Julianna M.

January 7th – January 14th (5 hours) – This last Saturday I watched my coworker Elizabeth make and administer a shingles vaccine. I learned that the type of shingles vaccine that was administered comes in two separate parts. One part is the liquid component, which acts as an irritant for the body. When placed in the body, this fluid activates the body’s immune response and brings white blood cells to the vaccination site so that the body can recognize how to fight shingles when injected with the virus. The solute, or the powder dissolved into this fluid is the actual shingles virus, however it is dead, not live. The vials containing both substances are sealed with a rubber-like stopper. The needle is inserted into the top at a diagonal angle and draws the fluid in one vial. The fluid is injected into the vial with the powder and shaken for about two minutes until completely dissolved. The fluid is then drawn back into the needle. Elizabeth flicked the shot in order to have air bubbles escape, and emptied out some of the vaccine fluid in order to get around 0.5 ml of fluid in the shot. I was very interested in learning about how the pharmacist administers shots besides actually sitting in on vaccinations. I learned about more of the behind the scenes work in the pharmacy, and it was something I’ve never experienced before. It was nice to see needles in another light, besides trying to face my fear of needles while sitting in on a vaccination, I was given the opportunity to associate needles with a more scientific point of view.

A technical skill I’ve developed from my internship is being able to work better with both of my hands at once, and overall being more coordinated with my hands. I developed this skill from mostly doing my bin req tasks. I am required to stack, balance, and carry numerous bags with one hand, while scanning and checking the scanner with the other hand. I was slow to do this at first, but now I am a lot faster at this kind of multi-tasking, and am even able to switch the roles of each hand if I need to. My mentor aided the development of this skill by actually just giving me as much time as I needed to complete my tasks. This allowed me to get a hang of the process and coordination of bin req at a slow pace, without worrying about outside disturbances or time constraints. Once I was good at multitasking at a slow pace, I was able to work on speeding up the process on my own time. I always tried to better my methods of completing bin req, and found different methods that worked better, such as switching hands every now and then to avoid one hand getting too tired. I can continue to improve this skill by simply trying to do bin req faster and faster, with leaving minimal mistakes, to improve how coordinated my hands are even at high speeds.

I can benefit from my increased coordination in my future pharmacy career because I will be able to complete basic pharmacy tasks quicker from the start. I will be better at some other skills I need in the pharmacy, such as speaking to customers and filling in information. Or completing outdates, which can sometimes require mental multitasking. My improvement in multitasking and coordination from bin req could help me get better and faster at those pharmacy tasks as well. Coordination is always a useful skill. Better multi-tasking and coordination skills can basically help me with any day to day action. These increased skills can help me with almost any other career because my mental and physical multi-tasking skills are being exercised at my pharmacy, both of which can be applied to almost any career.

Citalopram: this is a common and general medication used to treat mental conditions. I learned this term in a conversation with my coworker Elizabeth while just generally discussing prescriptions while I completed my bin req. Citalopram is used to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that can cause those symptoms.

January 15th – January 28th (9 hours) – These last two visits I was doing outdates for a few hours straight. Not much went on, and the task was fairly tedious. I was stuck doing the same job for around 4-5 hours straight. However, what was important about doing this job was staying vigilant and on task the entire time I was working. The first visit I worked like this I was having a hard time staying focused after around the first 3 hours. I often times had to re-do some rows because I realized I wasn’t paying attention to what I was actually doing. The second day I worked like this went a little better. I was able to focus more and I knew that I didn’t want to have to go back and re-do rows I should’ve already checked. From doing tedious work, like outdates for a long period of time, I learned I have to stay focus in my work, and I got extra practice in learning how to work for a long time with minimal set backs or errors.

Ondansetron: this is a medication for nausea. I learned this term after listening to my mentor speak to a patient over the phone. Ondansetron is one of many medications for nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.

