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A Day in the Life of a Hospital Pharmacist

Meet Scott Micek, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS!

He’s a hospital pharmacist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, a professor of pharmacy follow at St. Louis School of Pharmacy, and the director of SLCOP’s Middle for Well being Outcomes Research and Schooling.

Dr. Micek agreed to take us behind-the-scenes to showcase a day in his life as a pharmacist. Learn on for extra about his profession path, his day-to-day duties, and even some advice for pharmacy students like you!

Why pharmacy?

Earlier than—and even instantly after—graduating from high school, I didn’t think about pharmacy as a attainable profession choice. At that time, I knew I really enjoyed my math and science courses, however what I really needed to be was a soccer participant.

So, I accepted a partial athletic scholarship to Mankato State University in Minnesota to play school soccer. After my first yr there, my dad recommended that I develop a profession plan that wasn’t targeted on football.

That’s once I spoke to my school advisor, who was related with some pharmacy college students at the  University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy. I used to be fortunate enough to talk to these students, they usually helped me finalize my choice to pursue pharmacy faculty.

As soon as the determination was made, I applied to the College of Iowa (UI) School of Pharmacy. My acceptance letter arrived on the night time of the spring football recreation at Mankato. That was once I knew needed to make a selection; I selected to attend pharmacy faculty over enjoying football. That’s when my pharmacy profession pathway really began.

Rising up, I used to be fortunate to have a neighbor who owned his own unbiased compounding pharmacy. As soon as I received into pharmacy faculty, he asked me to return and work for him. It was a great alternative because I used to be capable of start getting firsthand pharmacy expertise immediately. At first, I labored primarily in his group pharmacy, but ultimately, he gave me a further opportunity to work in the residence well being pharmacy division of the unbiased pharmacy company he co-owned in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Whereas interning at the residence well being pharmacy, I had the opportunity to hitch pharmacists and nurses throughout house visits. The interactions between well being care professionals and sufferers actually inspired me and solidified my want to choose pharmacy as a career.

What sort of pharmacist are you?

I’m a hospital pharmacist, and my specialty is intensive care drugs. I present pharmacy providers to sufferers inside the intensive care models of the hospital as a member of a affected person care group that includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, social staff, case staff, and others.

Being part of a staff like this takes me back to my football days. That is mainly because I see similarities in how a patient care group features like a sports staff—everybody has a unique job to do. However, as an alternative of making an attempt to win a recreation, our aim is to work together to make a affected person higher.

My particular duties on the staff embrace making certain that the drugs prescribed to patients are the right ones, and confirming that they’re being given in the right doses at the correct occasions. When the patient care workforce is making care plans for sufferers, it’s additionally my duty to make medicine suggestions.

What makes your profession path unique?

My career path is exclusive as a result of, for 15 years, I worked full-time in a hospital intensive care unit serving sufferers and families as a hospital pharmacist. Now, I’m utilizing my expertise and expertise to teach the next era of pharmacists.

In 2013, I joined St. Louis School of Pharmacy as a school member. As a professor, I get to teach students in the classroom about pharmacotherapy, as it pertains to essential care. I also co-coordinate and train a course designed to point out college students the right way to evaluate, interpret, and apply research research that guide the selections health suppliers make when caring for patients.

As well as, I nonetheless spend 12-14 weeks a yr working in a hospital. Once I’m there, I all the time have the probability to work with pharmacy college students who’re on rotations. That is really rewarding because I get to see students put their information into follow and watch as they interact immediately with members of the affected person care staff, the patient, and the sufferers’ households.

At St. Louis School of Pharmacy, I’ve additionally been capable of pursue my passion for research. Throughout my time at the UI School of Pharmacy, I labored as a analysis assistant in a primary science lab. That have gave me the itch to do research.

As we speak, I contemplate myself a medical researcher. As the director of the school’s Middle for Health Outcomes Analysis and Schooling, I’m half of a workforce that analyzes knowledge from digital well being data as well as administrative claims databases. We construct models and algorithms and then apply our findings at the bedside in the type of electronic medical determination alerts or order units designed to help us improve the outcomes of hospitalized sufferers. We’ve got many college students concerned with us in this research. They are gaining necessary expertise in database development, in addition to statistical knowledge analysis.

My career path has been distinctive as a result of I’ve been capable of branch out into a number of directions. However, whether I’m in the hospital, educating college students in the classroom, or doing research, the patient has all the time remained the focus of my work.

What do you’re keen on most about your job?

I really like the relationships I’ve built. Some of them have been short-term relationships with patients and households, others have been long-term relationships with members of numerous affected person care teams I’ve worked on. I very a lot worth the connections I’ve been capable of type with my college students over the years.

What does a typical workday seem like for you?

