As my “old phone” ringtone alarm rings in my ear, I wake up with a smile on my face at 7 a.m., which is a rare occurrence. As I go through my morning routine, the nerves keep building in my stomach. I try to calm myself by playing some music in the background, but that winds up distracting me for a couple of precious minutes. I print out a copy of my directions, grab my lunch and white coat before I bolt out the door.
Fresh air finally reaches my nose, and I can’t help but stop and take a whiff of the early morning smells that only happen in the South. I make a note to myself to remember that I could have this smell every morning in a few years if I keep my priorities straight. As I make my way to the hospital, which I’ve done a multitude of times, I can’t help but feel a little more secure with things. My white coat is on me as I travel, and it’s almost started to give me a feeling of a security blanket. I know what this coat means, and now is the time to truly let it shine.
After obtaining my parking pass, getting some breakfast, and parking in the correct lot (which was a little more challenging than one would think), I’m greeted by my preceptor as I walk in. Their smile lets me know that I am in fact in the right place, and I know I’m going to have a wonderful day.
The first hour was full of introductions, possible futures and careers discussions, and asking a multitude of questions to our preceptor to see how we should attempt to further ourselves in the pharmacy world. It was fun to listen to what my other classmates were thinking of doing after we graduated, and how different our paths could be once we leave UGA. After picking our preceptor’s brain, 4th year students came in to discuss part of their rotation assignment, and I couldn’t have been more intrigued. It was almost encouraging to know that they were in our shoes just a couple of years ago, and that I’m eventually going to get there, it just takes time and practice.
After this, we went to lunch with the 4th years, and then walked back over to the hospital with our preceptor to tour the main hospital pharmacy.
Our first stop was actually the clinical research part of the pharmacy. For some reason, I’ve always imagined these drugs coming down from a research lab every time a person needs another dose. I’m not sure why I didn’t think there would be a section in the pharmacy, but shockingly this was my favorite part of the day. Thanks to my undergraduate work I knew this was my element. We were allowed to see how the chart is different than a regular chart, and how the logs have many more requirements than a normal prescription. As a first year, it was definitely intimidating, but as a “want-to-be” researcher I was infatuated with the work that was going on in that room.
The rest of the main pharmacy was just as intriguing as the clinical research part. Everything worked like a well-oiled machine, and everyone worked as a team. It was encouraging to see that even in a place a big as the hospital things were calm, cool, and collected. You get these ideas in your head from shows like ER, and think that things are always about getting drugs STAT or always being some form of chaos, but it’s definitely the most calming atmosphere I’ve ever been in.
After a couple more hours, it was time to go home unfortunately. I’m very serious when I say I didn’t want this day to end. I had such a wonderful time seeing all of the different areas in a hospital. I’m overwhelmed at how many opportunities there are for pharmacists in the hospital setting. I’m very thankful to have had such a blessed experience, and I can’t wait for the fall to start so my classmates and I can share all of our wonderful experiences at all of the different hospitals around Georgia.
I feel so honored to be able to go on these experiences as a first year because it gives me time to see things for what they are, and allows me to give more thought to potential rotation ideas. I can’t wait to take what I learned from today and use it over the summer and fall! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about a day in the life of a first year’s time in a hospital, and last but not least….