Thursday, April 30, 2015

APPE #5 - Community Pharmacy Rotation

Ahhhhhhh guuuuys!!!! I am so so so very busy and have been living in survival mode for the past several I am sure you probably figured per my lack of blogging.





Sorry, I will turn my caps lock off now. But I really WAS yelling this stuff in my head.
Because I am too excited. And nervous at the same time. Excited about this light at the end of the tunnel and nervous about the next tunnel that I am voluntarily choosing to enter. The very dark and scary tunnel of residency.

The thought of my pharmacy school graduation is bitter-sweet to me. If you've been following this blog, you know just how hard I have worked throughout pharmacy school and how glad I am to be done and finally be able to move on with my life...start a family etc...but at the same time you know just how much I love education and how much of a nerd I am. So bitter-sweet this shall be.

Ahhh...if someone would just pay me to go to school, I could just do that for the rest of my life.
(I probably don't mean this, but I sure do keep saying it to everyone).'s time to graduate, take the board exams, get licensed, step out onto the battlefield, and GO FORTH AND SAVE LIVES!

So that's that. Now onto the real topic of this blog post.....

Since I have so far posted about every single 4th year pharmacy school clinical / rotation I have had thus comes another post in that series. Here is a quick re-cap of my last rotation (APPE #5)

So my APPE #5 of 6 was a "community" (read: retail) pharmacy rotation. Since I have been working at a retail pharmacy for close to 5 years, there wasn't really anything all that exciting about this rotation to me...nor did I acquire any breakthrough knowledge. Despite saying that, this retail company where I did my rotation is much more clinical services focused (instead of just focusing on the volume of Rx's they sell, they are very involved with providing clinical services to patients, such as diabetes classes, diabetes one-on-one appointments, measuring A1c and lipids, doing medication reconciliation, etc), so I did have a unique experience there with some of their special services.

My regular day usually went like this:
- In the morning, I focused on helping the pharmacists/ technicians with workflow. By this I mean typing up prescriptions, billing insurance, filling prescriptions, dispensing prescriptions, counseling patients about their new medications, providing OTC recommendations, etc.
- In the afternoon, the preceptor assigned me with certain questions or topics for me to research and report back to her on. She gave me time to complete my worksheets and to work on my Health and Disease Prevention project, as well as my patient case presentation.

In addition to regular days, I also shadowed the "Wellness Clinical Pharmacist" a couple of times. She spends her time teaching and driving all over Chicagoland to individual appointments with patients. I participated in a diabetes education class as well as several one-on-one diabetes appointments with patients.

My patient case presentation topic was diabetes - I specifically focused on the effect of alcohol (the different types of alcoholic beverages) on blood sugar, and I made recommendations in regards to what diabetic patients should know and how they should prepare if they know they will be drinking (ex: going on a vacation to Mexico...which is literally what my patient in my patient case did).

My Health and Disease Prevention project was focused on raising awareness about Shingles (Herpes Zoster) and answering questions of the general public about the shingles vaccine. I created an informational poster as well as a trivia game to play. The retired seniors who come into the store every couple of days because they have nothing better to do really enjoyed interacting with me and playing my trivia game. They won prizes that consisted of candy in Rx vials and they also filled out a questionnaire, after which I was able to tell them whether the shingles vaccine is (or is not) recommended for them at this time.

Some of the seniors got so friendly with me that they proceeded to show me their current shingles rash...even when it was on their chest, even though they were in a grocery store, not a doctor's exam room, LOL. I had a lot of good patient interactions, a lot of good stories from patients about themselves, their wives/husbands, and their families going through shingles or having scary post-shingles complications like excruciating nerve pain, blindness, and even brain inflammation (encephalopathy). Some guy, although totally unrelated to my shingles awareness display, proceeded to tell me about his experience of contracting lyme disease from a tick while on a hike, being hospitalized, and going through that disease. I had another old lady asking me super awkward questions that a lady her age probably should not have been asking (lol). My Lord, did I have an adventure while doing this project.

