on Day 1

The white coats have been neatly hung and stored in our closets…now the work begins.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of new professors, subject matter and jittery thoughts of, ‘ohmygoodness can I really do this? Can I keep up and time manage and understand things?”

Why yes, I do believe I can.

The first class on the books was Top 200, which is a wonderfully pedantic name for a class – it’s a title that’s a bit crunchy and just ominous enough to give me a pause. We’ll be learning several attributes of the current top 200 meds in the U.S.: generic names, brand names, treatment category (analgesics, pain therapy, etc.) , and a few other tidbits. 8 quizzes, four tests, and a final exam that we must score a 90% on to go on in the program. Needless to say, I’ll  soon be very attached to that little booklet of names and descriptions.

Next up was Integrated Pharmacology, which is a melting pot full of organic chemistry, physiology, biotransformation(how drugs change in the body), and biochemistry. It’s like the last two years of college all condensed into one class; I quite enjoyed seeing everything from all those components of my undergrad career jammed into one screen…it was oddly reassuring. Somehow it made me feel as if all those sleepless nights of study and memorizing and notecard writing weren’t in vain.

After a long break, during which I noshed on my lunch and chatted with the lovely Anastasia about life, we re-convened on the pharmacy building around 2pm for Pharmacy Calculations. Ratios, direct proportions, simple math, and a workbook that contains word problems about pharmacy…usually I have a sore spot with math, but when it’s applied to patient care, it’s oddly exciting. We’ll have homework, tests, and quizzes – and there is no partial credit on the tests. As our petite professor stated, ” We don’t give any credit for patient suffering.” Oh dear. I’ll be checking and double checking my work!

Lastly, there was Pharmacy Communications, where I realized many things are still to be done. It requires, Blood Borne Pathogen training (check), HIPPA training (written into curriculum of another class), CPR/first aid training (signed up for a class on Oct. 2nd), and all our immunizations (eh…kind of checked). My last Hep B shot isn’t until November, so I’ll have to turn that in later. The class also has a lab component, where we’ll get to ‘counsel patients’ and work on our ‘pharmacy language’…I’m a bit nervous about this class – it will take some serious preparation to do well. Since it is a self-evaluation class, “…what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.” Alright, then I’d better put in everything  I’ve got! We also have to log 8 hours of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) this semester.

First day, done. The jitters are gone, the butterflies have quieted, and I’m ready to tackle Tuesday.

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