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Chicago State University College of Pharmacy
My First Experience in a Hospital Pharmacy
by Makek Hassan - P2, SSHP Member
This past semester I completed an institutional Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) at Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, located on the southside of Chicago. This was my first experience with a hospital pharmacy; the majority of my pharmacy experience comes from the community setting. I was truly pleased and I learned a great deal from this new experience.
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive because this environment was new for me. I was oriented to the site and my preceptor provided an overview of general institutional pharmacy practice, workflow within the pharmacy, and inventory. Then, I was afforded the opportunity to engage in clinical aspects of pharmacy practice. I was able to interact with patients, nurses, physicians, medical students, and other healthcare professionals. These interprofessional interactions seemed different compared to those in the community setting. They appeared to be more “personal” in the sense that you can tell that many of the pharmacists have interacted with the same physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc. for a long time. I was able to attend various meetings along with my preceptor such as P&T, patient safety, and other hospital initiatives such as antibiotic stewardship. I learned new skills such as conducting drug utilization reviews. I interviewed patients and discussed treatment and transition plans with physicians. I saw the importance of discharge medication counseling for patients. These interactions provided me with a sense of importance for the pharmacy profession and I saw the critical impact of the pharmacist in the institutional setting.
Overall, I was grateful for the opportunity to be placed at this particular hospital with so many opportunities for engagement and to learn from others. This IPPE allowed me to explore clinical pharmacy as an option in the future. It is never too early to begin planning ahead and institutional pharmacy is definitely a possibility for me. ■