Welcome to the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy blog!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween


Let’s face it growing up is just another opportunity to be a little kid again. I used Halloween this year to do just that! Hi! I’m Chandler, a P2 at PCSP. I have never been huge on celebrating Halloween, but this year the opportunity to take a study break was too strong to ignore. So naturally I did what all good graduate students do…I went Pinterest searching for fun Halloween crafts. There were plenty to choose from so I decided to go with mummy hotdogs (a hotdog cut to look like a man wrapped in a crescent roll). I invited over a few friends and we chowed down on hotdogs and, of course, candy! We had a wonderful time. It’s nice to spend time with my classmates without books in our lap. 

Chandler
P2 - Class of 2017

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rotation Experience



Here at Presbyterian School of Pharmacy, you start your first rotation the spring semester of your P1 year, in the retail setting, and you continue to do 2 locations per semester, once weekly. As a P1 I got to see 2 very different retail settings, a large chain pharmacy and an independent pharmacy.  I cannot even explain how much information made more sense after my time at each location! “Ah-ha” moments galore!

As a P2, your rotations shift from community retail settings to hospital pharmacy. I honestly, was not excited. I’ve always thought of myself as a retail or corporate pharmacist, pretty much set on a distinct path! Then, I started a rotation at Newberry Hospital and I LOVE EVERYTHING about it.  I thank my school every day for pushing me into these new experiences of pharmacy, because I almost missed out on a great career opportunity due to having a closed mind!

At this rotation, I am treated as a team member and I really feel encouraged to learn and participate! They have shown me what’s it like to play a providers role as a pharmacist and it’s been awesome! From counseling patients on anticoagulant therapy at discharge to preparing IV solutions STAT for the emergency department, I have been encouraged to learn!

Rotations are a great motivator in the middle of a hectic week and guess what? Your preceptors, they’ve been in your shoes! They understand what’s it like and they are more than willing to provide extra encouragement or even reinforcement that assures you becoming a pharmacist, was the right decision!

Rebecca
P2 - Class of 2017

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letters of Recommendation


One of the most important aspects of the admission process required for pharmacy school acceptance is great letters of recommendation. In general, when we are applying for a job or admission into a school, it is almost always required to submit at least one letter of recommendation.  I cannot emphasize how important it is to network and build relationships with peers and professors.  By creating these relationships, it can easily provide you with the opportunity to have great letters of recommendations.  Think about it, if you apply to a school, the admission committee has to read the letters of recommendation. Many committees find out who their candidate is prior to coming in for an interview by reading their letters.  A good letter could help you win a foot in the door and a bad letter might not.


Some key points to remember are, make sure you request a letter of recommendation early enough so that you give your reference enough time to write it.  Another point is to ensure ample time for your reference to send the letter of recommendation to the school during admissions.  Remember, these letters will represent your character, academic potential, and reputation prior to coming for an interview, so be very meticulous about the people you select to write your letter.  Choosing the right person as a reference could potentially guarantee your spot in the pharmacy school.

Sienna
P3 - Class of 2016

Friday, October 24, 2014

Immunization Training


As we all know, the role of pharmacist in health care is expanding quickly. Pharmacists are making a big jump from the “lick, stick, pour, count” stereotypical model of the past, to the new age of the comprehensive patient care initiative. Let’s hope however, that the “lick” aspect of that previous statement never really accounted to patient care!

Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy is continuously taking steps to prepare us for the pharmacist role expansion. For instance, the American Pharmacy Association has developed a protocol and learning seminar to prepare pharmacist and student pharmacist to give vaccinations to patients.  We completed this program as second year pharmacy students!

Before the live seminar, there were online tutorials and an exam to complete, but that was nothing compared to the live training! The material was simple; we students are used to learning the facts! However, on a pretty Saturday, the entire P2 class piled in to a lecture hall and prepared to stick each other, with not just one, but three shots! Hands on learning taken to a whole new level!

Everyone’s nerves were on edge, you could see fear and excitement on faces through-out the room, especially as we began drawing up our syringes with saline solution FOR INJECTION!!! It really made for a comical view! Though most of us had no experience administering shots, everything went smoothly! Not one person fainted! And after a day’s worth of learning and sticking each other, it was yet another accomplishment PCSP gave us!

Taking the course at school meant three really great things: 1) it was FREE, where most pharmacists have to pay to get certified, 2) the certification last for the duration of your career, and 3) it was fun! Having our whole class there, seeing the direct correlation with our school and the initiative to expand pharmacy practice, gave everyone a prideful boost! All in all in was a GREAT day, even though I did get 3 shots!


