AJ I.

July 20th – August 13th (11.65 hours) – One major experience I had in the pharmacy was the out-dating of pill bottles. This turned out to be much harder than I had expected because there were more drugs than I had expected. In the pharmacy there are roughly 6 shelves that are full, front and back, of bottles that contain drugs that may be dispensed at any time. I was tasked with going through each and every bottle on those shelves to see if any of the pill bottles were going to expire in 90 days or less. If they were in that range, I put them in a separate box to be scanned and sent back to the companies. This experience really showed me how important it is for the drugs to be up to date. If I hadn’t gone through and outdated the shelves then consumers could be at risk for getting drugs that may expire.

One of the things I hope to learn from my mentor is how to really manage a pharmacy at all. At all times, my mentor is constantly moving and going around to talk with customers. This also leads into what I hope to learn from Mrs. Wahl. I hope to learn more about how to manage a hectic life in general. I know that at the moment I am having trouble doing so. I hope that through this program that Mrs. Wahl will demonstrate how to manage a full day efficiently.

One thing I have learned about myself as a professional is that I am very task oriented. This is something that my mentor appreciates because it means that I get tasks done in a timely and efficient manner. When given a task to do, I immediately get on it and generally work until the task is 100% complete. One thing that I have for sure learned about myself as a student is that I am very unwilling to do work that I see or feel is irrelevant or doesn’t help me in my high school career. This is something that I am striving to fix as it makes me out to be a bad student at times when in reality I want to be a great student for all of my teachers as well as give them my best work

August 14th – August 27th (3.7 hours) – One major thing that I learned in relation to my specific internship is that there is more reading and learning to the job than meets the eye. I spent a couple of hours in this period just reading and completing packets that would help me gain more knowledge about the profession in general. I learned that even though pharmacy seems like it is only about drugs, it is also about ethics. The job is closely related to how people should be treated. This reading time helped me to reflect on how I think I will do in this profession in the future. It encouraged me to try even harder so I can learn more and more. I want to continue to learn about the profession as well as how I can help apply this knowledge in the pharmacy later on.

August 28th – September 10th (6 hours) – One extremely meaningful experience that I had in the past two weeks was that of properly categorizing medicines. In the pharmacy it is crucial that everyone puts everything in the absolute correct spot. Without this attention to detail it can become extremely easy for mistakes to be made. In the pharmacy, while I was learning how to properly put away the daily shipment of drugs, I learned that everything has a place and must be put there. If something is even just in the wrong spot in accordance to milligrams, it can end up in a massive mix up for the pharmacy technicians that are filling the scripts. This really opened my eyes and made me really think about maybe slowing down just a little when doing certain activities to ensure that I am doing them correctly the first time. Hopefully, this experience will grow into a habit and allow me to make even less mistakes in other areas of my life.

In the pharmacy there is a relatively relaxed and friendly atmosphere that I very much appreciate as a young person. Everyone is expected to pull their weight though despite this relaxed atmosphere. If everyone is doing their job correctly then most everyone is content and does their job at a slightly above average pace to ensure everything gets done. If someone doesn’t do their job correctly it can make the relaxed personalities of my coworkers melt away as they have to pick up the slack. We are expected to ask questions when we aren’t sure and be mindful of each others tasks so that we don’t interfere with each other and rather aid each other in getting our jobs done efficiently. None of my coworkers are doing nothing, in the pharmacy there is always something to be put away, filled, or checked. This is also expected of me to a certain extent as some things are barred from me due to legality. This is a very natural fit for my conduct and personality.

I generally conduct myself in a professional way even in my own home. My parents, both of whom were thriving professionals, have drilled this type of conduct into me since I was very young. I feel as if I integrated into the pharmacy quite well and I get along with my coworkers quite well. My personality also seems to fit quite well into such a structured environment as I am a structured person in my day to day life. Overall, I am extremely comfortable in my placement and most of my coworkers have expressed to me that I am a huge help and a fantastic add on to the pharmacy as a whole.

I came across the term ‘Schedule’s’ while reading some packets that Mrs. Hillmeyer gave to me. This term defines the levels of drug regulation with Schedule I’s being illegal drugs and Schedule II’s being highly regulated drugs such as opioids. In the packet that I was given, it discussed how marijuana was being debated on if it should be a Schedule I (illegal) or a Schedule II (highly regulated).

September 11th – September 24th (12.25 hours) – In the pharmacy, I’m starting to pick up on the trend that this industry requires an extremely organized and focused personality. When doing out-dates, I’m required to put the oldest ones (the ones that will expire first) in the front and the newest ones (the ones that will expire last) in the back. This is tedious and is why the pharmacists and the techs appreciate me doing it. It shows me that sometimes, a job can seem to be just the same mundane thing over and over again but it really is helping. They constantly thank me for doing this job because it helps them do their job better. This also shows me that I should make a point to do all of my jobs, both in and out of the pharmacy, with this attitude. By being shown that this small job can make such an impact taught me that no matter how small of a task it may seem to you, it may mean the world to someone else.

While doing this months round of out-dates, I was taught the word ‘recon’ which is short for reconstitute. This is a way to describe a certain type of medication. It denotes that before it can be given to the patient, it must be mixed with a liquid, generally the liquid is just water.

