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


And here is my brand new  backpack and lap top from STLCOP:

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So while I am still here in St. Louis with no school work, I was looking for something new to do: Renaissance Faire!

Last weekend, my friends and I planned to adventure out to west to Wentzville and attend the Missouri Renaissance Faire and it was so awesome! I remember when I was very little, my aunt took me to one. It’s a shame I don’t remember much of it but I knew I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it this time too:D

We saw knights, kings, gypsies, magicians, craftsmen, dwarves, elves, fire throwers, blacksmiths, and even Jack Sparrow. There was also a jousting championship, belly dancing competition, and really delicious and decent priced food. I recently started watching Game of Thrones and was really excited when I got to sit in the Throne of Swords. If you ever get the chance to go to one, do it!

 

 

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Photo Credits to Shylee Prasad


Hello, readers!

Hope your summer is going well so far. For the past week, I have been working at and observing what happens in a community pharmacy a.k.a. Walgreen’s! It has been quite interesting so far. For this rotation, I have to complete 10 assignments designed to guide me towards learning what community pharmacy is all about including a patient interview in which I will be counseling a patient on over the counter medications. I honestly am a little nervous about this but I am totally up for it! 

Other than learning from my class assignments, I have learned about the work flow of this community pharmacy. Usually there are two pharmacy technicians and one pharmacist at this pharmacy. The first technician will type up labels and the pharmacist will double check to see that it was typed correctly. After the pharmacist sees that it was typed correctly, the label is printed for the second technician to fill. The second technician fills the prescription and the pharmacist then checks to see that the prescription was filled correctly before putting it aside for the patient to pick up. The first technician is found in the front of the store and also deals with customers at the window or drive through window. The second technician is found in the back of the pharmacy and also deals with phone calls. I have been helping with filling scripts, answering calls and the drive through, and counting medications for inventory. It’s so exciting:)

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I am halfway done with pharmacy school

So once again, here I am at the end of another school year. Wow, I cannot believe this and I don’t think it has hit me yet.  Finals were a pain as usual but I am very relieved that they are over. This year, I entered the professional phase of pharmacy school, received my white coat, and learned more about the pharmacy world than I ever thought I would. I attended Missouri Legislative Day at the capitol, I got the chance to follow a sixth year and visit actual clinical sites, and I even compounded my very own drugs! I have learned a lot this year and look forward to learning more and doing better in the future. Have a great summer everyone and have fun! In my next post, I will be talking about my summer rotation site at a community pharmacy!


I just had my last  Tuesday 7:30 A.M Pharmaceutics lab last week!

Every week in pharmaceutics lecture, we learned about different properties of different dosage forms and then during lab, we are given two prescriptions and are expected to do the appropriate calculations and write up procedures on how we would create this medication. During lab, we are given about two hours to mix, triturate (crush in the mortar),measure ingredients, weigh powders,  and type up our labels. Compounding is a lot of hard work but just gaze at my creations. Aren’t they beautiful?!


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Solutions

Solutions were the first drug forms that we learned about.  For these, we had to look up the solubilities of all the powders and dissolve them in the best solvent.  The blue one on the far right has added color dye and cotton candy flavoring.

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Suspensions

Next, we learned about suspensions. Basically the difference between a solution and a suspension is the viscosity. A suspension is much thicker than a solution because the particles in  suspension do not dissolve. If you let it settle, you will see that there is separation and that the particles will fall to the bottom while the liquid stays on top. These were fun to make and I especially liked adding grape syrup to the one on the far left. It smelled really good!

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Ointments

After learning how to make solutions and suspensions, we moved on to ointments. Ointments were a little bit more tricky for me. These take a little more time to make and can get quite messy. We use a technique called levigating (I mentioned this is my post about IPP lab during my first year) where we use a spatula to spread and mash up particles on a glass ointment slab. This may sound simple but it takes a lot of patience to make sure that there are no longer any particles seen to ensure thorough distribution. Also, when packaging the ointment, we had to hit the container on the counter a couple million times to get all the product into the container. Finally, we had to make sure that the inside of the container is clean and smooth.

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Emulsions, Gels, and Suppositories

The following are  an emulsion, a gel and a box of suppositories. An emulsion is a mixture of oil and water particles.  It is very important to make sure that you shake this before using it since water and oil don’t like each other. To avoid total separation, we used something called an emulsifying agent to hold the water and oil particles together.

The gel was a lot of fun to make. After we mixed most of the ingredients together, it formed a liquid. The last ingredient we added was called Triethanolamine. After a few drops of this and one good shake, the result was amazing- VOLIA, just like that, it turned into a gel instantly. It was magic!

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Suppositories were very fun to make as well. We took a metal suppository  mold and filled it with a liquid-waxy substance called fatty blend and  added our active drug ingredient, Ibuprofen. After refrigeration for about 20 minutes, we formed a suppository and placed them in a cute little box.

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Gelatin Capsules

There are a variety of different size gel capsules and you have to know which one to use according to the weight of the powders needed in each pill.  To fill each capsule, we used a method called the punch method. So to do this, we dumped our powders on to a plain sheet of paper and sweeped it into a tall pile. We then took the body of the capsule and pretty much cap it over the powder pile and continuously stabbed it until it was filled.  Snap it and weigh it and then you are done!

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I have to say that one of my favorite classes that I have taken in college is Professional Communications. I am not the best speaker so I am very glad that STLCOP offers this class and I didn’t think I would learn as much as I am learning from this class as I am. I feel like not only am I learning how to behave and respond professionally to situations that I may encounter in the future as a pharmacist, but I am also gaining more self confidence. I am learning to become a better listener and how to become more clear in communicating what I mean not only for my career as a pharmacist but for everyday purposes with people in my life today too. It’s  a class that is very different from the all the other pharmacy classes and allows us to be creative- that is why I like it!

On Monday, I had a group presentation called “In the Shoes”. The purpose of this project was to try to get others to put themselves in the shoes of a patient with a certain condition. Since our topic was chemotherapy, my teammates and I created a story line about a girl going through chemotherapy and told this story through a diary to really get people “in the shoes”.  She goes through a roller coaster of ups and downs as her cancer worsens and becomes better. At times she feels scared, lonely and miserable. At others she feels frustrated, hopeless, and lost. Finally, at one point she accepts her condition and looks forward to the smaller things in life and stops  taking things for granted.

As you may tell from previous posts, I really enjoy putting videos together and here is another.  Hope it gives you the feels!

 




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