Associate Dean Sam Shimomura presented a lecture to the first year pharmacy students at WesternU on "Career Options for Pharmacists" on March 30, 2016 in Dr Hata's course.
Nghia Pham, PharmD and two of her students Mina Chang, APPE student-Pharm D Candidate 2016 from Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and Junghwa Kim (Jamie) APPE student-Pharm D Candidate 2017 from WesternU gave an excellent presentation on Hospice and what the role of the pharmacist. The presentation on March 30, 2016 is part of the Noon Elective Seminar Series. A couple of reflections by students are posted below:
Reflection #1: Nora Elmajian, PharmD Candidate 2019
A hospice provides end of life care which starts when curative care no longer works. In recent times, there has been an increase in number of patients using a hospice. This trend is mostly due to more awareness of hospice facilities. Also because patients are seeking more comfort during their last days in life. Candidates for hospice are those entering their last week of life or a prognosis of 6 months or less. A hospice is different than palliative care. Palliative care patients get care at any stage of illness, whereas hospice services can be provided only to terminally ill patients. Health insurance companies pay for palliative care. Medicare covers hospice care. A doctor has to indicate if the patient has only a certain amount of time to live. It covers aspects of care, physical, emotional, psychological. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists help ease suffering and burden by alleviating any fears or anxiety. Depression, constipation, and pain are the most common symptoms seen in patients who are near the end of life. Pharmacists take clinical data and complete medical history. We also look at the therapeutics of the patients drug lists and what is the patient could do without. The goal of healthcare professionals in hospice care is to maximize comfort and quality of life.
Reflection #2: Jessica Che, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Nia Pham came in to talk on March 30, 2016 about hospice care. Hospice care is end of life care; it is when patients are entering the last few weeks or months of their life. In hospice care, the workers want to maximize comfort and quality of life for these patients, physically, spiritually and emotionally. A doctor must indicate that they are an appropriate candidate for hospice care, then they are assigned a program which is a private company which is funded by Medicare. People always think hospice is just cancer, but cancer just covers about 1/3 of the cases of patients who are in hospice care. I think this is an aspect of pharmacy that can often be overlooked, but is extremely important to those who are nearing the end of their life and their loved ones. They are part of interdisciplinary care teams to contribute thoughts to medication regimen/therapy as well as produce comfort medication packs to ease their pain and discomfort. When someone is in the last moments of their life, it is important to make sure they are receiving all the care possible to ease their burden. Dr. Pham said we only get to die once, so it is important to give the patients the best experience possible.
I am Finney Jacob, PharmD Candidate Class of 2017 at Western University of Health Sciences, born & raised in India and moved to the United States to be with my family. I did my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from India & pursued Master’s degree specialized in Pharmaceutics. Before joining WesternU as a student pharmacist in 2014, I spent 2 years as Pharmacovigilance Associate & Executive Quality Assurance with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., a Israel based pharmaceutical generic company located in Mumbai, India. This position involved handling of Anonymized Single Patient Reports relating to company products as per UK/EU requirements, review of all production, analytical, stability, complaints and recall data of the pharmaceutical product.
In the United States, I started working with CVS Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Service Associate and moved up to Pharmacy Technician and currently working with CVS Health as a Pharmacy Intern. This is my R-2 (March 28, 2016-May 6, 2016) at WesternU with Dr. Sam Shimomura (Teaching/Administrative Rotation) and excited to learn and be a part of elective rotation at WesternU.
Posted by Finney Jacob, PharmD Candidate 2017
Keith Yoshizuka, Assistant Dean for Administration at Touro University in Vallejo teaches a forensic toxicology rotation open to 8 Touro student pharmacists each year. The culmination of the course is a mock trial. On March 23, 2016, WesternU Associate Dean Sam Shimomura served on the mock jury with Touro faculty member Lucinda Chan. The trial involved the death of a patient from fentanyl. Two students acted as lawyers representing the plaintiff (patient's family) and two others represented the defendent (a clinic and their physicians). Dr Yoshizuka who is a both a pharmacist and lawyer, presided as the judge. Each side had two expert witnesses, a pharmacist and a physician to testify on standards of practice and care in the case. Following the mock trial, we all adjourn to a restaurant (Zio Fraedo's) to celebrate the end of the trial and the end of the rotation for the students. Click on button to see more photos.
Azeem Syed, PharmD is a 2008 WesternU alumni who is the Ambulatory Care Pharmacist Oncology/Ambulatory Care Services at Kaiser Fontana. He spoke on what it takes to become an oncology pharmacist and what he does in his day to day practice. The presentation on March 16, 2016 was hosted by the WesternU CSHP Chapter and is part of the Noon Elective Seminar series. A couple of blog posts by student pharmacists are published below:
Reflection #1: Mary Chakmian, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Syed’s seminar presentation was exceedingly intriguing regarding the responsibilities of Oncology Pharmacists such as infusion services, clinical skills and training needed that can be attained by a general residency program, on the job and professional training or even BCOP board certification. The clinical skills required of oncology pharmacists include providing evidence- based, patient-centered therapy, toxicity and side effect management through ancillary medication protocols, patient resources, as well as pharmacology (PK, PD, PG). Also, some information management required for oncology pharmacists are promoting health improvement, wellness and cancer prevention, serving as a medication expert and resource on the optimal use of medications in cancer. Oncology pharmacists practice in such settings as inpatient, outpatient, ambulatory care, specialty pharmacies, and research settings. One keeper idea I gained was that this profession is not just about clocking-in or clocking- out, but trying to be empathetic, becoming a patient advocate on a personal level, as well as thinking outside the box so as to provide patients the best possible treatments and care possible.
Reflection #2 Diane Javier, PharmD Candidate 2016
This week, Dr. Azeem Syed, an ambulatory care pharmacist in oncology and infusion services in Kaiser Permanente Fontana/Ontario, lectured us on the roles and responsibilities of an oncology pharmacist. First and foremost, oncology pharmacists recommend, design, implement, monitor, and modify pharmacotherapeutic plans to optimize outcomes in patients with malignant diseases. They practice information management by serving as expert resources of cancer medications through the use of reviews and analyses. Oncology pharmacists practice in academic institutions, inpatient and outpatient settings, ambulatory care, research, cancer centers, and in clinical content development. However, they are not only responsible for the distribution of cancer medication, but the monitoring of patients after medication intake. Future opportunities for oncology pharmacists include the following: MTM programs and independent prescribing protocols, roles in cancer prevention and survivorship issues, and outpatient management, including fee for service models. My keeper from this presentation is to care for patients even after you dispensed their medication. A lot of pharmacies treat patients as numbers, and don’t follow up with them to make sure the medication is working for them. This is essentially important for maintenance medications such as those involved in high blood pressure and diabetes management. I understand that, as future pharmacists, we cannot keep track of every single patient, but we can try to deliver the best patient outcome possible by attempting to do so.
The Cal Poly Pomona Pre-Pharmacy Society visited the WesternU campus on Friday, March 4, 2016 hosted by the CSHP Student Chapter and University Recruitment. Susie Fang and Kelly Williford from University Recruitment organized the event and provided the pizza and salad dinner. Associate Dean Sam Shimomura and Recruiter Susie Fang provided a presentation on the WesternU College of Pharmacy and how to apply. The CSHP students, Jackie, Dan, Grace and Meera gave a tour of the College and answered questions.