Being a Pharmacy Resident

Someone asked me today, is it worth becoming a pharmacy resident? Well here are some pros and cons.

Pros:

1. Your contract is usually longer than everyone else’s. A residency is usually two years long, so your contract is basically the same.

2. It looks good on your resume that you completed some sort of “qualification” during this time. It can detail that you are sort of well rounded in the different areas of pharmacy, for example we all do a stint in operational pharmacy, surgical, medical, and an elective rotation.

3. You are appointed an “official preceptor” whom you can ask for help whenever you need in each rotation. Usually it’s the same person that id your Team Leader.

4. You get to be involved in a lot more things whether you like it or not, for example you are part of committees, take it in turn to look after quality boards, conduct presentations and can put your hand up for extra training as a resident.

Cons:

1. People might talk behind your back or judge you for getting one of those ‘coveted residency’ positions as they are far fewer than the normal advertised contracted roles.

2. You have to conduct a research project AND it is basically all in your own time as well. So week nights, lunch breaks, weekends, any free time basically. I absolutely detest research after doing my honours project 😰😰😰.

3. The support that you thought you would get wasn’t actually as good as you thought it would be unfortunately.

4. There are so many extra things you have to do as an resident… as mentioned earlier, not only do you have to present in each rotation, you also have to participate in the committees, do assessments during work, get people to do surveys about you… Basically, a lot more on your plate than the average worker.

I am almost mid way through my residency, and in summary… despite stressing so much my hair falls out, I really did get an opportunity to learn so much while doing this residency. My eyes have been open to so many types of medicines and procedures I haven’t heard about before. In my old hospital, I asked so many times if I could learn clinical pharmacy and they always gave me the same excuses, your contract isn’t long enough to train you up. Etc, etc.

And that’s why I stayed back twice this week until 8pm doing ‘residency’ stuff.. since we are in lock down anyways, it didn’t really matter… it’s almodt like I locked myself down haha…

Being ‘Oncall’

This weekend, it’s my first time being the Oncall pharmacist for a large hospital that I used to work for.. but since then I have been rotated to another site.@@. Trying to organise getting the on-call gear to get to me was a feat in itself. I don’t know much about booking couriers or who to contact about the on-call stuff. It was also a feat trying to test the laptop gear and make sure it was connected to the network at work before I took it home. I’ve never used VPN before and holy moly is it kinda cool…but super slow and the screen is TINYYY..

For me, the anxiety of thinking about being on-call seems like more of a nightmare than actually being on-call…so far anyway.

Yesterday I got one call so far asking for something that they should have ordered during business hours. Then today I received a call from an intern cover doctor asking about vancomycin dosing… @_@ which is so complicated and my first time looking into it.

I think personally, being on-call is literally taking the stress from work home with you and everywhere you go. Basically, you have to think about work 24/7 while on call. You never know when they will call and what they will call about. Every time you go out you have to bring all the stuff with you and be on alert for the dreaded beeps from the pager or the phone ringing. The pager went off during my shower today and my heart sank, I couldn’t even enjoy my shower… 😦

I woke up with a stiff and painful neck this morning 😦 I don’t think I got good sleep…worried that I would be called in the middle of the night…

So far I’ve been a bit disgusted with the bag. It’s sooo messy..stuff is just everywhere.. I bought some plastic ziplock bags to put the different chargers, internet dongle, and parking permit cards into. I have also replaced the screen cover of the iphone with a new tempered glass screen cover I had lying around (can I claim that on my tax?)..I also might clean up the folder a bit…and see if I have a spare notebook lying around. It just looks so unloved.

This is my oncall experience so far… tmoro will be another challenge! I am will still be on-call while I am working at my second job. Fingers crossed no-one contacts me during work….eek… Shall update on my endavours with more stories surely. Oh, and someone please remind me to put this on my resume, thanks.