January 29th – February 11th (7 hours) – During one of my Tuesday visits, I was in charge of doing bin-req. This time around was the fasting time I’ve completed bin-req. Normally the process takes me around an hour and a half to 2 hours. However, this time it only took me and hour, and I was mostly self productive in the process. I was able to coordinate holding all the bags in each bin while I scanned, and I almost developed a more efficient strategy for scanning the bags. I usually start with grabbing the first few bags and scanning them, then I am able to situate the rest of the bags in a row so I can scan them without having to take them out of the bin. This process has sped up my bin req, and the scanning goes a lot smoother than normal. I was also able to find most of the missing medications without asking for help, so I see my skills are becoming more efficient.

One of my SMART Goals for the year was to be able to sit in on at least 2 customer flu shots without fainting or getting light headed. This goal was something I anticipated to be difficult because I have a very irrational fear of needles and I often faint when I’m around needles, even when I’m not looking at them. One of the main jobs of a pharmacist is to be able to administer vaccines, so in order to become a pharmacist I will need to be able to do so. I have heard exposure is the best way to overcome fear, so I was hoping I’d be able to sit in on more than one vaccine within a day without fainting. At first, I was wary of sitting in on vaccinations. Upon my 2nd or 3rd visit, I was given the opportunity to sit in on one. The first time was very overwhelming for me mentally, and I became light headed for a few minutes after the vaccination. Over the next few visits, I began to only sit in on one at a time, until I wasn’t light headed anymore. This took about 4 sit-ins. One Saturday, I decided to sit in on 2 vaccines in one day. The first vaccine went smoothly, and I was able to feel fine afterwards. When the second vaccine came, I didn’t quite make it through. I was fine for the beginning part of the vaccination, however, half way through I decided to look up in at my mentor while she was giving the vaccine. I saw the needle actually go into the patient’s arm, and I immediately began to feel light headed. I knew I was going to faint, however, I did my best to wait until the patient left the room. While I was successful in this, I got up and fainted after the patient left the room. This experience became one of my main obstacles in completely my SMART Goal. After fainting, I lost my confidence in my abilities to sit through multiple flu shots in one day. For the next 6 visits I didn’t sit in on any flu shots because of my fear. I was ashamed because I lost a lot of opportunities to face my fear and be exposed, however, I was too fearful to sit in on any vaccinations. Eventually, I decided to sit in on one vaccination at a time while at my internship. I worked and faced my fear as much as I could. Finally, at one of my first visits of the 2nd semester, I completed my goal. I had already sat in on a shingles vaccination that day. The UA pharmacy intern offered for me to sit in on another one. I was skeptical at first, however, I knew I needed to reach my goal. I decided to sit in on the vaccination. This time around, I knew not to overthink the process of the vaccine, and I ended up not even getting light-headed before, during, or after the vaccination. I was very proud of myself for completing my goal, and now every chance I get I try to sit in on more and more vaccines. While I was my own personal barrier, one thing that went well in completing my goal was the fact that my mentor and coworkers were so supportive. They all worked with me and understood my fear and never criticized. They knew my limits and never pressured me into sitting in on vaccinations I didn’t want to see. It is because of my coworkers I was able to reach my goal, and their support and understanding went well in meeting my goal. I know this goal may not seem very material, however, I know sitting in on vaccines will help me the most in my path to becoming a pharmacist. Administering vaccines is one of the most crucial roles of a pharmacist, and I am determined to not let my fear get in the way of the career I want. Completing this goal will allow me to be more hopeful and relaxed about vaccines in the future, and sitting in on 2 vaccines to the first step to being able to look at and eventually give vaccines at my future career as a pharmacist.

Deleted: Deleted is a term used to describe a prescription that has been removed through the computer from the log of ready prescriptions. Often times there might be extras of a prescription, or a patient won’t pick up their prescription. When doing bin-req, a prescription will show up as “deleted” if it needs be removed for those various reasons. I learned this term while completing bin-req.

