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Finding my footing as a year-1 pharmacy resident

December 21, 2020

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A story told by current year-1 Pharmacy Resident, Sandra Vielma:

Residency has been such a fast-paced adventure it seems fitting that my current rotation is in the Emergency Department (ED). While having a rotation in the ED is required of all Legacy pharmacy residents, this was a bonus for me as my dream job is to be an ED pharmacist. 

It’s hard to say what a day looks like in the ED, as each can be drastically different. My day usually starts around 2 p.m. when I grab the ED phone and touch base with the other department pharmacists. After I reach my desk, I log into our computer and look at what patients we have for the day, identifying who needs a medicine recommendation and if there are any pharmacy consultations that need to be done. Often when I first arrive,Ifield questions from nurses and providers about issues or questions needing immediate attention. It’s not uncommon to find our desk with post-it notes or medications with questions attachedfrom staff. 

Each day brings a variety of duties. Patient transfers from other areas and room visits are common. My response depends on how much time I have until a patient arrives. If it’s within 10 minutes, I quickly wrap up what I am doing and go to the room to see how I can help. If I have15minutes or longer, I review the patient’s needs and then head to the room to check-in. I try to review patient information and medicine needs before I leave my computer as sometimes a patient may require me to be there longer than a few minutes and I don’t want a nurse to be waiting on me for medications.Some examples of calls we had during my rotation included injuries and trauma around vehicle and motorcycle accidents and ground level falls. 

As the nurse administers medication, I assess the patient and anticipate what other medications they may need now or in the future. During any care within the ED, the nurses are busy attending to the patient,so they appreciate pharmacy being able to step in and pull medications and assist with setting up the equipment. 

Sometimes the ED is busy,andas soon as I finish in one patient room, I immediately head to the next room. You must be ready for anything, always knowing where the appropriate safety equipment is and steps that need to be taken in common situations. 

After finishing up in a patient room during emergency care, I return to my desk and look at my list again, cleaning up various orders and consultations with patients. Then the pager goes offand it’s off to another patient room. 

For more information on our Pharmacy Residency Programs, please visit us here.
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