Student Pharmacists Focus on Our Community

Contributed by: SSHP

American Pharmacists Month is a time when we as student pharmacists advocate for our profession and educate the community about services we can offer. In October, the Student Society of Health System Pharmacists (SSHP) at the University of Charleston decided that the best way to teach the community about our role, is to show them! From day care centers to a local market in Charleston, we found ways to give back to our community.

 

Our first event of the month was in collaboration with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the UCSOP Class of 2020. Student pharmacists were providing blood pressure and blood glucose screenings for visitors of the Charleston Town Center during “White Coats at the Mall.” In addition to the health screenings, we provided information about diabetes, flu vs cold, and heart health!

 

 

Next, we had our first Capitol Market health fair. Each month, our SSHP chapter will go to Capitol Market to educate their customers on the disease state that is recognized nationally. During October, we focused on breast cancer. We provided blood pressure screenings, general information about breast cancer and mammography, and pink ribbons that were handmade by P3 Eirini Fallieros. Rajveer Kaur, P1, said the most meaningful part of the health fair to her was when a customer was influenced by our information about mammography and inquired about where to get testing done. “When there is early detection of breast cancer, the cure rate is much higher, and it can be found early through routine mammograms. It’s a great feeling knowing that we could have made the difference for that person.” We will continue our monthly visits to Capitol Market in November when we talk about diabetes awareness and provide blood glucose screenings.

We ended our month of community service with a young and adorable crowd! SSHP members went to the Sacred Heart Center in Charleston to teach kids that flu shots aren’t scary. Each child was given a teddy bear and a (needleless) syringe so they could give their new furry friend a fake flu shot! This was a fun way for students to teach kids the importance of getting themselves vaccinated to protect against illnesses.

We as student pharmacists are committed to public service, and there was no more satisfying way to spend our American Pharmacists Month than by giving back to the citizens of Charleston.

Sara Yagodich

President, SSHP

Class of 2019

Teddy Bear Flu Clinic

On Monday, October 23rd and Friday, October 27th, 2017, two groups of student pharmacists from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy volunteered at Sacred Heart Daycare Center, in Charleston, WV.  The event, the Teddy Bear Flu Clinic, allowed student pharmacists to pass out teddy bears to students ranging from ages 5 – 12 years old, to show them that getting the flu shot is not scary.   The student pharmacists explained to the children that flu shots are nothing to be afraid of, and, in fact, they are important to get every year.  The student pharmacists allowed the children to draw back a syringe (without a needle) and give their teddy bear a “flu shot.”  After each child gave their bear a shot, the student pharmacists helped fill out “prescriptions” for the bears, indicating what kind of love and care the bear would need afterward.  The children were very enthusiastic and enjoyed learning about flu shots and why they are so important.  In fact, many of the children were excited to go get their flu shot next!

This event showed that student pharmacists are always willing to give their time back to their community.  With pharmacists being more accessible than any other healthcare professional, it shows the importance of their vaccination privileges.  As of right now, pharmacists in West Virginia have the ability to prescribe and administer vaccines, but are limited by an age restriction of 18 years or older.  It is important for us continue to support pharmacists in gaining more vaccination privileges.

We would like to thank the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy (SSHP) for organizing this event as well as providing the teddy bears and certificates.  Additional thanks are extended towards Sacred Heart Daycare for allowing us to come teach your children about influenza vaccinations and the importance to getting vaccines.

The National Opioid Epidemic and Pharmacist’s Role in Drug Diversion

An epidemic is ravaging our country and the ways in which we, as pharmacists and healthcare providers, can aid in the fight that is the “Opioid Crisis” are numerous. Take our beloved state of West Virginia for instance, where there have been 33.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents from 2011-13 compared to 22 per 100,000 residents in the years preceding. (1) “Wyoming, McDowell, Boone and Mingo [counties] lead the nation in fatal overdoses caused by pain pills, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (2) Over the past 6 years drug wholesalers have shipped nearly 800 million oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets drawing the attention of both the DEA and the state government. One of the nation’s largest wholesalers, Cardinal, agreed to pay over $40 million in fines to settle allegations of failure to report suspicious purchasing patterns for opioids. (3) You may find yourself asking what can I, a pharmacist, do to help?

First and foremost, counseling our patients on their medications and informing them of the potential risk of abuse is a great first step. It is important to get to know our patients and their situation so we can make sure the medications are used responsibly. Remind patients that medication is not to be shared with friends or family under any circumstances without the consult and consent of their health care provider. Inquire of your patient(s) whether the medication is working to alleviate symptoms and offer additional ways to help manage pain such as exercise, meditation, or even yoga. If needed, refer them to additional resources such as their doctor or other healthcare providers.