February 12th – February 25th (3 hours) – Instead of doing outdates this last week, I was in charge of moving and creating new shelves for a group of medications. The pharmacy is getting a new time safe for all the drugs that need to be locked up, so to move that place out, more space needed to be made for the medications. I started off adding new shelves to the top back row and moved some jugs of powder. After that I was in charge of moving all the bottles for pills that are ready to be filled to make space for the bottles that held liquid prescriptions. Organizing the liquid bottles was fun, and my mentor helped me organize them so that they fit the cubbies perfectly. There were many different sizes of bottles, and to fill each cubby I had to go back and forth between the back to get more bottles to fill the space. After that, I began to move all the back medications to the place where the liquid bottles were. I added about 5 new shelves with the help of my mentor and we organized the back medications and tools. After that, we began to sort and pair up the front medications with the same ones in the back. We also filled up all the slots for products in the front and on the floor. Both me and my mentor worked together and this experience was really good bonding and working for me and my mentor. We worked hard and got the job done and I was able to have fun with my mentor and Erik, the other pharmacy tech in the process.

“On the floor”:this refers to the area outside the pharmacy, or the whole store. When I was helping my mentor restock the front area of the pharmacy she said she would be out on the floor to help me stock the prescriptions out there. We would find out the number of a product we needed to fill the space out on the floor and the front of the pharmacy.

February 26th – March 11th (6 hours) – My most recent visit has been the most educational visit to my pharmacy. I was able to learn more about different medications in the pharmacy and I got to learn about my coworkers more personally. I started with my normal routine and began with outdates and I did the smart counts for the day. Towards the end of my day I was able to learn about a few medications for my SMART Goal. I was able to learn 4, including citalopram, Accutane, Elidel, and Humira. I also learned what they are for and how they work in the body. I’ve also noticed I have felt significantly more comfortable around my coworkers. This last visit I have no problems hesitating to ask my coworkers the location of a medication anymore. I enjoy talking with my coworkers, especially Elizabeth. I am able to relate to her more because she is a current pharmacy student at UA and I get to ask her questions about the program and her internship and she is very nice and helpful.

My second SMART Goal was to learn the names and purpose of 10 medications in the pharmacy. I chose this goal to expose myself to the learning and memorization that goes into learning all the medications as a pharmacist. The goal was made a while back, but the hardest part about such a goal is that it is hard to focus on in the pharmacy when everyone is working. One of the biggest challenges of the goal was to try and find time my mentor wasn’t busy so that I could learn. The learning and teaching process took longer than I thought, hence why I was not able to complete the goal. I had underestimated the time the teaching would take, and since I had made the goal aware to my mentor too late, I was not able to complete the goal before the due date. We worked on learning a little bit, and one day I mentioned the goal to my mentor while I was doing my outdates. She then asked me if there were any drugs I had heard about in my life or used that I wanted to learn about specifically. The first drug that came to mind was Humira because it had been in the news a lot the past few weeks. I learned that Humira is a drug that treats plaque psoriasis, and is an immunosuppressive drug. I then asked about a drug called Accutane because I’ve heard about many high school students who take it for acne. Accutane is a very hardcore drug according to my mentor, and she then told me that the process of acquiring Accutane is intensive and is used as a last resort for acne. The next drug I asked about was for personal reasons, because once in the past I was prescribed a drug called Elidel for my eczema on my face. I learned the drug is actually used mostly for acne as well, and is non-steroidal, so it works well on the face as an anti-inflammatory. The last drug I learned about is called citalopram. I have heard about citalopram randomly from peers and adults. Citalopram is used to treat things like anxiety and depression in most cases. It works by keeping serotonin in the synapse longer, so people are able to take use of the effects of serotonin longer when they normally wouldn’t be able to because of conditions like depression. Citalopram I learned about from Elizabeth, the college pharmacy intern, because she just recently learned about it in her classes at the UA. She described the drug as an SSRI, or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. While the main issue of not being able to complete this goal was my time management skills, I still found learning about these few medications beneficial. The cooperation and teaching of my mentor and coworker was one of the things that went well in completing this SMART Goal. They were very patient and explained in detail the things I wanted to know. They took the time to listen to my questions, and were very quick to give thorough answers. The learning went well, and I enjoyed learning directly from a trained pharmacist and someone who is going through the learning process right now. Because of their great care in teaching me, I was able to retain the information so well just from the initial learning session. I liked learning from Elizabeth because it gave me insight to how memorization is taught at the UA in pharmacy school. From my knowledge, it seems the medications are taught in groups or categories, such as SSRIs. While the goal was not completed on time, I still want to work to complete it by the end of my time as an intern in the program. I genuinely enjoyed taking time away from working and learning directly from my mentor, and I am hoping to learn about more medications from her. By learning about different medications in a pharmacy, I am exposed to the learning and memorization process I will face in college. I am now already exposed to some different types of medications, such as SSRIs and immunosuppressive drugs, and so when I go to complete my schooling at the UA, I will already have some knowledge on a few of those kinds of medications. I also have worked to memorize the medications I have already learned, and so hopefully by exposing my mind to memorizing medications early on, it will be easier for me in the future.

