Reaching Out

15Oct14

Helping APhA-ASP at the Child Safety Day at Delmar Loop is one of my favorite events to volunteer in! That’s why during this fall break I decided to participate in this event a second time.  Last year, we passed out free sunscreens and provided people with information on skin cancer. This time, we played the “Candy VS Medicine” game with children and informed parents about proper medication disposal and vaccinations.

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Through these volunteering events, I discovered how proud I am to say, “Hi, my name is Kelsi and I am a student from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. I would like to tell you more about…” and then teach others what I know and answer any questions that they have. There is nothing like reaching out to the community and educating others about what I learn in the classroom :)

Photo Credit to Kathryn Bui


Recently, I volunteered with Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists in preparing and delivering care packages to chemotherapy patients at the Siteman Cancer Center across the street from campus. This was my first time working on this project and I enjoyed every part of it!

We met up on campus at 9 AM and gathered water bottles, earphones, puzzle books, lotions, tissues, and other goods and sorted them into these neat, colorful cloth bags. Afterwards, we met up with Dr. Mann, one of the clinical pharmacists at the Siteman Center. We handed out our care packages and I even got to speak to a few patients!

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Dr. Mann told us about what she does here and guided us through the patient rooms and pharmacies within the hospital. As a pharmacy student trying to figure out where she wants to go in this career, I found this very beneficial. Although I shadowed at this site before in the past and learned a lot from it, after seeing how some of the cancer medications are prepared and distributed, learning about the pharmacy system here, as well as speaking with patients, giving these care packages out, and feeling like I made a difference in someone else’s life, I realized how wonderful this branch of pharmacy is. I am quite inspired. Could a career in oncology pharmacy be for me?

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Photo credit to SPA


Flu Season

01Oct14

As a pharmacy student in the professional phase of the program, we are required to get our annual flu shots. Since we go out into the community often and interact with many people, it makes sense to not only be protected from the flu virus but protect others from getting the flu too! It is now October and Flu season is upon us!  Right now the Siteman Cancer Center is offering free flu shots to the community. I love how close it is and how fast this process was. Come at me, autumn… I am ready!

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By the way, October is American Pharmacists Month. Happy pharmacy month!


Mucus

27Sep14

Through a course I am currently taking, I have been assigned to visit the Science Center a few times throughout the semester and educate children on mucus production, how medication is dissolved in the stomach, and what the difference between candy and medicine is with coloring activities. I am so glad to have this experience since kids are one of my favorite populations to work with!

This is mucus. Well, technically it is cornstarch mixed with water and green and orange food coloring. It’s a fun teaching tool and a great way to get kids involved with the lesson. After we make this gooey,sticky, slimy formulation, I tell the kids that this is what the body produces when they are sick and that it is green because of the germs. The reactions on their faces are amusing as they question, “So it’s boogers?! EWWWWWWW!!” Haha :)

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At a different table, we have mortar and pestles set up for the kids to crush up Smarties candy. After they crushed up the Smarties and it becomes candy powder, I have them pack the powder into clear gelatin capsules like we were told how to in Pharmaceutics Lab. Nearby is a jar of water that serves as the “stomach” in this demonstration. I have the kids pretend to swallow the capsule and drop then capsule into the “stomach” and watch it dissolve. The purpose of this activity is to show kids how medicine works in the body once swallowed. It’s wonderful to watch them have fun with this and wow, they all have excellent compounding skills as well!

At the last table, we have coloring sheets, word games, and puzzles related to poison control for the kids to learn from. It’s nice to help them find certain poison objects on these sheets and help them figure out the answers to the word puzzles. There were actually a couple of crossword puzzles my classmates and I couldn’t figure out haha!

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I honestly am a kid at heart and that is why I think I enjoyed this so much. I even colored and made some mucus for myself hehehe ! I am excited to continue this throughout the semester!

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Hi Everyone!

Last weekend I participated with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease. A handful of STLCOP students and I met up in the lobby in the residence hall at 7:30 A.M. and took the metro link downtown to the Scott Trade Center. The opening ceremony was held inside the Scott trade center and each participant was given a Promise Garden flower. A blue flower represents someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a purple flower is for someone who has lost a loved one to the disease, a yellow represents someone who is currently supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, and an orange flower represents everyone who supports the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer’s Disease. We walked for about two miles down the city streets of St. Louis and later a parade was held. It was a wonderful event and it was amazing to see so many people come out to support this cause.

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STLCOP group photo

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Opening ceremony in the Scott Trade Center

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My Promise Garden Flower

a1The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease


Who is halfway done with pharmacy school?!

I am halfway done with pharmacy school!

As STLCOP fourth years, it is mandatory that we celebrate the completion of three years of pharmacy school. I am so proud to have come so far and to see my peers next to me. This year, Halfway was held at a super classy place called Windows on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. It was a blast and I would do it all again- not the three years of pharmacy school but the celebrating hehe!

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Me and some super awesome people


Hi everybody,

Hope your summers were great and that you all are well rested and ready to start the new semester! I am so excited about being a fourth year this year! I am half way done with pharmacy school! 

This year for Professional Orientation, we are required to become certified for administering vaccines. This was a self-study process in which we registered for APhA (American Pharmacist Association) accounts, read through immunization information, and took an online self-examination before orientation. I learned about the different vaccines commonly given at community pharmacies and about the recommended dosages and times they should be given. It was an absolutely LONG process but I am so glad I did it. It gave me a new found excitement for the pharmacy profession. 

At Professional Orientation yesterday, we ACTUALLY GOT TO PRACTICE GIVING VACCINES! We paired up with a partner and took turns practicing giving and receiving injections. Although there are several types of injections, we mainly focused on intramuscular injections (vaccines given through the muscle) and subcutaneous injections (vaccines given through the fatty tissue.)

For an intramuscular vaccine, the goal is to deliver the vaccine to the Deltoid muscle (located on the shoulder) at a 90 degree angle.

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For a subcutaneous vaccine, the goal is to deliver the vaccine to the to the subcutaneous (fatty) tissue located on the back of the arm at a 45 degree angle. The trick to this is to somewhat pinch the skin on the back of the patient’s arm and then inject the vaccine.

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These were the supplies that we worked with. Don’t worry, we did not use actual vaccines – only saline! 

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I am expecting that we will be given many opportunities to give vaccines at different STLCOP events this year. It’s going to be great! By the way, 

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                                                                                                                                                  Stlcopkelsi




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