PharmD with Kids

If you’re wondering if you should attempt a PharmD program when you have kids at home and all the stuff that comes with having kids at home….take heart…..the good news is that it is doable, but it is a balancing act. I have two middle school aged sons who are very active in extracurricular activities, and who have increasingly difficult homework with which they often need help. My husband and I are self-employed, and we are active in our church. Even though you will have to develop strategies that work for your particular family dynamic, let me share what has helped me during my journey at Campbell.

You will have to make sacrifices. Make sure you know what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not. Time management is key. You must identify the highest priority task continually. I ask myself several times a day, “What is the best use of my time…..right now?” Sometimes the answer to this question is, “Playing with my kids”.  Asking myself this question has helped me decide when to study, work with my children on their activities, manage home duties, work with my husband on his business, sleep, etc.   Usually, I make the decision based upon what will give me the highest return on investment. Sorry, housework, you will usually lose out to studying or family responsibilities. Just enjoy the thought that you’ll have a clean home and beautiful yard someday after school is over…or when you retire. Your kids are only with you for a short while so don’t miss it, even while you’re in school. Other sacrifices I am willing to make are not watching TV, not reading books or magazines that take away from study time and not going out to every event that comes my way.

I treat school just like I would any other job. I have set hours to work, do schoolwork, manage the household, and have family time, but still try to remain flexible in case things don’t work according to schedule. The calendar is your friend. I use my Google calendar and update it regularly, but it is not set in stone.

Recognize that TV and social media can become time wasters. I’m not saying don’t watch TV or get on social media.   In fact, Facebook has been essential for sharing information with my classmates. Just realize that five minutes catching up on what everyone is doing can turn into an hour or more. You have to be ruthless about setting limits on what you allow to eat up your time.

Be able to say “No” graciously. You will get requests from friends, family, work, and other organizations that perhaps you could say “Yes” to before starting school. You may not be able to lead that Sunday School class, work as many hours, chaperone field trips, or be the Room or Team Parent anymore. That’s okay! Allow someone else to grow in that area. You will also need to be selective about how many student organizations you join at school. Pick the ones that best align with your career goals, or hold the most interest for you and get involved with those.

Depending on the ages and abilities of your kids, get some child labor going! It’s so good for them. I have delegated age-appropriate responsibilities to my sons. Let go of perfection! They will not do the chore the way you would, or as well as you would do it. Since my boys are a little older now, (ages 11 and 13), they do dishes, laundry, trash, make their own breakfast, and they are, of course, responsible for their room. I’m trying to get to the point where they do it automatically without my having to remind them….but we’re getting there. They also know that making good grades is their job and they are responsible for getting help from me or their teachers as needed. I expect them to make good grades so I have to “walk the talk” and get help from classmates, tutors, and professors when needed as well.

You will need support and encouragement from friends and/or family. Also, if you need peace and quiet to study (as I do), you must find some kid-free time. That might mean having to stay up late after they go to bed, or getting up earlier before they wake up. You may need to get away to a local library to concentrate, if you can arrange that. Ask friends and/or family to occupy your kids occasionally or get them involved in an organization or activity, so you can have some uninterrupted study time.

Know how you study best! This involves knowing yourself very well. For instance, I am easily distracted, and can be talkative, so I have learned that I do not study best in a group because I’ll want to talk and get off subject. I need a quiet environment free from distractions to really digest the material from class. Therefore, I use every kid-free moment to study. I record lectures on my phone and listen to them during my commute. I have a 35 minute commute one way so that’s over an hour a day (kid-free) that I just can’t lose. Before my kids get home from school, I study so that when they come home, I’m available to help them with their homework.  Lastly, use your crockpot. It’s a lifesaver!

I believe you will find that it is beneficial for your kids to experience this educational journey with you! They will see you work hard, prioritize, and reap the results of your hard work. You will have opportunities to discuss what they would like to do when they grow up. If your kids are older, you might discuss what colleges they might like to attend and what it will take to get there. It is important for us as parents to model setting a goal, putting forth a good effort, and obtaining that goal. They will learn more from your example than from any parental lecture you could throw at them. Bring your kids to Campbell occasionally to roam. My boys love coming to Campbell with me on what I call “field trips”, which usually includes a stop at the bookstore, and Chic-Fil-A or Starbucks. Who knows? They may be future Campbell Camels. I hope you found this useful and good luck on your Campbell journey!



First Year IPE Event

Inter-professional education (IPE) at Campbell is a unique avenue compared to other schools that integrates multiple health professions for events. IPE includes students from physical therapy (PT), physician assistant (PA), pharmacy, osteopathic medicine (DO), and public health students. Now that Campbell is also adding a nursing school, nursing students in the future will also be included in the IPEs. The goal of IPE is to understand each health professional’s role and how we can play off of our strengths and weaknesses in order to provide the best care for our patients. I know that I learned more about the role of physical therapists in management of chronic pain and also how DOs differ from MDs. Many of the other non-pharmacy students commented on the fact that they were not aware of all that pharmacists can do. Especially with the movement toward pharmacists trying to obtain provider status, I feel that this event was important in advocating for the expanded role of the pharmacist among our future colleagues.

