powers that be" will be looking at different options no matter how great of a pharmacist you are.

RE: Privilege Vs. Right... I feel that he is directing that statement at the lowest rung of health care patients. If you ever deal with people perfectly capable of contributing to society and simply refuse to you can understand his frustration. I took his statement to be aimed at the ones that have never "turned a screw" from birth to death and expect the rest of us to provide them with everything that could possibly want/need in life. Of course this would NOT include persons with REAL disabilities that prevent them from contributing in some way.

For the record I LOVE T.A.P. and eagerly await every new blog.
 
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