Secondly, inform patients about overdose protocol and the availability of lifesaving drugs such as naloxone (Narcan). Police and paramedics, who are usually the first responders to overdose victims, are also carrying naloxone to help curb loss of life. Educate individuals on the proper use of naloxone to reverse an overdose whether it accidental or intentional and where to purchase an emergency dose. Naloxone is now available by physician protocol at your local pharmacies in many states, including WV. It is imperative to instruct those who purchase naloxone that after administering a dose they must go to the hospital immediately because the effects will wear off and the victim will require hospital attention.

DEA 360 Strategy Meeting in the UC Ballroom!

DEA 360 Strategy Meeting in the UC Ballroom!

Pharmacists also have a responsibility to be proactive in this “Opioid Crisis” and become advocates for change in our communities. Reaching out to our state Senate and House of Representatives to promote new legislation and initiatives to curb this wave of abuse is another great step. On Wednesday January 25th 2017, DEA representatives came to the University of Charleston to host a stakeholders strategy meeting that focused on providing support for West Virginia for heroin and opioid use, and violence in our community. US Attorney Caroline Mastro has approved $500,000 for the trial portion of a program to diversify ways to help out this crisis. The DEA speakers addressed the present dismissive attitudes surrounding the subject and called out to leaders to unite with the common goal of fighting addiction in this state.

These patients are not the enemy but a casualty to what has historically been labeled a victimless crime. So the next time someone comes in a day early to fill their script or the doctor ups their dose don’t just shove them out the door replying, “it is too soon to fill” or “we don’t have any in stock.” Have a conversation with the patient to make sure they are aware that help is out there if they are ready to start their journey to recovery. Those who are abusing pain medications may be doing so in order to mask the pain of another situation and your conversation may spark the road to recovery! Please join us in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

References:

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3128229/West-Virginia-rate-drug-overdose-deaths.html
  2. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/12/19/report-dea-records-show-west-virginia-flooded-with-drugs.html
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cardinal-health-fined-44-million-for-opioid-reporting-violations/2017/01/11/4f217c44-d82c-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.d248d375b1fa

 

Students Visit Capitol Hill

When applying to a pharmacy school, students must consider the plethora of opportunities the school can offer them. “What can this school offer to me? Why UCSOP instead of another school?” One of the reasons the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is often chosen is because of its focus on a small, tight-knit community as well as its efforts in advocacy. Students are encouraged to advocate for their profession, and help push health care forward,  locally and nationally.

Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock on Capitol Hill

Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock on Capitol Hill

Proactive students, like Katie Oliver (P2) and Brian Hancock (P2), make the most of these opportunities. When offered the chance to travel to Washington, D.C., the two jumped at the possibility to meet with congressmen and women. The goal was to educate Senators and Representatives on the benefits of granting pharmacists “provider status,” which would expand a pharmacist’s role and allow them to be paid for various new services. Katie’s reflection of the event gives upcoming students an idea of what a student-pharmacist can accomplish.

Katie: “I was recently given the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. where I met with several congressman in order to advocate for Pharmacist Provider Status. I was provided the opportunity through Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, a national student pharmacist organization that is available for membership at the University of Charleston.

I am grateful to have had this experience because it taught me the importance of advocating on behalf of the profession of pharmacy. Throughout my visit I was able to have a personal meeting with four United States congressmen regarding provider status for pharmacists in medically under served areas, a topic that could drastically change health care as well as pharmacist-patient interactions.  The congressmen were very responsive and interested in our views, most importantly how Provider Status for pharmacists would impact the lives of our patients.

After our visit to Capitol Hill, numerous additional congressmen signed on as cosponsors to the corresponding Provider Status bill. The experience revealed to me that many congressmen unfortunately do not have a background in health care. This is why it is imperative that we advocate on behalf of our profession and patients. I would strongly encourage any student or potential student to become involved in advocacy events. Change can be seen based on a few citizens’ actions.”

Thank you to Katie Oliver for helping with this post! Keep up the good work!

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

Attending the ASHP Midyear Meeting: A Student’s Perspective

“Are you going to Midyear this year?” It’s a question asked hundreds of times every fall semester, typically by P3 and P4 students in the ASHP-SSHP chapter at UCSOP. For those unfamiliar with the Midyear ASHP meeting, it is a massive gathering of health-system pharmacists and pharmacy students. This past December, the national meeting was held in Anaheim, CA, with over 20,000 pharmacy professionals attending. The meeting itself spans multiple days and includes seminars and presentations appropriate for both students and practitioners. While the event is a great place to socialize with fellow professionals, it is also an incredibly nerve-wrecking experience, especially those applying for residencies.

