Day 3: Oncology Pharmacy

I was all gowned up today in the clean room for my 8AM-4PM shift. Most clean rooms and IV rooms are in the basement of a hospital, with zero windows. In the Cancer Hospital, however, the whole back wall is open to the vast North Carolina landscape. It's a wonderful atmosphere!

Before lunch, I shadowed the technician and watched him mix bag after bag of chemo- and non-chemotherapy medications. The clean room of the Cancer Hospital takes orders from the oncology inpatient, infusion outpatient clinic, rheumatology, IDS, pediatric floors, solid organ transplant, rheumatology clinic, etc. It was exciting to see all the antineoplastic medications we learned in pharmaceutics and biochemistry. It's so refreshing to see all of the things we learned in just one year being applied in all aspects of the hospital.

After lunch, I shadowed the pharmacist, who happened to be a resident today. A graduate of UNC, he told me all about his path to residency which was good perspective. I learned how to verify IV's, and it is much different from verifying medicines in the community. The only way to check if an IV bag has been made properly is to verify the vial, concentration, correct volume(s) injected into the bags. The volume injected is determined by providing the syringes used marked or pulled out to the point that was drawn up. We also had to verify Body Surface Area (BSA) for each patient, which is used a lot for chemotherapy drugs.

Today was the first opportunity I got to see drugs I learned in class used as therapy. So exciting!!!

On Monday: Pediatric Pharmacy

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