Immunosuppressive: this term refers to a drug that blocks and prevents the immune system from working. This is often in cases where the immune system is overreacting or reacting to issues that aren’t even present, and therefore causing health issues in the body. I learned about this term when I learned about the drug Humira, because Humira acts as a immunosuppressant.

March 12th – March 25th (12 hours) –  I worked one day without my mentor. There were two new things that day. We have a new pharmacy tech. The new technician is named Michael and he is very nice and funny. I talked with him a lot and I learned about his old pharmacy he worked at. I learned that different pharmacies have different prescriptions not only in their pharmacy, but especially on their fast rack depending on the needs of those at the pharmacy. My main task for the day that day was to unload the order shipment that came in. I got to open these highly secured plastic boxes full of various prescriptions. The refrigerated prescriptions came shipped in styrofoam and cooling built in. There were around 8-10 boxes I had to unload all together. It was my job to just find all the locations of and stock all the medications that came in the shipment throughout the pharmacy.

SSRI: this stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. SSRIs are drugs that are commonly used to change the moods of patients by treating conditions like anxiety and depression. I learned this term by asking my mentor about the drug citalopram, which is an SSRI.

March 26th – April 8th (18 hours) – Not much as happened the last two weeks. I was able to get a lot of hours in to almost get the amount I need. I’ve come a long way in terms of self-sufficiency at my pharmacy, and am able to complete a lot of tasks on my own and I have a better grasp of the ins and outs of daily pharmacy work. Most often I am required to do deletes an then outdates, and if I work weekends I usually do smart count and bin req as well. Most of these I am able to complete on my own, and I have gotten a lot faster at putting medications back on the racks. Last week on Tuesday I did some more reorganizing of the drawers that hold prescription vials. I was in charge of putting away all the lids and bottles that there were too much of and dividing the drawers into halves or thirds to put the sizes of vials in a more logical order. I had help on the task from my mentor because it was a sort of confusing task but it eventually got finished.

Two important things I learned about myself is that I actually learn very well from asking questions. I have never been one to ask questions because I was afraid of asking the wrong ones or I thought I could figure it out on my own. I realized when I was working I couldn’t always rely on my own intuition because people’s prescriptions depended on me to do my job right. So naturally, I was forced to ask a lot of questions to avoid mishaps in the pharmacy. I asked and still do ask many question and I have not only learned a lot from asking these questions, I have also become more comfortable with asking questions. I have also learned a lot about customer service and addressing customers properly. I have had to address customers alone and tell them to wait for a pharmacist usually, and I have learned by example from my mentor. She is very good at addressing difficult customers, and i have learned that patience is key to working in pharmacy.