IPE events focus on a topic that is relevant to all professions. This first year event was focused on the topic of addition and how healthcare professionals should handle this growing problem. Prior to the event, we were given articles to read about addiction so that we had a common baseline of knowledge. All students convened after classes in the convocation center where we were provided with (free!) lunch. We were broken up into learning circles that had a mix of students from each program. Lunch provided an informal opportunity to get to know the other individuals. A professor from one of the programs was the leader of the circle and facilitated a discussion on addiction.

The discussion also included a personality test that analyzed different modes of communication. This was one of my favorite parts of the event, because the results were scarily accurate! Communication is an essential skill no matter what program you are in, and it is important to recognize and adapt to other people’s communication style so there is not a misunderstanding that harms the patient. After discussing addiction, we had a keynote speaker who is a leader in opioid addiction in the community, and I found his story inspiring. He is advocating for the availability of naloxone to everyone which is a drug that basically blocks the effects of an overdose on opioids. He noticed that in his community, there was a high incidence of narcotic overdoses and began investigating if there was anything he could do to reduce overdose related deaths. If naloxone was available at home, family members could prevent death due to overdose. Because of his tenacity and persistence, he was able to positively impact his community by instigating change within the local hospital system and reduce the number of deaths related to prescription/illegal drug abuse. He is continuing to expand his mission to other parts of the country. His story was motivating, because he recognized the problem, tried to address it, and succeeded. As future healthcare providers, we should not stand idle when we see a problem but rather use our training and try to tackle it and make a progressive difference.

Overall, Campbell’s IPE events provide a platform to foster understanding of roles and responsibilities of each program, enhance communication, and create an atmosphere of teamwork which lays the groundwork to be a successful practitioner.

-Holly Jordan (P1)


Interprofessional Education at Campbell University

The mission of Interprofessional Education at Campbell University is to train students to function effectively as members of an interprofessional health care team in a patient-centered medical home.

Students from the following programs are the main participants:
• Nursing
• Osteopathic Medicine
• PA Program
• Pharmacy
• Physical Therapy
• Public Health

The overall program goals are derived from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Core Competencies.

Values and Ethics
• Respect the unique cultures, values, roles/responsibilities, and expertise of other health professions
• Manage ethical dilemmas specific to interprofessional patient/population centered care situations

Roles and Responsibilities
• Engage diverse healthcare professional who complement one’s own professional expertise, as well as associated resources, to develop strategies to meet specific patient care needs
• Forge interdependent relationships with other professions to improve care and advance learning

Interprofessional Communication
• Listen actively, and encourage ideas and opinions of other team members
• Communicate consistently the importance of teamwork in patient-centered and community-focused care

Teams and Teamwork
• Engage other health professionals—appropriate to the specific care situation—in shared patient-centered problem-solving
• Integrate the knowledge and experience of other professionals—appropriate to the specific care situation—to inform care decisions, while respecting patient and community values and priorities/preferences for care

At Campbell University we do activities together such as case studies and first year events. IPE hopes to start offering short 4-5 week seminars for credit in 2016. You can find out a lot more about IPE at Campbell on the web in two places: http://www.campbell.edu/academics/interprofessional-education/ and http://campbelluniversityipe.ning.com



Summer Spotlight: Phi Delta Chi Grand Council

On August 3rd, I traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to participate in the Phi Delta Chi 70th Grand Council along with 5 other collegiate Brothers and 4 alumni Brothers from the Beta Kappa chapter here at Campbell. The conference consisted of general business meetings, officer training courses, Brotherhood activities and an Awards Banquet to end the week. Some of the highlights included participating in a bowling fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, riding a tram up to Sandia’s peak (elevation: 10,378 ft), and exploring both “Old Town” and downtown Albuquerque. We had several Brothers receive awards and the entire chapter as a whole received several as well. It was an exciting moment when one of our very own Beta Kappa Brothers, Brandon Hill, was named the Grand Vice President for Student Affairs, becoming the first national officer to hail from Campbell University and the Beta Kappa chapter. The chapter also brought home 1st place for the “Chapter Publication Award and Norman H. Franke Scholarship,” which is given to the publication that is the most professional, creative and well-designed and comes with a $600 scholarship to use towards leadership development. My experience at Grand Council is one I will never forget and I can’t wait to attend more national conferences to continue to proudly represent Campbell!


-Sara Valanejad (P2)


Networking at the NCAP Student Leadership Conference

The North Carolina Association of Pharmacists’ (NCAP) Student Leadership Conference was held on Saturday, September 19 at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, North Carolina. This conference hosted approximately 90 pharmacy students from across North Carolina. The Campbell College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and the Wingate School of Pharmacy were all represented at the conference. Students from each of these colleges of pharmacy had the opportunity to network with students from other universities throughout the day. This leadership summit was planned and carried out by the Student Pharmacist Network (SNP). This network is a collaboration among students of all three pharmacy schools in North Carolina. The SNP promotes collaboration among the colleges of pharmacy in the state to promote networking and advancement of the field of pharmacy in North Carolina.

