These past couple of weeks I have been an intern in the pharmacy department of our hospital here in Holyoke, Colorado. I have been able to gather an entirely new perspective on how vital the pharmacy department is for the hospital. They play an important role in patient to doctor advocacy, and most importantly, they double check the doctor’s prescriptions and double checks to insure pure accuracy and safety for the patient. I have gotten to experience two different sides of pharmacy through my internship so far: inpatient pharmacy & retail pharmacy. Through retail pharmacy, I get to see your more public and more common pharmacy that one would know of. With this comes patient interaction, filling prescriptions, gathering discharge medications, and keeping patients up to date on their medication history and aiding the patient in different ways to administer medications. Inpatient pharmacy on the other hand is quite different. These pharmacists are in charge of keeping track of what different types of medications are being taken from an omni-cell and charging the patient for the medication: whether is was used for an infusion, injection, or taken orally. Another important role our inpatient pharmacist plays specifically is compounding and reconstituting drugs in order to create a mix of correct and safe chemotherapy infusion for our patients with cancer. How he does this is through a very very sterile process and taking every necessary precaution. The pharmacist gathers the vials of chemo drug, a bag of dextrose, and vials of sterile water. With the sterile vials and a closed transfer system, the pharmacist reconstitutes the vials of chemo drug with sterile water in order to inject the chemo drugs into the infusion bag of dextrose. Once the chemo drugs are reconstituted and transferred into dextrose, it is ready to be infused into the patient. With all this, the pharmacist also had to scrub in, sterilize all materials, perform in a negative pressure room, and dispose of his wastes properly.
I hope to continue to learn as much as I can about pharmacy through this internship, and keep learning the different types of processes and procedures that are done through the pharmacy side.