Random Rants: Reporting your colleagues

Today was a tough day. So many challenges, upsets, and unexpected upsets…

In the past, I think I have wrote about how in my line of work I face people that have issues with drug and alcohol withdrawal. They are rude, aggressive, and partly I know the reason why they act that way. However, when today I was faced with a rude and difficult staff member, I was flabbergasted. There are times when I want to throw in the towel, give up, and swear at everyone and storm out, but do I do it? No. Because I want to keep my job and in the Chinese way we describe it “Save our face” (or dignity). As I said in my post about being a ‘Professional‘…

But wow. There was a staff member who lost it. Literally lost it. I don’t work directly with her, but I first talked to her on the phone, let’s call her “X”. She called up asking about whether some “trial leave” medications were ready. I said, well has anyone dropped off the script to pharmacy? She was shocked that a doctor actually had to write a script …I wasn’t rude to her at all, but I was explaining what is the normal procedure for a trial leave. The doctor SHOULD write the script based on how many days the patient will go on leave, they indicate when the leave will take place, and if there is no clinical pharmacist in that ward, then we ask for the medication charts so I reconcile the script to the chart. In this case it was also a Webster pack, so it was crucial to have those drug charts. She asked when it would done, as we hadn’t even got the script I said around an hour…and normally we need 24 hours notice normally for Webster packs and they wanted one on the spot. RUDE. Then she said she was going to put an incident report in…I was like…Are you going to put one in for us? Because this is not our fault that you guys didn’t organise this trial leave at an earlier date… and she said, she was going to write a report reporting everyone involved apparently. Whatever floats your boat mate.

In this case, the doctor wrote the script as a discharge script. He wrote one months worth of all the medications out and did not specify whether it was for leave or for discharge. I tried calling the number he listed on the script, and got no answer. I called the ward to clarify how many days the patient was going on leave and whether or not it was actually a discharge, because occasionally we do one week’s Webster pack (Which is a 7 dose pack that we make up so the patient can punch out their meds easily) and give the rest of the medications on discharge.  This will change how much the patient has to pay and if they have to pay. If it is leave medication, they don’t get charged anything for any of the medications or the packs. If it is discharge meds, the patient will have to pay the full cost of all the medications plus a $6.60 Webster packing fee. If the doctor just wants the patient to only have one week Webster pack, we don’t charge anything for the medications in the pack and just charge $6.60 for the Webster packing fee. As you can seem ,this is important to know as it will affect how much medication is dispensed and who is paying the cost. The person I called on the phone didn’t seem to understand this and I could hear that person “X”, swearing at us in the background, saying “Why can’t they just do their EFFINGJOB”. I was like. … WOW…so I politely asked the person on the phone, “Who is that in the background?”. She said, “Oh I don’t know their name, they are just passing by”. Obviously lies as she put me on hold while the rant in the background continued. I just want to do my job, you shouting and insulting us in the background. Does not help. Not one bit.

Anyways, I told my boss about what I heard on the phone…and she said she would send an email to someone high up and tell them that’s not how you can treat pharmacy staff. Thank you to those in higher positions than mine. I am just a small potatoe that gets bossed around.

About a half an hour later when the managers spoke to one another. The staff member X, whose name I did not know came and asked if there was a “Josie” around. I said, “We don’t have a Josie, but my name is Joy”. Hastily, she said, “I came to apologise for my behaviour earlier, I was stressed out from work.” I said that’s fine, but “what is your name?”  Because I have no idea who she is, she then says “My name is Donna, but don’t worry I have already been reported”, then she stormed out. That was the best apology ever. NOT. Obviously someone told her that she had to come apologise.

I normally wouldn’t stoop that low to do an incident report on a staff member, but my boss did. The politics at work are insane. We work in a mental health facility, but I feel like half the staff should also be patients there. The world is a crazy messy place.

I have dealt with some difficult situations before, but this was really new to me…how can you treat other health professionals in this way?  That’s beyond me.

Well I just had to rant this one out…because I keep lamenting and thinking about it…but I really need to get on with that assignment due next week .. T_T…Wish me luck..and someone remind me why I decided to work two jobs and study part-time too?!?