Rebecca
P2 - Class of 2017

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taking the PCAT


The dreaded PCAT – it is not as bad as you think. The PCAT website, where you sign-up to take the test, has all the info you could imagine about the PCAT. Honestly, I did okay on the PCAT but not as well as I wanted to. Mainly due to the fact that I did not review for the test like I had planned. I bought the Kaplan PCAT Test Prep Book and had all of my old class notes and planned to do a little each day a month or so before the test. Needless to say, I did not stick to that. I did however take a few practice tests that the PCAT website offered. There are a multitude of resources out there to help get you as prepared as you want to be. Here are a few great ones:
  • Kaplan’s PCAT Test Prep Book
  • BenchPrep PCAT Review (there’s an app for that)
  • Past classwork (if you kept that kind of stuff)
  • Loads of other books (Kaplan is top-of-the-line though)
  • Audio books
  • Practice tests from PCAT website

I would recommend viewing all of the resources available on the PCAT website first. Buy the Kaplan book and actually use it (you can have the one pictured if you would like). Develop a plan to study and stick to it. Use whatever you can to get prepared. As far as taking the test:
  • Make sure to get plenty of sleep
  • Eat a full breakfast
  • Arrive to your testing site early
  • Make sure you have everything you need before leaving home (ID’s, paperwork, etc.)
  • Pace yourself (do not spend too much time on one question)
  • Remember you are not penalized for wrong answers (if you are running out of time…start clicking)

Do not stress over the test. You, most likely, will not do well if you do. I suggest taking it as soon as you can so that you can take it again if needed. Admissions are dependent on various factors such as, GPA, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, letters of recommendations, research, publications, experience, character, etc., not just your PCAT score. PCSP does a great job of considering all the factors of what makes a great future pharmacist. I know you will do well on the PCAT, along with everything else, and look forward to meeting you all as P1s next year. Take care and good luck.

Stephen

P1 - Class of 2018

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Break



                 


Ahhh….take a deep breath and relax, because you my friend have made it to fall break. Just when you think you couldn’t study an ounce more, you find that you have two whole days (and the weekend before those days) off, and you think that you might just sleep in forever. However, after that first good night of sleep, you realize….hey, I should go do something fun while I have the time! So, let me give you a few ideas of how you might spend those glorious days off. First, there is always downtown Greenville, and lo and behold there is a fall festival called “Fall for Greenville” that usually coincides with our break. There is food, music and fun to participate in, all about 45 minutes away from Clinton. Another option is going to the mountains (it IS fall after all) and enjoying a nice ride looking at the changing leaves. Charlotte, NC and Gatlinburg, TN are only a short distance away, and make for nice getaways in the fall. A third option in which students partake is going to the beach, which is about 3-4 hours away from Clinton. It might not be sun-bathing weather, but it sure is nice to walk along the water without the crowds from the summer! Whatever you choose to do, ENJOY it, because those exams will crank back up the moment you return (but by this time, you will be relaxed and ready to study yet again- we do love our profession after all).

Jenny
P3 - Class of 2016


Friday, October 17, 2014

Clinical Skills Challenge


Hello, my name is Caleb, and I am a third year pharmacy student at the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.  Last month, I had the privilege to compete in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s (ACCP) National Clinical Pharmacy Challenge.  To make the team which represented our school in the national competition, I had to compete in the local round, which was a timed written exam composed of trivia questions, clinical case applications, and jeopardy-styled questions.  I was fortunate to be one of the top three scorers on the local exam and was able to advance to compete in the national competition with my team mates, Jason and Steven, who are both fourth year pharmacy students at the PC School of Pharmacy. 

The composition of the quizzes administered during the national rounds of the competition were very similar to the one given at the local round; it was timed, and the three sections of the quiz remained the same.  However, these rounds were online, and it definitely made it a little more interesting, especially when our computer froze in the middle of the clinical case applications section in the third round! 

Our team successfully maneuvered through multiple rounds of the competition, which began with 104 teams.  We made it into the top 64, the top 32, the top 16, and we competed for one of the top 8 slots.  We didn’t qualify for one of the top 8 slots that will compete live at the ACCP annual meeting this month in Austin, Texas, but our team did exceptionally well, and we have received a lot of recognition from our adviser during the competition, Dr. Jaime Foushee, as well as many of the pharmacy practice faculty and administration here at the PC School of Pharmacy.

Caleb
P3 - Class of 2016