What is it Like as a Community Pharmacy Resident?

It has been a while since I’ve made a post, but I’m back (probably because I’m at home recuperating from COVID). This post is going to describe the ins and outs of my pharmacy residency program (at least the first 6 months). Hopefully, it will answer any questions that you may have as to what my residency is like. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to me!

My residency is an “Independent Pharmacy Ownership Residency.” It is a unique experience, but I’m really enjoying it. I work at 2 different sites, and I am able to learn as much as possible about both compounding pharmacy and independent community pharmacy while fulfilling the role of a pharmacist when necessary and completing quality improvement projects for the benefit of both pharmacies.

Compounding Pharmacy Practice

At the compounding pharmacy, I am able to put my clinical knowledge to work in a way very different than I ever intended. To be honest, I have learned more on the job about compounding pharmacy than I learned in my 4 years of pharmacy school. I have also learned a lot about veterinary pharmacy (bet ya didn’t know that was a thing). In a nutshell, most of my work at the compounding pharmacy revolves around working with my colleagues to create formulas unique to the patient that they were prescribed for (whether a human or an animal).

What exactly is pharmacy compounding, you ask? Per PCCA, a widely utilized compounding resource, “Pharmacy Compounding is the creation of a unique medical preparation or drug by a compounding pharmacist.” It is used when commercially available preparations are not suitable to the current patient (such as a patient having a gluten or lactose allergy that cannot take a commercial product because the fillers include gluten or lactose). It is used widely for veterinary medicine as well to allow for liquid or transdermal uses of medications to make administration easier.

I spend a lot of time counseling patients and pet owners on the uses of the medications and specific adverse events that they should look for.

Something I am looking forward to at this site is spending more time learning about compounding pharmacy and being able to be an asset to the team and to our patients.

Independent Community Pharmacy Practice

At our community pharmacy site, I spend most of my time vaccinating our patients (against COVID, the Flu, Shingles, etc.) as well as performing Rapid Antigen COVID tests.

On top of those tasks, I also spend quite a bit of time counseling patients, checking profiles for medication interactions, and checking prescriptions for appropriateness.

Some of my favorite things to do at this site are to perform Medication Therapy Management services and Medication Synchronization. One of our big projects for this year is to improve our MedSync program, and I am excited to be a part of this.

Something that I look forward to at this site is being able to build on our clinical services and utilizing my clinical knowledge to practice at the top of my license.

I can’t forget to mention the projects that I’m working on (what would a residency be without them). I’ve been working on several different quality improvement projects, a business plan (Creating a Diabetes course through the pharmacy), and a clinical service project (becoming certified in Spanish for Pharmacy in hopes I can better assist our Spanish-speaking population). Though I won’t go into detail about them here because I plan to make a separate blog post on them later.

Saving the best for last, one of the most important pieces of my residency is precepting students. I have had the pleasure of having students at both pharmacies. I feel like I learn as much from them as they learn from me. I absolutely love having students because it reminds me that pharmacy is a profession that will require continuous learning. It is one of the most rewarding parts of being a pharmacy resident.

Anyways, I think that’s enough for now.

Stay Golden,

Emily

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