The itinerary for the day included several distinguished speakers. Mr. Will Lang, the Senior Policy Advisor for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, gave the first address. He spoke on “Leadership Beyond Campus – Advocating for Impact.” His main focus was that as student pharmacists we should be engaged individuals in the future of pharmacy practice. Mr. Lang explained that in order to accomplish this goal we would have to sort through the clutter of the media, make sure that the issue had relevance, and determine what point in the legislative process the issue was in. He also emphasized that throughout this process we would need to form relationships to share information.

The next speaker was Dr. Robert Supernaw, the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Vice President for Graduate and Professional Programs at the Wingate University School of Pharmacy. Dean Supernaw was an engaging speaker who presented nine pearls of leadership in his address entitled, “Transformational Leadership and the Student Pharmacist.” He explained that implementation of these nine pearls would result in a transformational leader. To reach this leadership goal the pearls included: formulating a vision, persuading people to buy into that vision, understanding that only you are in charge of how others perceive you, not undervaluing management, knowing when common sense trumps the rules, concentrating on what you do best for the team, being cognizant that the team is more important than the leader, and not being afraid to give up some power for advancement of the team. The last pearl he offered was that the leader should be the one on the team that “makes things happen!”

After a networking luncheon, Dr. Dallas Wilson, Healthcare Supervisor at Walgreens, presented on “Functional Leadership: Shaping Strategy as a Student Leader.” Her lecture began by sharing a portion of a commencement address given by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. In this address, he presented the point that “We Are Our Choices.” After this, Dr. Wilson moved into teaching about the importance of creating a strategy as a leader. She taught about how to create an action plan when trying to reach a goal. This goal should be a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goal.

The day ended with an intriguing and challenging team building activity. This activity was entitled “The Marshmallow Challenge.” During this activity teams were given 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. Each team was told that they had 18 minutes to use these items to create the tallest free-standing structure that had to have the marshmallow on the top. This challenge was much more difficult than it seemed given the instructions. Several of the structures (including the tower of the group I was in) fell over when left to stand on their own. After the challenge we were able to discuss what leadership components that we had implemented during the challenge. Overall, the conference was an engaging experience that allowed me to further my leadership potential and network with fellow pharmacy students. I am very grateful for NCAP and the SPN for all their hard work in planning and carrying out such an informative and relevant leadership conference for pharmacy students.


-Sarah Boltinhouse (P1)

CPHS Alumni: Where Are They Now?


Name: Erin Bastidas

Year graduated: 2000

Current position: Pharmacy Manager at Harris Teeter Pharmacy in Cary

Favorite CPHS memory: Winning the ASHP National Clinical Skills Competition at the Midyear Meeting in Orlando in 1999

Advice for those wishing to follow your footsteps: Do your best at everything you do, and take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. Work hard and lead by example.

Summer Spotlight: Kappa Psi Summer Conclave

Summer is great. Everyone loves summer, but students generally have a much deeper, stronger connection with this particular season. It is the season of rest, relaxation, adventure, and (most importantly) it is our yearly escape from all things academic. However, while it might seem tempting to cast away all things even remotely related to school like it were the plague during our “down time” months, summertime is filled with amazing opportunities and great adventures that not only enhance our professional and academic learning and networking, but are also plain ol’ fun!

Many people are singing the praises of Grand Council Conventions that took place over this past summer for some Fraternities. Don’t get me wrong; if you have the opportunity to go to a GCC meeting, take it! The experiences, connections, and memories you make will last you a lifetime. However, if you are like me, you may not be able to afford to drop everything, hop on a plane, and fly across the country for a week. But that is no reason to miss out on all the fun! Which brings me, finally, to my own personal summer spotlight story: our regional Kappa Psi Summer Conclave meeting.

So I did not go to Denver for the National meeting. This girl’s pockets were a little too shallow for such grand adventuring. But I did make it over to Johnson City, TN for some business, brotherhood, fellowship, and networking. Only one weekend long, it was perfectly manageable for my busy summer schedule that was otherwise booked full with a community rotation and a lot of time spent with family. We raised money for a good cause through “fashion wars,” where we donated money to make people wear ridiculous costumes for 10 minutes. We had a field day where everyone got to compete in silly-looking and physically exhausting games like three-legged races and tug-of-war. And last, but far from least, we were able to celebrate a delicious catered dinner together as we honored friendships, new and old, that we make every time we come together as a brotherhood.

kap1 kap2

So make the most of your summer! Do something, anything, no matter how large or small. Because no matter what you get involved in during those three long, hot, stress-free months, you will be making memories that last for years, experiences that strengthen you as a professional, and moments that you weren’t bored to tears searching Netflix for five hours for something to save you. Whether it’s with a Fraternity, an organization, or just a group of friends doing community service to make the world a little bit brighter, you won’t regret it.

-Brooke Kopelakis (P2)