Students interested in residency programs after graduating from pharmacy school often attend the residency showcase, which allows students to interact with residency directors from programs across the nation. This is a great time to network and get to know the programs that you may be applying to in the future. P3 Jennifer Byerly attended the Midyear meeting and had this to say about the experience:

photo 1

Jennifer Byerly (P3) and Temeka Lewis (P4) presented a posted on their experiences in Haiti

“As a P3 student, I was given the chance to explore what Midyear had to offer.  I plan on attending the residency showcase next year, so seeing the chaos beforehand was beneficial.  I was able to go into the residency showcase and walk around on the last day to see what it would be like for next year.  I see how applicants interacted with residents and what types of questions people ask to the programs and their residency directors.  Since I had some free time, I was able to sit in on different seminars regarding CV’s, letters of intent, and the scramble.  They were helpful because I won’t need to feel like I’m missing out on anything next year.  The highlight of my experience was presenting a poster about the Haiti medical mission trip along with Temeka Lewis. By doing so, I was able to spread what we do here at UC to other schools and residents.”

Another incredibly popular event within Midyear itself is the Clinical Skills Competition. The competition includes 2 students from each school of pharmacy from across the nation. The teams are all given the same patient case and asked to develop a treatment plan. UCSOP’s team for 2014 consisted of Melanie Hackney and Joshua Hapney, both P4 students. They have both generously agreed to comment on what they thought of the competition and how future participants should prepare.

“A trip to midyear is always filled with a mixture of excitement and nervousness, especially for those going as a part of the Clinical Skills Competition. There seems to be no way to really prepare yourself for what they will give you. Topics can range from pediatrics to oncology to infectious diseases. The competition is set up nicely, you have plenty of space to work and references to use — though it can be difficult having to share the iPad to use Lexicomp. My advice for students going to the Clinical Skills Competition is to read over past cases to see what little nuances they will be looking for such as nonpharmacological therapies. Also, I would recommend on reading over common guidelines — hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure– because your patient will most likely have at least one of these disease states. The most important part of it all though is to have fun, this is not something to stress over particularly if you are also there looking at residency programs.  My favorite part of the whole experience was the excitement leading up to the competition, all of us were very anxious to see what the topic could possibly be!” –Melanie Hackney (P4)

“The National ASHP Clinical Skills Competition at Midyear in Anaheim, California was a great experience. This was my first time attending Midyear and the number of activities, pharmacists, and pharmacy students present was overwhelming. The competition itself was highly organized. Winners from various pharmacy schools competed at different times throughout the day. We were contacted well in advanced from ASHP with information pertaining to the competition. My partner, Melanie Hackney, and myself arrived to be welcomed by ASHP staff, which assisted us with registration for the competition. We then were placed in a room with other competitors where I was able to interact with pharmacy students from across the country.  The competition started with an overview of the rules and scoring process. A video case was presented followed by us moving to a larger room to complete the written portion.

I prepared for the competition by reviewing the rules and regulations posted on ASHP’s website. In addition, I reviewed clinical practice guidelines on various disease states.  However, it is difficult to prepare for something such as this because there is no way of knowing what the case will be on. My best advice would be to read as much as you can prior to competition day and then do the best you can in the time given. In addition to the clinical skills competition, I was able to participate in the residency showcase where I met with residents and residency directors from various programs. Midyear was a fantastic experience and I recommend that everyone participate in the clinical skills competition, even if you are a P1 or P2, as it is a valuable learning experience.” –Joshua Hapney (P4)

P4s Brandi Sugonis and Jennifer Leslie presenting a poster on Cancer Prevention.

P4s Brandi Sugonis and Jennifer Leslie presenting a poster on Cancer Prevention.

P4 John Muller presenting his poster at Midyear

P4 John Muller presenting his poster at Midyear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special thank you goes out to Jennifer Byerly, Melanie Hackney, and Joshua Hapney for taking time out of their busy schedules to help with this topic!

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

UCSOP SSHP Chapter wins National Video Competition

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) student chapter (SSHP) of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) was named the national winner of the first ASHP Pharmacy Practice Model Initiatives (PPMI)video competition.  The video was judged on content, quality of production and overall final product.  The judges stated the message delivered by the video exceeded that of other submissions.

The group was recognized during the Student Society Showcase and Awards Ceremony at the 2014 Midyear Clinical Meeting in December in Anaheim, CA.  The student chapter (SSHP) received a certificate and PPMI Video Award.  The video is featured on the PPMI Video Competition webpage of the ASHP website and the UCSOP website.

UCSOP faculty, students and staff involved in creating the video included:  Jennifer Byerly, Josh Dunn, Jelena Radan, Felix Tan, Vivian Ugboh, Albert Won,  Mrs. Jane Condee, Mr. Ryan Jenkins and Dr. Christopher Foley.

ASHP’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) aspires to transform how pharmacists care for patients by empowering the pharmacy team to take responsibility for medication-use outcomes. – See more at: http://www.ashpmedia.org/ppmi/overview.html#sthash.0q7a37Mc.dpuf

You can also view the video on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Charleston-School-of-Pharmacy/256321047732332