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The official rotation thread

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Bbed, Apr 9, 2014.

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  1. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Got questions about rotation? Ask them here!

    Let's start! What is your favorite rotation? How did you prepare? Did you get a job offer from your sites?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
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  3. Rouelle

    Rouelle 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 7, 2011
    Pharmacist
    PhD
    I'll be mildly interested to see where this thread goes. I start rotations in June. Don't yet have my June assignment. July is general peds.
     
  4. forteo

    forteo 2+ Year Member

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    I got my current job through my rotations. It wasn't easy but I did things that other students didn't do. This is what I recommend:

    (1) Choose sites that are likely to hire new graduates like retail, mail order, long term care, nursing home, etc. Even if these sites are far, they are worth the drive.

    (2) Know the drugs well and be able to look up information right away. If they have a formulary, ask for a copy. I mainly used these sources:

    - Pharmacy Charts: concise drug information in chart formats
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pharmacy-Ch...3?pt=US_Texbook_Education&hash=item3ccde1ea77

    - Tarascon: portable, instant information
    http://www.amazon.com/Tarascon-Pock...=UTF8&qid=1397088286&sr=8-1&keywords=tarascon

    - National guidelines: http://www.guideline.gov

    (3) I came early and left later than other students. Sometimes, I even came on the weekends.

    (4) I called my preceptors a week in advance and introduced myself. I then followed up with an email asking them how I can prepare for the rotations

    (5) I treated the techs really well. I brought treats to the pharmacy and thanked them for their help. Techs and pharmacists love to talk so treat everyone with respect.

    (6) I made it clear to my preceptors that I am interested in a pharmacist position. I took some of my preceptors' work home. I also looked up drug information for them.

    (7) I talked to upperclassmen. I asked them about the sites, the preceptors and what I can do to impress my preceptors. I took each rotation like a 6 week interview.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  5. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    I hope many more will share their experiences! If you are looking for networking opportunities, go to your local pharmacists association. The pharmacists I met there have a passion for this profession!
     
  6. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    How far did you have to drive?
     
  7. forteo

    forteo 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 10, 2012
    95 miles a day. I worked at a pain clinic. What a great experience! The preceptor became one of my references.
     
    larqw87, JChan36 and pharmerjohn like this.
  8. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

  9. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Rotation #1: VA ambulatory care (4 out of 5 stars)
    - Recommend this rotation if you are planning to do a residency
    - coumadin clinic, outpatient medicine clinic, dialysis clinic and pulmonary clinic
    - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m (2 hours shift at each clinic)
    - 2 presentations: one to the pharmacists and one to the medicine staff

    Pros: Very knowledgeable pharmacists! If you want to learn drug therapies and evidence based treatment guidelines from diabetes to COPD then this is your ideal rotation. I also had the opportunity to counsel veterans and to educate them about their diseases. I worked directly with VA physicians, nurses, and medical students.

    Cons: I would love to work here as a pharmacist but you need a residency. The formulary is a bit limited so you won't be expose to all of the drugs especially the new ones. The drive was a bit far but it was well worth it.
     
    RxEvileye likes this.
  10. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Did anybody else also meet her significant other on rotations?
     
  11. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Awesome information! hope you don't mind that I post your info in this thread:

    First rotation: Global Health Outreach Trip
    Pros: Very awesome. The experience was great and very rewarding. It lasted a week and counted for four weeks (winning!). :cool:
    Cons: Expensive, time consuming pre-rotation preparation, extensive paperwork involved, vaccines, etc. Probably didn't do much to prepare me to actually be a pharmacist.
    Final Thought: Likely to be my favorite rotation. Would certainly do it again. :thumbup:

    Second rotation: Community (Independent)
    Pros: The staff was friendly, got LOTS of experience counseling, also got to compound and do some other cool retail stuff
    Cons: Not many. You do feel like free help sometimes I guess. When it is busy it does not exactly feel like a learning environment, to put it mildly. :smuggrin:
    Final Thought: I feel like most people who put down communty rotations probably don't take advantage of the opportunity as much as they should. I worked at CVS for two years before this rotation and still learned a lot from my preceptors about how to counsel, different facts about medications, being a pharmacist, etc. Have an open mind and just absorb as much as you can.

    Third Rotation: Amb Care
    Pros: Great hours, staff was friendly, preceptors challenge me more than my first two rotation sites (but not in a stressful way ;)), by far the most 'professional' setting I have seen a pharmacist in.
    Cons: After the first hundred INR checks I doubt there is much more to learn. It gets monotonous. :thumbdown:
    Final Thought: Pretty cool overall, but it is just doing the same thing over and over and over...

    And that is all I have so far. Hopefully others find this idea helpful and contribute. :)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  12. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    has anyone done a rotation in another country? how was your experience?
     
  13. Advate

    Advate

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    International rotations are good if you want to experience working and living in another country but you won't gain much practical experiences. Pharmacy is practiced very differently in other countries.
     
    Bbed and owlegrad like this.
  14. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    I loved the experience but it is not practical at all.
     
    Bbed likes this.
  15. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Where did you guys do your international rotation? How long was the rotation? How much did it cost?
     
  16. Advate

    Advate

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    I spent about 4 weeks Switzerland and yes, it was expensive! Does your school offer any international rotation? It's nice to take a "break" and travel but like others have said, you won't learn anything practical.

    If you are going to do an international rotation, do it at the end of your rotations. This way you would get residency and job interview out of the way. You can just relax for a few weeks before you enter the "real world".
     
  17. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    How important are rotation grades for residency?
     
