Day 7: Emergency Department

On this day I finally got the opportunity to speak to patients! In the emergency department of UNC Hospitals, there are pharmacy technicians that take medication histories of patients who will be admitted to one of the other floors.

Taking a medication history consists of asking patients what medications they are currently taking, how they are taking it, the dose, etc. You also ask about medication allergies, food allergies, and over-the-counter medications (i.e., vitamins)/herbal supplements. This information is reconciled with what the patient has in his or her profile. This is an essential step in ensuring a patient is on all of the medications he/she needs while in the hospital. Also, it is necessary to have the most updated information to make sure there are no drug/food interactions that can cause harm.

I got to take 3 medication histories, and it was quite a challenge in some cases because, being in the ED, they aren't exactly calm. But it's so important that we have to push through and get all of the necessary information.

It was so great talking to patients today! We have two days in the ED, so I'll have another opportunity later this week!

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