Pharmacists are utilized in emergency care for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is because pharmacists have the knowledge and skill necessary to administer medications on an ongoing basis. The second reason is that pharmacists can provide expert advice about medication use, including the proper dosage, side effects and interactions with other drugs or supplements. Pharmacists can also provide education regarding safety issues related to the use of medications, such as drug interactions. Pharmacists may be used as part of a team to treat patients at a hospital emergency department (ED) or in their home environment. A pharmacist may work with another health care provider to help identify the cause of an illness and develop a treatment plan for the patient. This type of collaboration can help ensure that all necessary medical procedures are performed in order to prevent future complications or disease development. In addition to providing expert medical advice, pharmacists provide some basic medical care at home through medication administration kits (MAPs). These kits contain all the necessary supplies needed to safely administer medications at home or at an office setting without having to leave their home or office.
As a second-year pharmacy student, I am continuously learning the proper tools in emergency medicine. It is important to be able to identify the symptoms of an emergency and then determine when it is appropriate for a patient to go to the hospital. I have learned about various types of emergencies, such as cardiac arrest, stroke and seizures. I have also learned how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an emergency. For example, if someone is having a heart attack, they will typically experience chest pain that feels like an elephant sitting on their chest. In addition, they may have a cold sweat and nausea with vomiting. Additionally, I have learned how to utilize emergency tools like AEDs and EpiPens. I have also learned how to perform CPR on a patient who is experiencing cardiac arrest. I believe that the most important thing for pharmacy students to know about emergency medicine is how to prepare yourself mentally. I read up on what is expected of me and what the proper steps are for taking care of a patient. I know that it is crucial to stay calm, especially in a crisis situation. I try not to panic because I know that it will be hard to think clearly and make good decisions. I also make it a point to not only know how to perform a procedure, but also how to react if something goes wrong. For example, if a patient is unconscious from an overdose, there are some things you can do to try and wake them up (e.g., rubbing their chest), and others that may not be effective (e.g., applying pressure on their airway). Another way I prepare myself physically for emergency situations is by wearing gloves and other equipment necessary for dealing with an emergency situation. There are many types of equipment that we need to wear when working as a healthcare provider. Some of these include a mask, goggles, gowns or paper gowns, shoe covers, gloves, aprons or disposable gowns, face shields and foot covers. In addition to wearing proper equipment during an emergency situation, I make sure that I know how to use it properly. I try to remain well-informed about trauma care, because this knowledge allows me to treat those who have been injured in accidents or by gunshot wounds without delay. I have invested in a trauma kit should include gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, bandaging supplies like adhesive tape and gauze pads for dressings. When needed, I also know to call 911 and ask for paramedics to come and help us. The paramedics can use their skills to stabilize the patient and bring them to the nearest hospital.
I have personally experienced the stress of dealing with an emergency situation while I was in my first year at pharmacy school. During my first introductory rotation, I was given the task of vaccinating incoming patients. One patient, in particular, had come to the pharmacy to receive her second dose of COVID.Before administering the vaccine, I reviewed her medical history to make sure she was a suitable candidate for it.I asked her if she had any allergies or if she was pregnant. She told me that she did not have any allergies, but that she was pregnant. I then asked her if there were any medical conditions that would prevent her from receiving the vaccine and again, she said no. With my preceptor’s guidance, I concluded that she was eligible to receive her second dose given her medical history and was not at risk for any serious side effects. I calmly took her into the back room, sat her down and explained what we were going to do. We pulled up the sleeve of her left arm, cleaned it with alcohol wipes and then proceeded to inject the vaccine into her bloodstream. After we finished administering the medication, I noticed that she was not feeling well. She was pale and sweaty, so I sat her down on the floor so that she could rest. As soon as I sat her down, I calmly walked over to my pharmacist who was in the other room and informed her of the situation. We quickly walked back over to the patient and asked her if she was feeling okay. She felt faint, so we decided to call an ambulance and I sat with her until it arrived. Meanwhile, I took her vitals noticed her blood pressure going down. I also noticed her symptoms worsening despite my efforts to make her comfortable. I could tell that she was in distress, so I decided to elevate her legs so that blood would flow more easily through them. After a few minutes, I noticed that her blood pressure was still low and she was breathing more rapidly. With my preceptor’s permission, I grabbed an EpiPen and administered a dose of epinephrine so that she would have more energy to breathe. I continued monitoring her vital signs until the ambulance arrived, at which point I handed off my patient to the paramedics and provided them with information about her condition, medications and allergies. When they left with my patient, I felt confident that she was in good hands and would receive the treatment she needed.
My advice for students entering the healthcare field and emergency medicine is to have faith in your skills and make sure that you are prepared to handle any situation. Always have an open mind and be ready to learn from your mistakes. It’s also okay to not know everything. The best way to gain experience is by practicing. The more you practice, the more likely you are to be prepared for whatever situation presents itself. Always keep an open mind when learning new things; there may not be one right way of doing something, so don’t get stuck in your ways if someone suggests a different approach than yours. Finally, never forget how important your patients are and how much they rely on you to help them when they need it most.