Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Settling In...

So I had to work tonight.  I work at a large chain pharmacy ~30 minutes away from school, so it can take a while to drive there.  I transferred from my home state right before I moved to school but it is eerily similar.  Both stores were built around the same time and also fill around the same amount of scripts per day.

However, my former store was scarily organized and efficient.

The head pharmacist had slight OCD so when he was recruited from a floater to a pharmacy manager, he made sure his pharmacy would run well.  The store was to built from the ground up, so he had a chance to organize the pharmacy how he wished.  He didn't really pay attention to the building plans and spread out the layout as much as possible.

The drug shelves were separated so you didn't have to reach over medication to grab the bottles in the corner.  All of the fast movers were in the same pod.  Each pod had an identical tray, and each tray had identical spatulas, and those spatulas were the long and skinny kind.  Each pod had shelves to house the filling baskets, and sharpies galore!  Each pod had a sharpie.  The computer monitors were raised so you could always be aware of everything around you.  There were calculators at each station.  There was one fridge for insulin flex pens and various refrigerated medications, one for insulin vials, and one for over the counter insulin.  Oh, and there was another fridge just for completed prescriptions.  It was an amazing time.

Instead here, and this probably annoys me the most:  Each pod has different trays and different spatulas.  Only one tray has a skinny spatula.  No pods have sharpies, so you must carry them on your person.  Meh.

I have my first top 20 drugs quiz this Friday.  They are going to be OTC medications.

Patients here aren't nearly as... high strung?  Entitled?  Irresponsible?  I have no idea where I'm going to get writing material from in that case...

Monday, August 29, 2011

White Coat Ceremony and Other Events

So class began last week, but only for a few days...  I passed my first biochem quiz, and celebrated by receiving my white coat!  My family came to witness the festivities, and then I spent the weekend exploring my new home state.  My significant other and I went to the local run-down lunatic asylum for a tour, and finished by devouring artisan pizzas and pints of beer.

I am quite behind on studies already and all I want to do is procrastinate.  I suppose it's time to stop that sort of behavior...  I had another quiz this afternoon, and I will have another one in a few days.  I will literally have at least 2 quizzes and a test per week, which is motivating for the over achieving student who always wants to stay busy.

I got in my state internship license, so hurray for a pay increase!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earth Shattering...

Apparently there was an earth quake yesterday, but I never felt anything.  People 2 miles from me said that the ground moved.  *shrug*

Classes began today.  I think this year will be difficult.  We are going to have to work in groups for something called a "peripheral brain" project.  Basically we take all sorts of random, yet important, information from each class into a binder for easy reference.

The white coat ceremony is this Friday.  This whole experience is so surreal...

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Beginnings

Hi there, I'm a starting my graduate program at a school of pharmacy this fall.  I want to write about my experiences as I go through the process of getting my degree.  I enjoy reading many of the blogs online about the health profession and I hope to have great stories like theirs some day, but everyone needs to start somewhere...

To begin, I graduated from a very rural high school as Salutatorian in a class of 88 people.  I went to a large private university in the southeastern United States in the hopes of being chosen for their pharmacy school.  The two years of pre-requisites came and passed, but I didn't feel ready (honestly, was too scared) to apply for the school.  I continued on and eventually got my Bachelor of Science.  During my senior year of college I applied to the pharmacy school, but due to awful karma, things just didn't work out.  My PCAT wasn't sent to PharmCAS, which caused my application to be late, which caused my interview to be very late, which just wasn't good.  They told me to try again the next year.

 In the mean time I was accepted into the university's Master's program.  I wanted to stay within the school, as well as keep my learning skills sharp.  I really, really wanted to get into the pharmacy school.

I got a job as a pharmacy tech close to the school.  I  reapplied to the pharmacy school and got one of the first rounds of interviews!!  Unfortunately, I am a horrible interviewee when I desperately want something.  Once again the school told me to try again next year.  They didn't put me on waiting list or anything, just a flat out "no."

I continued my Master's degree and a few months later I heard from another university about my application to their pharmacy program.  It turns out that I never finished my recommendations (due to a computer glitch, no less) and they were wondering if I was still interested in applying.  Of course I was!  I finished it ASAP and waited, not expecting much.  A couple of weeks later they called and asked why I hadn't responded to an email.  They had sent me an interview invitation!  Interesting how it had been sent to my spam email....

The school is in the northern part of the southeastern United States, so my mom went with me to the interview.  I didn't care much about the interview, figuring since, once again, I had gotten the last round of interviews that I wouldn't be accepted.  A month later I still had not heard anything from the school and my mom asked if I had checked my spam email.  An acceptance email was there!!

And there began my trek into pharmacy school.  It's been quite surreal, especially since I am so paranoid that something will go wrong and they will revoke my status.  I had to take an online human physiology course to finish a pre-requisite and move 6 hours away from family.  I transferred from my wonderful tech job to another store in a completely different state with different laws.  I'm having to make new friends, and I live with roommates again.  Getting into school was difficult enough, but these next four years are going to be horrible.  I'm still trying to finish my Master's degree as a backup since I hear the pharmacist shortage is coming to an end.  I feel like a traitor to my former/current alma mater, but my alliances have already begun to shift.

Here's to the next four years...