I also did other stuff .....such as creating a pretend medication dose pack by filling it with candy to advertise the pharmacy's "Medication Unit Dose Packing Service." Unit dose packing is basically having the pharmacist arrange all of your pills in a personalized, disposable pillbox every month - putting them in the appropriate "time of day" as well as including all of the Rx Labels on the Unit Dose pack for easy identification and reference. We mostly did this for patients that were in the nursing home. But anyways, to advertise this service, I filled up a mimic dose pack with M&Ms and Jelly Beans. It's funny because a lot of the candies looked like actual medications; for example, the green jelly bean looked like Vitamin D2 50,000 units; the green M&M like Ferrous Gluconate 324mg ; the red jelly bean like Docusate Sodium 100mg.

I had a very nice time at this rotation and the experience was quite different than what I am used to at my retail pharmacy job, but at the end of it all, I realized that RETAIL is RETAIL no matter where you go....and I encountered the same problems and the same nasty people who feel like they're entitled to everything and are smarter than you or their doctor....and realized that although this pharmacy is slower (they fill much less prescriptions than at my job), that it is actually the SAME CRAP, just in SMALLER VOLUME. And I still couldn't  imagine doing it for the rest of my life...and was glad I got into that residency...which I promise I will be writing more about soon. Just as soon as I dig myself out of this hole of projects and things to do before graduation.

IV Infusion of Caffeine is needed STAT

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 Favorites: Pharmacy School Graduation Cake and Gift Ideas

Just another post in the "Five Favorites" Series. I have not linked up with Five Faves since back when Hallie Lord was the host. Now linking up with new host Jenna at Call Her Happy.

Pharmacy School Graduation is only 3.5 weeks away 
and I have been browsing Pinterest for ideas in order to better cherish this once-in-a-lifetime-happening.

So here are some cool ideas of graduation gifts, favors, cakes etc that I came across. 

I'm not planning a big party (as far as I know), but I will definitely celebrate with my family. I also have no idea where to even begin looking for someone who could bake me a cake as cool and creative as the ones below...but the cakes I came across on Pinterest still made me smile so I thought it was worth sharing. 

I apologize for not including links to these at this time, I shall go back and do this at a later time. My life is a HOT MESS right now. Just trying to find my way out of the tunnel, come out alive on the other side, and graduate, my friends, graduate!

1. Cool Pharmacy Graduation Cakes

If anybody knows anybody in the Chicagoland area who bakes wonderful, creative, custom-made cakes like the ones above...or if you know any good bake shop around here that could tackle this so kind and let me know :-)

2. Cupcakes/Cookies for the Grad Party

3. A Cool Invitation to the Graduation Party

4. Personalized Mortar & Pestles

This is the one that I secretly wish for. Hopefully hubby is on it! :-)

5. Other Pharmacy School Graduation Gift Ideas


Capsule Magnets

Vitamin Highlighters

Vitamin Pens

PharmD Pin

Rx Shotglasses

Syringe Highlighters

Name Key Chain

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Pharmacist Baby Onesie

And that's all folks!

More graduation & residency posts coming up!
- Agnes

Friday, April 10, 2015

7QT #50: On Lent, Easter, Divine Mercy, Gardening, Cleaning, Running, and Graduation

It's my 50th Quick Takes!!! 
Just for fun, here is the link to my very 1st one, back when Jennifer of was host! And back when I was just kind of writing to myself (aka, did not have a very large audience, haha. Beginnings are always rough.)

#1  Lent is here!!!

Lent is half-way over!!

Lent is almost over!!

Holy week is here!!

Happy Easter!!!!

Yeah...that's how long it took me to get this post up and running. I just realized I have not written a 7QT post on this blog since way before lent. Life has been busy and I have not had time to put out any kind of meaningful content on the blog (and it also was a nice break or "fast" from blogging during lent). The last time I came here was to tell you guys this wonderful news, but I still have not provided any details about it. Like I said, I have been a busy bee. Just finished up yet another rotation last week and started my very last one this week.