One of the biggest things I can recommend to juniors is to always keep track of your hours and make sure you write them down once you get them. Not only in my experience, but also others, there have been many cases of the number of hours not lining up between Mrs. Wahl and you, so it’s important to keep track and have proof of hours as much as possible. It is also important to be on top of your hours and get them done as soon as and often as possible. It is easier than you think to fall behind on hours, so when you have a chance, get hours done if possible even if you have a schedule, still try and go in if needed. You never know if home issues of homework will arise and prevent you from going to your internship. Finally, build a good relationship with your mentor and ask questions. It is important to have a good relationship with them, because it’s possible they could offer you a job after your time in the internship program. Ask questions to show interest and be polite and respect their authority. Being good to your mentor will let them even put in a good word for you later on, and there will be lots of benefits for your future professional career pursuits.

Elidel: a non-steroidal medication for eczema or acne. I learned this while asking about different medications in the pursuit of my SMART Goal. Most often Elidel is used on the face because of its non-steroidal properties.

April 9th – April 22nd (3 hours) – This was the last visit I needed before I completed my hours. I worked hard the two weeks before to make up lost hours so I only had to go in for 3 hours this last Tuesday. I worked on my same tasks and I did outdates for the medications in the fridge. I really enjoy working with the new pharmacy tech named Michael. He is always working on Tuesdays and he makes working easier because he’s so funny and easy to have fun with. Doing outdates for the fridge was definitely a new experience however I found it more difficult to do than outdates for the shelves. There is limited space in the fridge which makes it harder for me to keep track of the boxes I had already check so I most likely ended up checking the same box more than once. The fridge didn’t take long to complete however, so while it was shorter and less to complete, it was more difficult to complete.

Accutane: this is a heavy duty acne medication prescribed for only severe cases of acne. I learned this term while asking about different medications in the pharmacy for my SMART Goal. People on accutane have to take birth control often times because of the severe side effects of the drug, which birth control can help suppress and avoid complications.

July 20th – August 13th (o hours) – I have not actually had my first day at my internship site yet. I had my interview on Thursday and I was accepted into my pharmacy site. I met all my coworkers and I was given a tour of the location. I was told my duties, which would consist of smaller tasks. I would most likely be doing organizing and simple paperwork. I might even be able to sit in on check-ups or vaccinations if the patients allow.

From Mrs. Wahl, I hope to learn more about the process that goes into getting hired. I want to know about how to write a resume, and the process of an interview. I hope to know more about what questions you get asked in an interview, and what makes a resume better than others. From my time at the pharmacy, I hope to learn more about how a pharmacy works. I want to know what responsibilities a pharmacist has, and if they have a lot of pressure on them to be a pharmacist. I also, most importantly want to learn if I even want to pursue pharmacy as a career after this.

I have learned a lot about how to interview and talk professionally. I am now comfortable about talking to professionals. Whether this be over phone, in person, or through email. I have also learned how to better communicate with my teachers and leaders on time and promptly. Now, even outside the program, I am more upfront about emailing my teachers and asking for what I need. I also email and communicate with enough notice and at more convenient time.

August 14th – August 27th (4 hours) – The most meaningful experience so far in the program was my first day. I went to my internship site, and I got to meet my mentor’s manager first thing. His name is Anthony, and he stayed the whole time while I worked. I was given my first task next, and I was helping the pharmacy with inventory. I had to go through a large shelf of about 150 bottles, and open and mark each one, and also check their expiration date. After that, I discussed and filled out the 1st day paperwork with my mentor. Finally, my last task before I left was to put back a few bottles in the shelves of pills and prescriptions. The names of the prescriptions were very long, and it took a while to differentiate between similar prescriptions. My first day was meaningful because it allowed me to finally see the day to day operations of a pharmacy.

August 28th – September 10th (7 hours) – This last week I went to my internship on Tuesday night. The night before I had gone out to buy more fitting clothes for the jobs I was doing at the pharmacy. I realized in my last two visits that even though there is not much physical labor in my job, it can still be physically exhausting. I bought some new tennis which had more cushion, looser shirts and more mobile pants because I am moving around a lot at my internship. When I went to my internship last Tuesday, I came home still physically exhausted and in pain, and I only worked for 3 hours. This really put into perspective the tiring aspects of any job. I never realized how hard any profession works, and I have learned that I might have to come up with more ways to not be tired by my internship so easily. I will try and start bringing more snacks and water bottles, and also add pads to my shoes so that my feet don’t hurt as much.