September 25th – October 8th (12 hours) – As I was listening in to what was happening in the pharmacy, I learned that communicating with the pharmacist is very important. The pharmacy techs do a lot of the work when it comes to filling prescriptions which means that they need to ensure they have everything correct. I noticed that whenever a tech would notice something off, they would immediately go to the pharmacist to check. I found this to be important because it shows how the pharmacist needs to be very knowledgeable. This includes knowing exactly what is happening inside of their own pharmacy at any given time. This highlights the need for communication in the work place to ensure everything is done right the first time.

At our pharmacy, we mostly just have in-person conversation. If we aren’t able to see the person we need on one day, there is usually a note left or an email sent. It is most easy to just have a conversation in-person because most everyone works together on a day to day basis. Therefore no one has any reason to email each other because you will just see the person the next day. It is quick and efficient when it comes to explaining problems as well. Generally when there is something to be addressed, they need to do it at the pharmacy anyways because it has something to do with the office space.

I would say that I am very comfortable with choosing the correct method of communication. I usually have most of my questions answered while I’m at the pharmacy through just asking them right then and there. Whenever I have anything I would want to ask someone once I’ve left, I generally have no problem just emailing them. I almost always just ask my questions directly. Most of my questions are ones that can be easily answered while I’m there in the pharmacy. If I ever have a question that can’t be answered right at that moment, there is usually a follow up. Though in general all communication is done in person and directly while I’m in the pharmacy.

One word that I learned is used differently is ‘order’. This word is used in a unique way within the pharmacy. It refers to the boxes that we receive everyday. They hold the medications that must be put away that day that were ordered the night before!

October 9th – October 22nd (6.5 hours) – In the pharmacy, I have been given a lot more responsibilities as of late! I have gotten much better at putting away the order each day which has been a help to everyone there, as they have expressed to me. Overall, the newest thing I have started doing is the mylars. These are the labels that help keep the organization as well as know what drugs we need when there is none left. I put in about 7 or 8 sheets of mylars in throughout the past two weeks. I also started to scan any drugs that don’t have them so that I could print and then place them where they need to go.

I learned of the term mylar! These are the labels for each of the drugs that we have in the pharmacy. I learned this word when one of the pharm techs showed me what to do when placing them as well as when scanning drugs to make more of them.

October 23rd – November 5th (6 hours) – One of the days that I was in the pharmacy, I was immediately assigned to a task I hadn’t done before. One of my coworkers got me started on putting all of the files away. This meant that I had to label each of the boxes that I was using to ensure that the contents inside were known. It was a relatively hard job but I learned that this task usually took the pharmacy about eight or nine hours to complete. I ended up completing it in about three as it was my only task. It helped give me more insight into how the pharmacy handling things without one extra pair of hands.

Many times throughout my time at the pharmacy, I have to ask lots of questions. Usually they are about where things are located due to me still being a little confused with some drugs. Other times its so that I am sure that I’m doing something correctly. One specific time was when I had to ask one of the techs where a certain drug was supposed to go. They ended up having a hard time knowing where it went as well. This is something that we do often because even the people who work there sometimes have a hard time. Whenever I have questions like this though, I immediately ask to ensure that my job is done correctly the first time.

In the pharmacy, we end up interacting socially a lot. I am pretty friendly with all of the techs and they have all told me they enjoying having me there. I am very comfortable in the pharmacy and feel as if they have really accepted my presence there. Many of the techs, as well as my mentor, ask about how my schooling is going. They also are extremely interested in my college search. Whenever these topics come up, I happily share and it usually ends up starting a nice little conversation among everyone who isn’t immediately tending a patient.

One word that I learned recently in the pharmacy is ‘partial’. I had been hearing many of the techs using this word more often and I asked what it meant. They told me that it references prescriptions that are to only be filled partially. Generally, this happens when insurance falls through or the pharmacy doesn’t have enough of the drug in question in stock.

November 6th – November 19th (6 hours) – Overall, I did relatively the same things as always. Though on my second day at the pharmacy, I was under a different pharmacist. This showed me a completely different way to run the pharmacy. This showed me that I would be able to really run a pharmacy in a way that fits me when I finally get there. The freedom that each pharmacist has is immense. I am glad that this profession shows this to me because it shows that I will be able to be an individual while still being part of a team.

I believe that Susan and I found a great schedule that worked very early on. She and I were compatible when it came to timing. She was very understanding of my schedule (due to my sport) and worked very well. In response to her being so understanding, I did everything I could to be punctual. She always commented on how I was always on time. I did my best to never fail at missing a day in which I was supposed to go. The other techs also applauded me in the fact that I always arrives at the same time as the order, allowing me to take that off their shoulders.

I feel that I did pretty well juggling each of my activities. I mostly had trouble with remembering deadlines for things like the reflection logs and the PD meetings (so sorry about this being late, it is an example of my fault of memory). I will be making sure to focus on meeting deadline either more punctually, or early. By writing down more reminders, as well as using my phone, I will do my best to stay very on top of it all. Without diving on top of this, a job, and two AP classes, I believe that I will be able to succeed in these goals. Making things on time is key and I plan on growing that skill to be on par with every other skill needed in the work force.

This is a phrase I use frequently but have forgotten to mention. It is Unit of Use. This describes the section of the pharmacy that holds items that have a whole unit that is supposed to be used when that medication is prescribed. This includes all birth control and creams!