My introductory hospital rotation took place in the small town of Burgaw, NC. Pender Memorial Hospital is an affiliate of New Hanover Regional Medical Center located in Wilmington, NC. This hospital serves as a critical care hospital for the county. Services provided at the hospital include an emergency department, minor surgery and endoscopy, a transitional care unit, rehabilitation and a skilled nursing facility. Being in a smaller setting was great for an introductory rotation as it allowed for me to dive deep into the treatment for specific patients. I could follow my small set of patients closely and help make therapeutic recommendations for their care under the supervision of pharmacists. I was able to gain a basic understanding of the structure of hospital pharmacy, but was also afforded the opportunity to complete many clinical tasks including medication reviews, vancomycin dosing and renal consults. A fourth-year pharmacy student from Wingate University was also on rotation at the same times as me, and I learned a lot from her as well. We did a lot of layered learning and worked together on clinical services and recommendations for patients. Participation in patient care meetings made me feel like one of the health care team. The best feeling was when doctors would accept recommendations I made and implement them.
Observing Shirley Jacobs (left) a PMH technician in the compounding room during my first week of Introductory Hospital Rotation.
One of my main areas of interest is safe medication disposal, and preventing prescription medication abuse. I was afforded the opportunity to attend a Coalition for Model Opioid Practices in Health Systems Stakeholders Meeting at the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) with my preceptor, Dr. Angela Livingood. This meeting was a partnership between the North Carolina Hospital Association and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to combat the opioid crisis in our state. During the meeting, individuals from all fields of healthcare broke up into three different groups: Safe Pain Management (Prevention), Methods of Overdose Response, and Health System Diversion Prevention Efforts. Representatives from all areas of healthcare were present, including physicians, pharmacists, dentists, insurance company representatives, etc. My preceptor and I was there to help represent rural population, as resources for patients in these areas can sometimes be scarce. Each interprofessional group met to discuss issues in healthcare related to opioids and to develop action items to help combat those issues and address the opioid crisis. The NCHA has a plan for 2020 to help better the healthcare of North Carolinians, specifically related to drug misuse and abuse. Lots of issues were discussed, and most action items revolved around providing better education to healthcare providers about safe pain prescribing as well as where to refer patients who are struggling with addiction. I learned a lot from this meeting, including websites with resources for providers. It is my goal for our APhA GenerationRx team to print out and distribute some of these resources this year to help combat this epidemic. Overall I had an excellent experience at my rotation and I would highly recommend this rotation site to future students.
Representation from New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Pender Memorial Hospital at the Coalition for Model Opioid Practices in Health Systems Stakeholders Meeting which was held at the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) in Cary, NC. Left to Right: My-Lynn Tran (P4, Wingate University), Ally Middleton (P4, Wingate University), myself, Olivia Herndon (director of public and mental health at SEAHEC), Laurie Whalin (VP, Clinical Support Services at NHRMC), Dr. Mackie King (Internal Medicine Specialist, NHRMC), Angela Livingood (Pharmacy Manager, Pender Memorial Hospital).
Taylor Scott, P3