Some expectations at my workplace definitely rely on being able to talk to customers. Almost everyday, the majority of the customers at the pharmacy are rude, or they end up getting frustrated when there are issues with their insurance. The pharmacists definitely have to work to keep their cool when working with customers. Another issue with customers is communication barriers caused by language issues, and one skill is being patient with customers who don’t speak very good English. One of my expectations is to greet customers if a pharmacist isn’t available and be presentable and friendly while I do it, no matter what. Pharmacy involves more people skills than I originally thought, however my coworkers work well with this, and therefore set a good example for me.

Overall, I naturally fit in with my workplace. Pharmacy requires an equal amount of people and education skills. While obviously I do not meet the education requirements as of right now, I know that I will be able to meet that expectation. I have relatively good people skills, however I have to work on greeting customers more often and being aware of their presence when I am the only worker at the front of the pharmacy. I have to actively think about whether or not there is customer nearby. I am fine with following directions, and while I am slower than my pharmacy coworkers, I believe I am prompt for my skill level in the tasks I am assigned. One expectation I am worried about in pursuing pharmacy is the ability to give vaccinations. As of right now, I am able to sit in on flu shots and vaccinations in the pharmacy with customer consent, however as of right now I have not because I have a phobia of needles. This will be something I will have to get better with in time, and I need to work on focusing on the career benefits of watching vaccinations rather than my phobia if I want to be a pharmacist in the future.

One new term I learned on my first day was “out-dates”. The pharmacists use this term to refer to expired prescriptions, or prescriptions that are going to expire. They have a system used for when they take inventory, and they remove expired prescriptions and prescriptions that are going to be expired in a month or two from the main shelves. These prescriptions are called out-dates.

September 11th – September 24th (14.5 hours) – I worked a lot this past week on my internship because I am behind on hours. The first day I was just checking out-dates. However, on Saturday I learned a lot of new things. I had to go through their daily miniature inventory just to make sure numbers are correct. They usually check 10 bottles a day, but I had to do 30 because they were behind on working. I had to count all of the pills in every single bottle of a prescription. I had to learn the hard way first by simply dumping the pills, but then my mentor showed me how to use the counting trays and the scale. The scale calibrates the weight of pills and turns it into the amount of pills in a bottle. This helped me learn how to handle and pour the pills better, because pouring them was a lot harder than I anticipated when there is a lot in one bottle. However, I learned to take it slow and then as I got better I was able to pour faster with more accuracy. I also got the have exposure to flu shots and I got to sit in on a few on Saturday. I almost fainted on one of them so I had to stop sitting in. I’ve realized I should not push my limits to help get over my phobia and only expose myself once a day for now.

“Bin-rec.”: Bin-rec. refers to when the pharmacists go through all the filled prescriptions once a week. They use a scanner to scan each prescription so that t matches with the ones they have in their computer. This helps them make sure they have all the right prescriptions, and helped them see if one is missing for various reason so they can deal with it accordingly.

September 25th – October 8th (10.5 hours) – One meaningful experience I’ve had in the program these last weeks was working my longest day so far. I worked for almost 7 hours one of the days I went in, and such a long working day was difficult for me. I’m not used to performing career based tasks for longer than the time of a school day. It took a lot of mental and physical strength to work for so long with no breaks. This experience really put into perspective what is required in a normal job. Most of the time, my mentor works for 8 hours. I could barely last 7. This made me realize how hard I would need to work in an actual career setting, and that there is a lot of hidden aspects that make someone qualified for a job, such as their daily endurance. I was really tired after my long day, so enduring long hours will be something I will need to work on in the future. It will just be something I will have to get used to.

