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NEOMED pharmacy students

Pharmacy Students Gain Appreciation for Other Health Care Professionals

As part of Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy’s Revitalized Curriculum and Academic Calendar Initiative, better known around campus as Curriculum 2.0, first-year pharmacy students recently had the opportunity to shadow a number of different health care professionals — from physicians and nurses to chiropractors and dentists.

Thursday, Dec. 5, at a poster presentation in the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center, the students shared what they learned from their shadowing experiences; what surprised them; and other key takeaways, such as the educational backgrounds of the various professionals; the continuing education that is required of them; what their days look like and how people in their profession interact with pharmacists.

Jodie Turosky, R.Ph., an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and course director of interprofessional education, was joined by Susan Bruce, Pharm.D., NEOMED College of Pharmacy senior associate dean of education, and Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D. (’12), NEOMED College of Pharmacy assistant dean of student success, among others, who helped to grade the students’ presentations.

“In order to practice at the top of your profession, you really need to know what other professionals you interact with do. You can’t just live in a bubble. We spend so much time saying ’I want to be a clinical pharmacist and I want to practice at the top of my license,’ but that means being on a team with other people and that requires going and seeing what other people do,” says Turosky.

Student takeaways

Several students agreed that the shadowing opportunities were eye-opening experiences.

A group of students who shadowed emergency department nurses and emergency medical technicians said they were surprised to learn how much the nurses and EMTs collaborate with other health care providers.

Elizabeth Muzilla, a first-year College of Pharmacy student who shadowed an assistant manager in the emergency department at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, noted, “Emergency departments aren’t exactly what they’re portrayed as on TV.”

She said how impressed she was to see how calm and collaborative the health care team remained when a patient coded.

Following the students’ presentations, the College of Pharmacy Class of 2023 gathered downstairs in Watanakunakorn Auditorium for a panel discussion. Here, professionals from six different areas of health care were assigned a case and invited to talk about how they would interact with the patient in that given situation. For the students, it was one more opportunity to get real-life insight.