But anyways..... Even though it's a little late to talk about lent, I still wanted to share my thoughts:

My little prayer "station"
To the left, within an arm's reach, are all my spiritual and
prayer books on my bookshelves. Maybe one day I will
 have a better little "prayer altar" but for now, it is what it is.
(And I needed it more than ever!)

The lenten season just matches my personality. My quiet, introverted, introspective personality. Lent was a perfect little retreat of silence, fasting, and sacrifice. A time in the desert with Jesus - a time of prayer, meditation, and peace. I was glad to be able to block out the world's noise and focus on myself and on self-discipline (which was my biggest goal). I love being challenged and I loved undertaking the challenge of "overcoming SELF" and living for Jesus. Of saying no to selfish bodily desires and comforts, and seeking love and comfort in the Lord instead. Of seeking spiritual consolation instead of worldly consolations.

And let me tell you...yes I lasted in my lenten resolutions and sacrifices until the end..but I failed many, many times. And many times I was too easy on myself and too lenient. But God is merciful. And so I kept falling and kept getting up and kept walking the desert journey. Overcoming self is not easy. It is very, very hard for me. And I still have a long way to go. I still have a lot to learn and a lot to experience in order to achieve self-discipline. Ahhh let me tell you, it is true that "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." And so many a time, I "fell asleep" like the disciples in the garden, many a times I abandoned Jesus when He needed me. But how good it is that He is merciful and patient and loving.

Speaking of...this coming Sunday is DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. So Saint Faustina, pray for us. And St. John Paul II (who died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday 10 years ago), pray for us. Let's all pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, because Jesus promised St. Faustina that He will grant ANYTHING, as long as it is within His Will, to the person that prays the Chaplet and prayerfully meditates upon His passion.

And go read The Diary of Saint Faustina. 
(Currently the #1 Bestseller on Amazon in the category "Christian Saints")

I read it while still in High School. And it changed my life.

#2 I am so behind on my Quick Takes that I haven't even posted about my Valentine's day yet...

So here is a picture version of SAINT Valentine's day.
Just so I have it documented for the future. In case my future kids ever decide to read my blog and see how in love their mommy and daddy were....AND how silly they were (are).

#3 Indoor gardening has begun!
(a while ago...but again, I'm late with this post)

My veggie seeds.

And my plant/flower seeds.

I pretty much only planted tomatoes, different kinds of peppers, cauliflower, and petunias inside to give them a head start. Life has been crazy so I'm just going to wait with all the other stuff to just plant them right outside once it permanently warms up here in Chiberia.

#4 Spring Cleaning & Organizing has also begun...and ended.

Last year I organized my jewelry and makeup.
This year I tackled my cleaning supplies and medicine closet, as well as my pantry.

#5 Outside running season has begun...and I am sooooo excited.

The shirt in picture #1 is from my undergrad school and #2 is from my pharmacy school. I definitely represent my "institutions of higher education" on my runs, hehe.

I have been stuck exercising on my elliptical machine in my dark, oxygen-deprived, claustrophobia-causing basement throughout this LONG[ass] winter. So I was soooo thankful to God to be able to run on a warm, sunny day, with the breeze in my face....with just ME, GOD, and 5 miles of running trail before me. 'Twas the best.

(going to have to wipe out that almost part prettttty darn soon) :-D 

#6 Kitty pics, as always.

Post-bath #1


#7 I'm on my last pharmacy student rotation and counting down until PHARMACY SCHOOL GRADUATION!!!

When my cap and gown came in the mail the other day...I got a little confused and thought it was a wizard cloak and I was going to Hogwarts. But nope...just graduating pharm school. Kind of wish it was the other way around :-)

I promise, more updates about the residency coming soon!!!!