While I am at my internship site, I usually communicate in person. My internship site isn’t very big and I am often within earshot of my mentor. If I need to speak with her, I usually just go up and ask her. Sometimes I have to wait if she is with a customer or giving a flu-shot. However, most of the time, it is most efficient to communicate in person. Every now and then I text my mentor about papers and information so that I won’t forget all of it, and I also text my mentor through her personal phone number as well. This ensures the quickest response because she has a small kid, and it is hard to attend to her work phone at all times. However, most often we communicate through personal conversation because it will ensure the quickest responses. Also a lot of times, the questions I have require an immediate response because I have to go through medications in the right order so I don’t lose track of my work. Therefore, it is best to ask in person so that my progress at the pharmacy won’t be stunted.

I feel very comfortable talking to my mentor in the workplace one on one. My site is very condense so there is a nice closed and comfortable environment. I don’t mind asking my mentor questions, and a lot of times it is absolutely necessary to my work that I ask so that I can get a response as soon as possible. Often times I will have to wait a few minutes before asking if my mentor is with a customer, on the phone, or seems to be busy at the moment. The hard part most of the time is finding a moment where she isn’t super busy, however this sense just comes with time. Now I am better with gauging the better moments to ask my mentor a question than I was before. Once I find the right time to answer a question, I have no problem asking it, and I always get a good response. I always feel that in person is the best way to ask cause it gets an answer as efficiently as possible and allows me to continue my work.

Fast Rack: The Fast Rack is the rack of prescriptions that are used up quickly or used by a lot of patients. These prescriptions are more common, and therefore have a separate rack because they go so quickly. This rack is close to where prescriptions are filled so they are easy to access as well.

October 9th – October 22nd (12 hours) – For one of the days that I worked, my mentor wasn’t there the whole time. So, while I completed my work, I had to be more self-sufficient than I normally am. There were pharmacy techs available, however they are usually very busy filling prescriptions. It is hard to ask the pharmacy techs, so I mostly had to rely on my own experience. Overall, I was very self-sufficient. I was able to do a lot without asking. Some things I did on my own were being able to scan all the deleted prescriptions on my own, and I was able to complete the missed bin-req prescriptions on my own as well. This is when I scan all the prescriptions in the bins, however, sometimes because of human error some prescriptions are missed. I found all the missing ones, even a few that were of the error of the pharmacists. Overall, I learned to be more self-sufficient and I proved to know more about the pharmacy than I thought, so I seem to be learning a lot about how a pharmacy works, and hopefully I get better in the future.

The root word “flu”: I learned that lots of medications containing the word “flu” in the middle will almost always be a variant of the flu vaccine. I was confused about where some medications went. I asked the pharmacy tech she said that they went in a special place in the fridge because they were flu vaccines.

October 23rd – November 5th (6 hours) – This week I learned how to do the second part of bin req, which is where I find all the prescriptions that were not supposed to be filled. This could be for various reasons, one main one being that a prescription was accidentally filled twice. Normally for bin req, I go and cross off prescriptions I may have missed scanning after I look for them again, just to make sure they are still in the bins. The second part of the list requires me to find all the prescriptions listed, and to remove them from the “ready” bins. The ready bins are the bins that hold all the filled and ready to be sold prescriptions. Once I remove all the prescriptions I have to take them apart and out of the bags, and then put away all the prescriptions and drugs into their appropriate shelves. This experience gave me to opportunity to demonstrate how quickly I could pick up on a new skill so quickly, and I was able to learn a new skill that I can now demonstrate at all my future internship visits.

One time I interacted with a co-worker other than my mentor was when my mentor was not working one of the days I went in. Throughout the day, I asked most of my questions to the pharmacy intern Elizabeth. One memorable moment was when I needed help finding a few prescriptions on the bin req list. She informed me that the prescriptions I were looking for were just records of a flu-shot, and that I wouldn’t find them in the “ready” bins. I initiated the communication personally once she was off the phone, and I did so because I needed help completing my job I was assigned to do. I regularly interact with Elizabeth because she acts as a close guide for when my mentor is unavailable, and there have been several more instances where I has asked her for help since then.

