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Friday, November 4, 2011

The future

So I just finished reading Drugmonkey's latest on Walgreen's POWER program, and I had a few thoughts...

Do you know what's most annoying? I'm sitting in school today writing SOAP notes and making recommendations to doctors based on pre-written interviews with patients. I literally get a typed up interview of the patient and every lab and clinical value I could ever ask for.

Do I learn? Yes.

Is it practical? No.

As of now, I like it, because it strengthens my learning - but I seem to be one of the few who realize this type of stuff doesn't happen all too often in the actual workplace.

I also am required to counsel on random medications throughout the semester - I get to look at the script (and only the script) and I also get as much time as I want to collect my thoughts before I start counseling.

Real world application? 1 out of 10.
Will I have infinite time to "collect my thoughts", without being able to look anything up? No. I'll have seconds - minutes maybe, and numerous resources to glance at. (Should I need the resources? No, absolutely not - not for common drugs.) My time is limited. I understand this is a learning exercise though, so I'm giving a pass on all this.

HOWEVER, having the bottle right there improves consultation immensely. You can point out how many refills, when to take, how often to take ect. ect. blah blah blah. Most importantly, special considerations (take with food, refrigerate, or do not drink grapefruit juice ect.) are almost always included on the bottle, which is a great resource to both us and the patient.

Now, should we know the special considerations for common drugs? Of course! However, we're all human and forget things from time to time.

So throughout my education I've been given:
1. More information about a patient than can be expected in a community pharmacy
2. Adequate time to review the patient's medications and comorbidities.
3. Inadequate prescription information for counseling

As far as my experience goes and from what I've read - my school is doing the opposite of what happens in the real world in at least these three categories I arbitrarily came up with.

My future job scares me - I'm not going to lie. I want to help this stupid population of people, but I'd rather do nothing than start harming it - and I'm scared I'll be rushed and eventually harm it.


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