  18. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    It's all in the thread I posted. :)
     
  19. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Doesn't everyone get A's on rotations? (Sorry if question is obnoxious)
     
  20. Advate

    Advate

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    Most people get As so that means if you get a couple of Bs then that can hurt you. If you are absolutely sure you want to do a residency, choose a rotation site that has residency spots. Express interest in doing a residency there. Take it as a 6 week interview.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
    oldstock likes this.
  21. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    just curious, what do you guys carry in your white coat pocket while on rotation?
     
  22. EML9255

    EML9255 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 24, 2013
    on my rotations where i wore my white coat daily i usually had a few random pens, calculator, phone, little general clinical pearls handbook, and probably some random piece of paper with notes scribbled on it,
     
  23. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Does anybody else carry a candy bar in her white coat pocket?

    How about a pack of gum? skittles? Those are great ice breaker!
     
    RxEvileye likes this.
  24. Carboxide

    Carboxide 7+ Year Member

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    No. My sch0ol used to be one of those - everyone got As. so they drastically changed the grading regimen so that grades actually reflect your performance.
     
  25. Advate

    Advate

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    why would any school do this? why make it harder for their students when they apply for residency?
     
  26. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    just curious, how does your school do this?
     
  27. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    besides pubmed, what other sources do you use to look up research articles and clinical studies?
     
  28. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    I really feel 6 week rotation is really unnecessary. By the 4th week, either you know it or you don't.
     
    Doc Hawaii likes this.
  29. 0810024

    0810024 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Indiana
    TRIP database is a great resource especially for evidence-based medicine.
     
  30. Carboxide

    Carboxide 7+ Year Member

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    Because it does not help you when it is well known that an A means nothing. In fact, it could arguably hurt you when applying because you are considered an unknown. They have no idea what you know and don't know. I don't think it has affected our school, though. Every year at least 50% of the class gains a residency offer.

    They have a grading form where the preceptor rates your abilities in certain areas and those translate through a system into a grade. They don't tell you how it translates. It's not THAT hard to figure out but it makes it a lot harder to game the system. Several people have said that they were graded by their preceptor fairly but got an B or even C, and the preceptor wasn't super happy because they thought the student did a good job and deserved better.
     
  31. Advate

    Advate

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    Yeah that's great and all but how do residency sites know this? If someone got a C, they would probably think the applicant is a poor student and not because of the high grading standards.
     
  32. Carboxide

    Carboxide 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 6, 2008
    When you go to a very well-known school, people know what your grading scale is.

    Example: everyone knows Stanford grade deflates.
     
  33. Advate

    Advate

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    that is a horrible idea. instead of concentrating on work experience and networking, you are going focus on useless grades.
     
  34. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    If you are on the first week of rotation and you feel you are not learning anything, what course of action would you take? Would you try to work it out with your preceptor? Would you talk to your school admin?
     
  35. Advate

    Advate

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    If you are having issues with your rotation site, let your school admin know first. Don't try to work it out with your preceptor. Some preceptors are just bad and can be defensive. Some sites are there to just use you as free labor. Talk to your school admin. Do it early.
     
    oldstock likes this.
  36. radio frequency

    radio frequency 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 18, 2012
    I have so many pockets (some hidden)! I love my white coat!

    I carry the Sanford guide, my phone with tons of pharmacy apps, a favorite pen, a granola bar, and sometimes some note paper.
     
  37. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    I also carry a granola bar! I have gums as well. They are great ice breaker!
     
  38. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Rotation #2: Surgical ICU (2.5 stars out of 5)
    - a team of 3 pharmacy students and a professor
    - follow patients who had been hospitalized and the medications they are on
    - made weekly recommendation on their medications especially antibiotics

    Pros: got a chance to meet some of the attending physicians and the director. We had full access to the hospital computers and got a chance to see how patients are being treated in the ICU.

    Cons: didn't interact with the medical team much. We mostly add notes and made suggestions but often, those suggestions were not ignored. We also did not round with the team. We mainly learn things from the patients' charts.

    Overall, it was a decent rotation. It was a good introduction to the hospital. We did work with nurses, med students and attending physicians but it would have been much better if we had rounded with them more often.
     
  39. Advate

    Advate

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    Jul 6, 2012
    That's too bad. Part of the learning is to work with med students. You learn a lot from them and they also learn from you.
     
  40. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Has anyone ever done an out of state rotation? Do you need to get an intern license in that state first?
     
  41. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Yes
     
  42. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Thanks! what state did you do your rotation? How long was the process?
     
  43. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    No I was just answering the question about needing a licence. The answer is yes.
     
  44. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    for those who applied for residencies, how many days did you ask to be off for residency interview?
     
  45. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    anyone here had a NP as your preceptor? my next preceptor is a NP and I am not sure what to expect? Is this legal?
     
  46. trailerpark

    trailerpark 2+ Year Member

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    May 27, 2013
    My school requires your preceptor to be a pharmacist regardless of where the setting is.
     
  47. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    are you training to be a pharmacist or NP ??
     
  48. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Pharmacist. Weird right? Is this even legal? I thought as an intern, my work must be monitored by a pharmacist.
     
  49. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    Call the state board of pharmacy and/or ACPE. This does not sound right to me...

    And what school is it, if you don't mind sharing ?? :thinking::thinking:
     
  50. Bbed

    Bbed 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 18, 2014
    I spoke with the rotation coordinator and she said my preceptor doesn't have to be a pharmacist. She said I would be working with medications but I won't be dispensing. It would also give me a good opportunity to learn what other professionals do.
     
  51. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    still sounds really weird as this is the first time I have heard about. I would still contact/call the state board of pharmacy (anonymously ? ) in your case just to make sure there is no complication for your intern hours (making sure that counts).

    hope other pharmacists here chime in....
     

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