This last Saturday, my coworker Kelsey and I had a conversation about Halloween. She initiated the convo when she offered me a piece of candy, and the proceeded to tell me about her kids on Halloween, and all they candy they got. I felt comfortable during this exchange, as it was just a casual conversation about the recent holiday. I regularly interact with my coworkers casually and socially. I usually get questions about how my life in school is, or often times I get asked about my plans after high school. We also have lots of humorous conversations, such as one where I taught my coworkers some slang that high schoolers use nowadays.

Diphenhydramine: This is another name for the generic chemical in most antihistamine or allergy prescriptions. I learned this term when I was having trouble putting away a name brand allergy medication. My coworker told me that for that medicine I had to look at the generic name to put it away.

November 6th – November 19th (10 hours) – These last 2 weeks were my last official working days at my internship. I finished all my hours on time as well. I was excited to go in last Tuesday because our pharmacy was being rewarded with a lunch. The pharmacy manager gave the pharmacy a flu-shot goal, and they had to give out a certain number of flu shots by the beginning of November. My pharmacy made the goal on time, and so they were rewarded with a lunch of their choosing. I was able to participate in the lunch because the manager said that I was contributing to their flu shot goal. I was able to do the menial and basic daily tasks for them some days, and as a result, they were able to focus more on giving out more flu shots. The manager saw it fitting that I should participate in the lunch as well. This experience taught me some more of the importance of working hard and being punctual in my actions. I did hard work that I’m not normally used to at my pharmacy, however I always did it in a timely manner and to the best of my ability. After being rewarded for my work, I was taught that there is pay off in such work. I was also taught the importance of working as a team. All of the people in my pharmacy, including myself, were part of a working group, and each one of us was just as valued as the other. It felt nice to be a part of a group and have us all be rewarded together for our hard work. I was taught the importance of hard work and making sure to work together.

At the beginning of the year, my mentor and I never established an official schedule because I never know when I would be able to come in because of school work, SEP, and car issues. The scheduling at my internship was very laid back, so I was told that this would be alright, as long as I let my mentor know when I would be coming in. Overall, scheduling communication was very clear and easy going for the both of us. I could always simply text my mentor when I would be coming in and we both had no problem working out scheduling issues at my site or through text. Since my mentor is usually busy with working everyday or being with her little kid, she informed me from the start that scheduling would work out best through text message. Overall, there were minimal bumps in the road, and scheduling always went well. Usually if there was a traffic problem and I was not driving I would let her know that I would be late through text message, however if I was driving I would simply explain myself when I got to the pharmacy because I do not want to text her while I am driving myself. One thing I could do better would be letting my mentor know sooner when I would be coming in, instead of the night before or he day of. While my mentor is very laid back about that thing, it would be more courteous of me to let her know about 2 or 3 days in advance. I will most likely stick to my same schedule next semester. While I don’t have an official schedule, I usually go into my site on Tuesdays and Saturdays for at least 4 hours each day.

Managing my internship with school and personal life was harder than I anticipated. I was not sure how to gauge how many hours I would need in a week after I had started late in the program. A lot of times I would have club events on Tuesdays when I would need to go in, and I would have a lot of family events going on during Saturdays. I also suffered a lot with managing SEP with my schedule, because often times our assignments would take more than a few days to complete. While I completed all my hours, I completed them with great difficulty. Now that I have a better idea of how to manage my hours, I anticipate second semester will go better. I will try and keep my consistent schedule by going in on Tuesdays and Saturdays like normal. I will only miss if I absolutely need to miss my days. I will try and do homework on time and more punctual so that I have time to focus on SEP and my hours. I will make sure to keep track of my hours better so that I’m able to calculate them more accurately when it comes to my timesheets and reflection logs.

-uracil: this is a drug suffix commonly used in thyroid medications. I learned this at my last visit to my pharmacy. Most drugs name ending in this suffix involve some sort of thyroid treatment.