Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Highlights in CP112

In the first year of pharmacy school at UCSF, we take classes in clinical pharmacy that cover a gamut of general pharmacy-related topics: cultural/diversity sensitivity in patient counseling, over-the-counter drugs, hands-on training on medical devices for common diseases, etc. I would say that the highlights for this quarter's CP112 class were the pulmonary skills lab and the diabetes training workshop.

In the pulmonary skills lab, Dr. Lisa Kroon and Robin Corelli gave us information inhalers commonly used to control asthma and COPD. Coincidently, I was, at the time, suffering from allergy-induced asthma and benefited tremendously from the workshop. After the lecture & demonstrations, I found out that I was using the pirbuterol inhaler incorrectly by not inhaling and holding my breath long enough for the mist to be absorbed in my lungs. I'm so glad we had that workshop, because it not only helped me obtain more benefit from my asthma medication, but I am now better trained to teach my future patients. Using those inhalers correctly can be a great challenge, as I have learned from my experience.

Another good thing that came out of that workshop and the reading on asthma was my medication adherence. I became more compliant in using the corticosteroid nasal spray after reading about the potential pulmonary damage from untreated asthma and the amount of time required for corticosteroids to take effects in the body. Knowing that my Nasonex doesn't start working until after 2 weeks of daily administration, I stuck to the regimen without expecting immediate relief, and finally got my allergies under control. Thankfully, I now do not have to rely on the pirbuterol inhaler for chest tightness because there's no more post-nasal drips to fill my lungs with fluids and cause vasoconstrictions.

Another really cool workshop that I just had last week was the diabetes training, where I tested my blood glucose level and injected myself subcutaneously with saline solution using an insulin needle. The blood test, I have done before, so it was less exciting than the self-injection. It was fun to actually not feel the needle going in at all when I placed the needle on my pinched-up abdominal area at a 90 degree angle. I can now tell my patients that it doesn't feel as bad as it looks when I counsel them on self-injections.

The first final is in two days and I feel so unprepared!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Job Interviews

The recruiters came to UCSF to interview for summer internships and I signed up for four interviews: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, & Longs Drugs. I felt pretty good after each interview, but I am wondering whether I will be picked for any of the structured programs, which sounded pretty competitive.

My classmates were all dressed in dark-colored suits and I was the only one with a white skirt and pink and white top. There was a lot of waiting in between, but most of it was nice because I actually had time to chat with my classmates. By the end of the day, I was really exhausted and couldn't wait to go home so I could jump into the shower to take off my professional clothes, make-up, and the wax on my hair. Looking pretty isn't easy and I'm glad I'm not a movie star. I would feel horrible having to look pretty in make-up, wax, and uncomfortable clothes all the time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Did Okay on the P-Chem Final.

We finally got our p-chem final exam back today and I found out that I got a C on the final exam but a B overall for the class. I was really happy because I was expecting a C. Things worked out okay after all!

I can't believe finals start next week! I haven't studied for any subject yet and we have five more final exams to go! It's kind of scary when I think about it. I'll try not to freak out because I know everything will be alright in the end.

I'm looking forward to camping during the 10-day spring break!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Can't Let Go

This quarter has gone by so quickly that I feel like I have not learned anything even though I am always busy. Aside from attending lectures, I hardly have any time to study the dense materials for the five remaining classes that we have. Thank goodness p-chem is over...I still don't know the final grade though. Hopefully, I've scored enough to get a "C" in the class overall. I was actually hoping to pass the course with a "D" before going into the final. I had such a hard time focusing when I looked over the materials the weekend before the exam. Luckily, due to errors in the printing of the test, we were given 40 free points (20% of the test), and I only needed a 22.7% to pass the class with a "D". I hope I did enough to get the 40% I needed for the "C".

For the past few weeks, I've been spending most of my time with Phi Delta Chi's (PDC is a professional pharmacy fraternity) pledge class, completing events required for the induction to the family. During the process, I have experienced first-hand how frustrating leadership can be, especially when you are forced to step up because no one else has bothered to do so. I felt that I was doing all the organization by myself even though I was supposed to work with my fundraising team.

Stress from school and an unpleasant phone call from the collections agency about a huge debt that wasn't even mine (but I had to take care of anyway) escalated my negative feelings and I just blew up. I said things that I shouldn't have said, and words spread like wild fire. As a result, my teammates seem to be really angry with me and I am suffering the consequences of awkward silence around them. Although I have sent out an unofficial and generic apology, I doubt that it has helped the situation. I've once heard that words can stab like knives and once the damage is done; scars remain even after the wound has healed.

Lessons learned:
  1. I need to let go when others do not meet my expectations for what their responsibilities should be. I can be harsh on myself but not on others because I need to respect their standards on how they should live their lives and be more understanding of their situations. Drowning my head with negative thoughts when others don't fit my definition of "doing one's job" would only hurt myself and result in negative interpersonal interactions.
  2. Be careful of what I say. Once words are out of the mouth, they can't be taken back and some relationships are forever damaged as a result.