Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cardiology Rotation

My very last rotation I had as a UF pharmacy student was cardiology. It was a crazy month! I was able to see and learn so many things! If I explained everything I saw, this would be a very long post. But I will mention a few of the events that stuck out in my mind. During my time there, I saw a case of torsades de pointes, a life threatening ventricular tachycardia. This is a French term that literally means "twisting of the points". Now I'm not that great at reading EKG's but I can definitely point this one out! And majority of the time I can point out when a patient is having an ST elevation myocardial infarction, or just simply put a "heart attack". After events such as these, I always go home a bit disturbed with feelings of amazement at the human body. I see just how fragile the human life really is and also how strong it can be and how people can survive some of the most dire situations. I was able to get a tour of the cath lab, short for cardiac catheterization lab. This is a place in the hospital where a patient is sent when admitted to the hospital for having chest pains and possibly other symptoms and is diagnosed with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The patients may be sent to the cath lab for a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and have a stent placed. If you don't know what having a stent placed means, you should google it and see how it's done. It is soooo cool! I was able to see several bedside procedures and medications used. Some of these medications are not used very often and was very cool to see. I also had the chance to meet and spend time with one of the best cardiologist of anywhere (in my opinion). In the morning he would spend about 4 hours rounding with the health care team and was such an awesome teacher to the medical residents, pharmacy students, and PA students. I thought at first, "Wow! This is going to make for a really long day, having to round for 4 hours then having to do all of my afternoon assignments!" But the time there flew by, I learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it! After this rotation it almost made me second guess my decision to do retail and not a residency. But looking back now, I'm thankful for Walgreens and glad to be a retail pharmacist.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My life as a student is over...

I'm not gonna lie, I'm kinda bummed I will never sit in another classroom listening to a professor, taking an exam that I've studied endless hours for (ok ok I don't think I will miss that!), seeing all of my pharmacy school family everyday like we had the past 4 years, feeling special walking around the hospital in a white lab coat but being able to pull the "ohh I'm just a student card" when hard questions arise. Now it's over. All of it. High school. Community college. Graduate school. Time to be an adult. Arggg.

Well, since I'm behind on this whole blogging thing I wanted to back up and finish my posts about my rotations. I left you when I was on my January rotation at Atkinson's Pharmacy. This was my geriatrics rotation and the pharmacy I was at supplies medications to nursing homes and jails. I did mostly medication therapy reviews where I looked over patients current therapies and made assessments as to whether or not they were getting appropriate treatment, under treatment or over treatment, whether they had any interacting drugs, whether the drugs were suitable for the elderly population, and also made recommendations for monitoring of drug therapy, for both safety and efficacy. I also gave a presentation to nurses at various long term care facilities about the new oral anticoagulant drug on the market, Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate). It's a medication currently being used for patients who have a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation. These patients are at increased risk of having a stroke (blood clot traveling to the brain) or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung). The risk of having these events in these patients are decreased when they are taking Pradaxa. Its a pretty neat drug to give a presentation on and I enjoyed it.

Well this was my rotation during January. I will talk about my favorite rotation next, Cardiology at Shands Jax!