Interview with our Pharmacist Intern Lora

lora-e1399058944205-150x150As the landscape of pharmacy changes so are the academic and professional opportunities. Our intern, Lora White, a University of Washington School of Pharmacy student, is completing one of her last rotations here at Key Compounding. We caught up with her to get the latest on what pharmacy students, residents and newly trained pharmacists are doing these days.

Pharmacists were once required to have a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy to practice but now they must have additional training–at a time where more career options are becoming available. After 2-4 years of undergraduate work, students are required to enroll in a four year graduate program and earn what is called a PharmD. Furthermore, Washington is a desirable place to practice and study pharmacy as the laws here allow pharmacists to be more involved in managing chronic conditions. The laws allow students to use the knowledge they gain in pharmacy school to care for their patients.

More and more, pharmacists are being seen in hospitals counseling patients on medicine, working alongside doctors and showcasing their expertise on treatments. Lora got to work in the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center at Tacoma General Hospital and truly lights up when talking about her time spent there with cancer patients. She gets to work behind the scenes making chemotherapy and is also the face of patient care as she is there to openly discuss reactions and concerns to the treatment. Interestingly, she discovered, patients are able to disclose more to pharmacists and be more open than they are with their doctors. There are different levels of trust and comfort spanning the various medical professionals patients interact with, which underscores the need for pharmacist presence in treatment centers.

“I love working with the cancer patients; they’re strong people, never negative, beautiful people. It really makes a difference in how they feel when you really listen.” In a hospital-appointed position like Lora’s, she gets to counsel patients in a way the medical field possibly didn’t expect to see pharmacists by not just receiving and filling prescriptions, but actually being there when it’s administered and ingested. Pharmacists like Lora are stretching what it means to be practicing in pharmacy today.

She added one last tip that she picked up in the oncology department. To offset the bone pain caused from getting a Neupogen or Neulasta shot, take Claritin once daily starting 1 day before the shot and continue for 2-3 days after. “It’s a strange trick that totally works!”

We will miss Lora and wish her the best in her pharmacy career.

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