On days once I’m working in the hospital, I get to work earlier than six in the morning. I begin the day by reviewing the treatment regimens for my sufferers. After that, I meet with the whole patient care workforce and we make plans for our sufferers for the day.

Rounds begin at 7:30 a.m. Throughout rounds, I educate pharmacy college students, pharmacy residents, and physicians who are in their residency training on the thought processes behind the affected person medicine selections which were made. That is additionally the time once I educate ICU sufferers and families about their treatment regimens.

Once I’m in my school position at St. Louis School of Pharmacy, each day is never the similar. I might be discovered in the lecture hall, in a classroom, or in a meeting room educating college students. If I’m not educating, you may discover me writing a grant, setting up a database, analyzing knowledge, drafting a manuscript, or putting together a research presentation.

Describe the most rewarding day of your profession.

Probably the most rewarding days are all the time the ones when my patients have good outcomes.

The other days that I take pleasure in most are these once I get to see my pharmacy students put their information into follow. Seeing them work together instantly with members of the patient care workforce, the affected person, and the sufferers’ families could be very rewarding.

Immediately, I also get a lot of personal satisfaction from presenting my analysis to those who aren’t conversant in what I do. It’s nice to get feedback from totally different audiences.

Describe the most difficult day of your career.

Probably the most difficult days are the ones when things don’t go as expected. It’s all the time arduous once I make a treatment suggestion that outcomes in a affected person having a dangerous end result reminiscent of an hostile response.

As well being care providers, we make selections based mostly on the greatest info we’ve got, however patients aren’t textbooks and outcomes we don’t anticipate do occur. It’s very challenging once you feel like you contributed to one thing that didn’t go properly, but these situations provide the alternative to self-reflect and think about the best way to better cope with them subsequent time.

That is also the case with college students. As a professor, I counsel a lot of college students, but I don’t all the time do or say the right factor. Once I do make errors in my interactions with pharmacy college students, I’ve found that the means to point out vulnerability goes a great distance in the direction of resolving the state of affairs.

What most attracted you to pharmacy over other health care professions?

I was interested in pharmacy because I knew I had profession options. Because of my neighbor who was a pharmacist, I used to be capable of discover totally different features of pharmacy very early on in my school profession.

He was a nice mentor who inspired me to realize experiences outdoors of the group pharmacy setting in a residence health pharmacy and the analysis lab. Those numerous experiences attracted me to pharmacy and solidified my interest in pursuing the career.

What recommendation would you give a scholar getting into pharmacy faculty?

First, I might encourage college students to discover ways to build relationships. Whether it’s connecting with professors, or with older college students who’ve been by way of pharmacy faculty earlier than, it’s so necessary to become involved and to get to know individuals. Visibility builds trust, and the belief college students achieve with different professionals and friends helps them to grow to be extra successful.

I can also’t stress enough the significance of non-digital relationships. I all the time tell my students that I may help them a lot extra successfully with five to ten minutes of face time than I might by spending twenty minutes answering an e mail from them. That face-to-face contact really allows me to get to know students and show them I care.

Whereas in faculty, I might additionally advocate that college students make the most of the assets which might be there for them. There are all the time individuals and issues on the market that may help make our lives simpler, however at occasions, we’re all responsible of not taking advantage of them.

What do you would like somebody advised you (in high school or school) as it pertains to your profession?

As a younger school scholar, I used to be guided to explore all my alternatives, and I can’t stress enough how a lot this has helped me during my career. I might tell students to by no means be afraid to attempt new issues.

If they have been an intern at a group pharmacy, I’d advise them to attempt hospital pharmacy. If they don’t know if they like analysis or not, I’d encourage them to seek out a venture to work on and check out it for a semester or two. There’s all the time something new and thrilling to discover, and it’s necessary to take advantage of all the opportunities which might be obtainable to them while they will.

Also, I would like future pharmacy students to know that there are lots of sides to pharmacy. There’s the business aspect, the pc science aspect, the ongoing communication with individuals, and extra. Many things that college students assume don’t have anything to do with pharmacy, could also be tied to pharmacy in a method or another.

What do you consider is the largest false impression about the subject of pharmacy?

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time making an attempt to elucidate what I do for a dwelling to my buddies. Because they’ve never interacted with a pharmacist in a hospital, they assume that a hospital pharmacist’s position is very similar to that of a group pharmacist—getting ready and allotting prescriptions.

What they don’t perceive is that there is far more concerned in my position. My job is more heavily targeted on having meaningful interactions with a giant affected person care group, sufferers, and the families of patients, in addition to managing treatment regimens for many patients.

As you possibly can see, Dr. Micek’s profession as a hospital pharmacist is so much extra than simply prescribing drugs. He’s making individuals’s lives higher daily by means of patient care, analysis, and schooling.

In the event you’re interested in learning more about careers like Dr. Micek’s in hospital pharmacy or the many different profession choices out there in the business, go to our Career Paths page.